Method statements are hugely important in the construction industry and can ensure that all tasks are completed safely and efficiently.
But what exactly is a method statement, and how is it any different to a risk assessment? And why do people fill out method statements?
We’ll be answering these questions in this post, so keep reading to learn all about method statements in construction.
What Is a Method Statement?
A method statement is pretty much what you’d expect - it’s a statement that outlines exactly what you’ll be doing on a project.
Method statements are used in conjunction with risk assessments to ensure that all tasks in a project are completed safely and effectively. When ensuring the health and safety of a project, method statements are necessary.
A method statement includes information about the task, the workplace, the supervisor, and emergency contacts.
You’ll need to include information about any PPE used and what other equipment will be used to keep workers, visitors, and passers-by safe from harm while tasks are in progress.
In a method statement, you’d include the tasks you’d be completing from the start to the finish. This includes breaking down the task into steps so that it’s completely understandable and organised.
Method statements are hugely important in the construction industry as a project can consist of countless different tasks, and construction sites can be full of hazards that need to be correctly identified.
The tasks included in a method statement should be added in order to make things easier for employees and to streamline the task, leaving little room for error. You should include timescales when writing the method statement - for example, how many hours each task is expected to take.
The method statement of a project should assess any potential hazards involved in each step, with information on how the hazard can be controlled and the risks can be mitigated.
Details should be added and extra steps should be taken while writing the method statement to ensure all possibilities are included. For example, if the project will produce waste materials, include information on how to effectively and safely dispose of the waste.
You’ll also be required to provide details of the site on which the project is taking place. This means including accurate information about the location of the site, and whether the project is taking place in multiple locations.
Another thing to include in a method statement is details of the supervisor and emergency contacts.
Any task should be completed with a trained supervisor present in order to reduce the risk of incidents occurring. The supervisor information is required as they are responsible for the safety of the team, and should take immediate action if something goes wrong in terms of health and safety.
Emergency details are required on a risk assessment so it’s easy to contact them if they need to be contacted in the event of an emergency.
Method Statement vs Risk Assessment
Risk assessments and method statements go hand in hand. If you’ve worked in construction, you may know the combined name RAMS - Risk Assessment Method Statement.
Both documents are used to improve the health and safety of the construction site, but they are different documents. Risk assessments are required to assess the risks and hazards involved in construction projects and should include information on how risk could be mitigated.
However, method statements are typically more detailed, including more information about the tasks and the site. Method statements expand on the potential risks, including information on how, when, where, and why health and safety measures should be included in the project - referencing timescales.
Why Create a Method Statement?
Method statements are a necessary aspect of project preparation in construction. Although they aren’t a legal requirement, they are a practical and effective way to help you plan, monitor, and manage any tasks throughout the project.
Construction sites can be dangerous, so it’s important that risks are identified and any tasks are clearly laid out to make things easier and safer for employees. Construction sites have a fatal injury rate three times higher than other industries.
Construction workers will often deal with dangerous equipment and various other hazards such as working from heights and loud noises, carrying heavy loads.