Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement

Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS Template) delivered in Microsoft Word format for easy editing.

Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement

Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)

Whether you need to get on site to start work, looking to create a safe work environment or pitching for that next government tender -the Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement is easy to customise, easy to use and easy to integrate into your current Safety Management System. If you don't have a Safety Management System, we need to talk, seriously, you don't need to be carrying that level of risk exposure in your business - we can help.

Look, we understand that business should be rewarding and not consumed by tedious red tape. The Safe Work Method Statement Template we create is in an easy to understand format, while at the same time being some of the highest quality documents in the industry. Our SWMS documents get you onsite, save you loads of time and are very user-friendly. This way, you can get on with doing what you do best.

The Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) covers the following Job Steps, including potential hazards, control measures and risk ratings:

  1. Planning and preparation
  2. Training and capabilities
  3. Assess onsite conditions
  4. Set up work area
  5. Temporary Traffic Control (TMP)
  6. Delivery of materials and equipment
  7. Manual handling of live animals
  8. Working with live animals
  9. Animal accommodation areas
  10. On completion

The Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement Includes


Risk Assessment Matrix | Hierarchy of Controls | PPE | Emergency Response

Your Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement is ready to be used in three easy steps:

  1. Add your company logo and company details to the document.
  2. Assess any on-site risks.
  3. Address any site specific risks and add them to your SWMS Template.

Now that your Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is ready for use, you can also make the SWMS document available as a training resource for activities such as WHS-OHS Toolbox Meeting Talks or Workplace Inductions.

Bluesafe Quick Tips:

  1. Inspect the pen for risks and check latches and locks are in working order.
  2. Keep the animals as calm as possible and ensure you have a clear escape route.
  3. Don't overfill the yard – keep it at about 2/3 capacity so you have room to move.

Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement

  • Detailed and pre-filled Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement.
  • Immediate Download Delivery.
    Fully editable Safe Work Method Statement Template.
  • Easy to use - no fuss customisation.
  • Referenced to AS/NZS (Standards) and Legislation. 
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View a Safe Work Method Statement Example

See an example of a Safe Work Method Statement Template below. All our SWMS Template documents are comprehensive in nature, easy to use, and are a huge time saver. Our Safe Work Method Statement Templates are quick and easy to customise to your specific business or operation and are perfectly suited for every day use, for larger contracts and tenders right through to qualifying for contractor management platforms such as CM3.

What is a Safe Work Method Statement?

A SWMS is a document that outlines the high-risk construction work activities that will be performed at a workplace, the hazards that will be present as a result of these activities, and the controls that will be implemented to mitigate the risks.

A single SWMS can be utilised for numerous high-risk construction work activities, such as employing powered mobile plant, working at heights of more than 2 metres, and working near to a road that is used by traffic other than pedestrians.

A SWMS is an administrative control that is used to support higher-order controls, such as engineering controls, that are designed to remove or reduce hazards to health and safety.

A SWMS differs from other documentation such as a Job Safety Analysis or a Safe Operating Procedure in that it focuses on specific jobs or processes. A SWMS isn't meant to be a procedure; rather, it's a tool for supervisors and workers to check and monitor the workplace control measures. For high-risk work activities, a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking)  must prepare a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) or check that one has been prepared before starting work. It is important to note that before any work process has started, a SWMS must be prepared.

A PCBU, on the other hand, also must manage health and safety hazards by eliminating or reducing them as much as possible. Before beginning any work on a project, the principal contractor must also obtain a copy of the SWMS.

What information does a Safe Work Method Statement need to contain?

A Safe Work Method Statement should identify high-risk work and any specify hazards related to high-risk construction work as well as any health and safety risks. The SWMS should describe the risk-control measures to be implemented, monitored, and reviewed and also should describe how the risk-control measures will be effective at reducing or eliminating the risk, and how they will be implemented, monitored, and reviewed.

A Safe Work Method Statement should be concise and focus on outlining the specific risks identified for the high-risk work to be performed, as well as the control measures to be implemented to ensure that the work is completed safely.

A long and overly complex Safe Work Method Statement which could be difficult to comprehend, implement and monitor or review may be confusing for workers to mentally digest and therefore is not ideal in helping to reduce or eliminate risks in the workplace. It is imperative that workers, and especially those who do not speak English, are able to understand the Safe Work Method Statement. Consider having pictures or diagrams added to the SWMS as a more effective way of presenting information contained within the SWMS.

The SWMS should also contain other regulatory requirements to protect health and safety of all personnel, such as controlling noise exposure and manual job risks. Also, keep in mind that evidence of a completed risk assessment may be required by the regulator or for auditing reasons if the Safe Work Method Statement is based on a workplace-specific risk assessment.

