What is Method Statement?
A method statement is the written document on how the particular activity or process will be undertaken detailing the step-by-step procedures and safety system of works. Risk and necessary remedial measures to be carried out should be elaborated to protect the site workforce and members of the public that may be affected during the course of the activity.
In the construction industry where the project is being managed by consultants or client’s representatives, the preparation of the method statement should be referred from the approved specifications of the project. Approved project materials should be utilized in the execution of the task and should be specified.
What are the fundamental sections included?
This document is usually provided by the main contractor to the consultant or client’s representative for approval prior to implementation. There is no generic format for the contents of the method statements since every task is different and specific only on the particular activity. Nonetheless, every method statement should include the fundamental sections of the submittal. However, in adherence to the ISO standards of the project and QA fulfillment of the documentation system, an approved form should be used in the submission process of the method statement.
Following are the minimum and fundamental sections included on how to create a method statement
1. Name of Project/Project Information
The name of the project undertaken.
2. Project Detail
The name of the company that is undertaking the project.
Overview of the nature of the task that is to be undertaken.
The number of key personnel and workers who will be involved in the activity
The list and description of the personnel who will take part in the activity
The persons responsible for health and safety
3. Title of the Method Statement
This section includes the steps on how the activity has to be carried out taking into consideration also the specific hazards.
The place of the specific activity should also be identified in the method statement and whether the area requires isolation or affects any neighboring site activity.
4. Risk Assessment
This includes any risk assessment, site-specific health, hazard, environment, and safety issues that are identifiable in the specific method statement.
Intended emergency procedures should be provided with detailed procedures.
5. Tools, Equipment & Plant
This includes the list of tools, equipment, PPE, and plant if applicable to be used in the execution of the work.
6. Materials to be used
This includes the approved materials to be used in the execution of the work.
7. Personnel Involve
This section includes all the pertinent personnel involve and their respective duty and responsibility in the execution of the activity.
This includes drawings that can illustratively convey the work or activity to the personnel involved where necessary.
9. Inspection and Test Plan
As part of QA/QC procedure, this section of the method statement deals with how the activity will be monitored and evaluated.
This includes the inspection and test to be conducted during the progress of the activity. Usually, the Inspection and Test Plan is being prepared by the competent person which in turn is submitted to the consultant or client’s representative for review and approval prior to the project’s implementation. During the course of the activity, inspection/test should be conducted and witnessed by the consultant whenever the stage of activity calls for it as defined in the Inspection and Test Plan.
10. Approved Submittals, References, Codes, and Standards
This includes the attachment of the applicable approved related submittals from the project, references, codes, and standards.
Flowchart of Method Statement Procedure for Construction Projects
Another example is shown in Infographic
As shown in the infographic can also be prepared with the structures broken down into sections. Specifically, relevant pieces of information are being included in the preparation process.
When is it Necessary to Write a Method Statement?
Work Method statements should be written before the tasks or activities they refer to start, but after risk assessments have been performed. After you’ve completed a risk assessment, you should write a method statement based on the information you gathered and identified in the risk assessment about potential hazards and risks.
When duties are performed in a new location or with new equipment, the documentation must be evaluated and revised. This is the reason why the method statement is considered a live document. It must be revisited if circumstances impacting project health and safety change, to ensure that safety safeguards are still relevant.
How do Method Statements and Risk Assessments differ?
Risk assessments and method statements are commonly mistaken because they are the two most typical health and safety documents. While both documents strive to promote workplace safety, they are not the same. Risk assessments detect and evaluate project hazards and dangers, as well as suggest control strategies. However, method statements elaborate on the risk assessment’s control measures, describing how, when, and why they should be implemented.
While these two are different documents, risk assessment is often found complementary in the submission of method statement requirements in the construction project.
When asked for detail of the method statement with a risk assessment, the client usually wants a copy of RAMS, which stands for risk assessments and method statements.
How does the Method statement relate to a Permit to Work?
A permit to work system is a formalized method for regulating high-risk activities. They are frequently provided by a safety manager or supervisor and allow a person or a group of individuals to do a task while adhering to strict guidelines. Permits allow selected construction workers to perform high-risk work at a specific time and location, as long as they follow the procedures outlined in the permit and any relevant documents.
Simply put, the goal of a permit to work method is to make high-risk jobs safer. A permit to work is provided exclusively to a certain person, at a specific time, authorizing them to carry out the work under strict controls, in addition to a risk assessment and method statement.
Work on electrical systems, hot works, excavations, certain lifting operations, work at height, confined space work, and other potential hazards are all likely to require work permits in the construction projects.
Now how does it relate to the method statement?
A method statement along with the risk assessment used to detail the work procedure that will be carried out
where a permit to work will be needed to control the risks.
The work permit is an additional document that tightly controls and specifies when the work will be done, who will be involved, what permissions they have, and what checks will be performed.