Who's Responsible for creating the Safe Work Method Statement?

In collaboration with workers who will be directly engaged in the activity, the person responsible for carrying out the work is usually best equipped to prepare the SWMS document. In most cases, this means that a Safe Work Method Statement is created by the builder for his or her employees, or by the subcontractor for their employees.

To establish who is in the best position to prepare the Safe Work Method Statement, the principle contractor, builder, and/or subcontractors should decide who will take responsibility for the SWMS.

It's also a requirement that all managers, contractors, supervisors, and workers be involved in the creation of a Safe Work Method Statement. Workers must be consulted so that they understand the SWMS in depth and what they must do to establish and maintain risks and implement control measures to manage the risk. Sharing information and utilising workers' knowledge and experience may also aid in ensuring that the task is completed in accordance with the SWMS.

If your workplace has a Health and Safety Representative, they should also be contacted while creating a Safe Work Method Statement.

What does the principal contractor's responsibility entail?

Before beginning work, a principal contractor must take all reasonable steps to obtain a SWMS from any contractor performing high-risk work. If no SWMS exists, the principal contractor must arrange for one to be created, for example by the contractor or subcontractor.

A general contractor should establish plans to ensure that high-risk work is carried out safely and in compliance with the Safe Work Method Statement. This can be done by keeping an eye on how the SWMS is being implemented on the ground.

The principal contractors' WHS management plan must also include detailed arrangements for collecting, assessing, monitoring, and reviewing the SWMS, according to the WHS Regulations.

How to Write a Safe Work Method Statement

If you're looking to write your own Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement, the first step is to create the document as a Safe Work Method Statement Template. This way, you can use the same SWMS Template and then adjust the document for each different glazing project as needed, making sure that your Animal Handling SWMS Template addresses any site specific risks.

The fastest and most cost effective solution would be to purchase a Bluesafe Animal Handling SWMS Template. However, if you decide to take the route of writing your own animal handling SWMS.

There are some fundamental requirements and information which you may want to consider adding to your Animal Handling SWMS such as:

  • Details of the person(s) responsible for making sure implementation, monitoring and compliance of the Animal Handling SWMS as well as any reviews and modifications. 
  • Any information detailing safety meetings or toolbox talks in relation to animal handling work, scheduled in accordance with legislative requirements to first identify any site hazards where the animal handling work is being conducted, secondly, communicate the risks and hazards and then take steps to eliminate or control each hazard in relation to the animal handling work being done. 
  • Any changes added to the Animal Handling SWMS after an incident or a near miss.

Note: The Animal Handling SWMS must be kept and be available for inspection at least until the animal handling work is completed. Where the Animal Handling SWMS is revised, all versions of the SWMS Template should be kept. If a notifiable incident occurs in relation to the Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement, the Animal Handling SWMS must be kept for a minimum of two years from the date of the incident. 

Your Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement Template should list any high risk construction work, such as: 

  • Does the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS involve a risk of a person falling more than 2 meters?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out on or near pressurised gas mains or piping?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out on a telecommunication tower?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out on or near chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines?
  • Does the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS involve demolition of an element of a structure that is load-bearing?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out on or near energised electrical installations or services?
  • Does the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS involve demolition of an element related to the physical integrity of a structure?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out in an area that may have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere?
  • Does the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS involve, or is likely to involve, disturbing asbestos?
  • Does the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS involve tilt-up or precast concrete?
  • Does the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS involve structural alteration or repair that requires temporary support to prevent collapse?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out on, in or adjacent to a road, railway, shipping lane or other traffic corridor?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out in or near a confined space?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out in an area of a workplace where there is any movement of powered mobile plant?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out in/near a shaft or trench deeper than 1.5m or tunnel involving use of explosives?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out in areas with artificial extremes of temperature?
  • Is the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS carried out in or near water or other liquid that involves a risk of drowning?
  • Does the animal handling work outlined in the Animal Handling SWMS involve diving work? 

Your Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement should also identify any high-risk machinery or equipment in operation near the work site, such as:

  • Forklift
  • Crane
  • Hoist
  • Animal Handling
  • Backhoe
  • Loader
  • Boom Lift
  • Elevated Work Platform (EWP)
  • Genie Lift
  • Trencher
  • Drilling Rig
  • Trucks
  • Formwork
  • Bobcat
  • Flammable Gas
  • Fuel
  • Dozer
  • High Voltage
  • Mulcher
  • Tilt-up Panels
  • Roller
  • Scissor Lift
  • Tractor 

Your Animal Handling SWMS should also list any Personal Protective Equipment such as: 

  • Foot Protection - Boots or closed in shoes
  • Hand Protectiglazinon - Gloves
  • Head Protection - Hard hat or helmet
  • Hearing Protection - Ear plugs or ear muffs
  • Eye Protection - Safety glasses, goggles or face shields
  • Respiratory Protection - Face masks etc
  • Face Protection - Face shield, welding mask etc
  • High Visual Clothing
  • Protective Clothing - Overalls etc
  • Fall Protection - Safety harness, edge protection etc
  • Sun Protection - Sunscreen, hat etc
  • Hair and Jewellery Secured - Hair Net, etc

The Animal Handling SWMS must be reviewed continually to ensure it remains effective and relevant. The Animal Handling SWMS must be reviewed (and revised if necessary) if relevant control measures in relation to animal handling work are revised. The review process should be carried out in consultation with workers (including contractors and subcontractors) who may be affected by the Animal Handling and their health and safety representatives who represented that work group at the workplace. 

When the Animal Handling SWMS has been revised, the person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure:

  1. All persons involved in the animal handling work are advised that a revision has been made and how they can access the revised Animal Handling SWMS;
  2. Persons who will need to change a work procedure or system as a result of the review are advised of the changes in a way that will enable them to implement their duties consistently with the revised Animal Handling SWMS; and,
  3. Workers that will be involved in the animal handling work are provided with the relevant information and instruction that will assist them to understand and implement the revised Animal Handling SWMS.

When preparing your Animal Handling SWMS, here are some topics you might want to also include to ensure you have covered as many risks and hazards as possible.

Planning and Preparation When Working With and Around Animal Handling.

When writing your Animal Handling SWMS, establish any policies, procedures and systems for working with Animal Handlings in consultation with the Principal Contractor and workers while being sure to establish:

  • Health and Safety guidelines for animal handling work
  • Emergency plans and evacuation procedures for the Animal Handling SWMS
  • Worker inductions for Animal Handling
  • Toolbox talks (safety meetings) added to the Animal Handling SWMS
  • Outline details of supervision of the site and workers on the Animal Handling SWMS
  • Check all workers qualifications, permits and competencies for Animal Handling operations
  • Ensure the Animal Handling and any related equipment is functioning correctly
  • Hazard reporting procedures in place and added to the Animal Handling SWMS
  • Incident reporting procedures in place and added to the Animal Handling SWMS
  • Exclusion zones when conducting animal handling work
  • Risk Assessment for TASK completed and noted on the Animal Handling SWMS
  • Electrical NO GO ZONES identified, discussed and documented. 

Assessment of Site Conditions 

Thoroughly assess the work site/area conditions when animal handling and ensure that:

  1. A risk assessment of the animal handling work is conducted
  2. Suitable access and adequate space to conduct animal handling work safely
  3. Consult with all stakeholders on potential hazards and risks when conducting animal handling work
  4. Consultation with all relevant workers and personnel for Animal Handling SWMS details
  5. If conducting Animal Handling at night, ensure there is adequate lighting
  6. Check that the work environment is suitable for animal handling work 

Animal Handling Training and Worker Qualifications

Ensure all workers have the appropriate licenses in conducting Animal Handling as well as any qualifications that may be required for various animal handling projects before starting work. If White Cards are required, retain copies of all cards, licenses and qualifications of personnel.

All personnel must:

  1. Be trained and/or have received instructions on the Animal Handling SWMS including all safety and emergency procedures.
  2. Be qualified, knowledgeable and competent in Animal Handling operations and animal handling work as well as all delegated tasks/responsibilities
  3. Be fully aware and understand the scope of work in relation to the Animal Handling SWMS

Below are some examples of some Control Measures to be implemented when creating your own Animal Handling Safe Work Method Statement Template: 

  • Assess the animal handling tasks - identify the need for team handling or use of mechanical aids to lift or restrain animals.
  • Apply team lifting techniques. Use adjustable lift trolleys, etc.
  • Minimise the ability of the animal to bite, scratch, etc., by properly handling the animals.
  • In case of a bite or scratch always seek medical assistance.
  • For handling larger or stronger animals, always seek assistance.
  • Control the animal by seeking the assistance of the owner, where practicable.
  • For handling aggressive animals, always obtain assistance.
  • Protect from scratches or bites by wearing suitable protective clothing.
  • Wherever necessary, use restraint devices such as dog catching poles, cat rush, etc.
  • It is necessary to wear leather gloves, aprons, etc.
  • Obtain consent to sedate or anaesthetise animal if other controls fail.
  • Provide suitable restraint devices.
  • Never eat, drink, apply cosmetics or wear contact lenses around animals or animal care areas - wear suitable eye protection.
  • Wear latex or similar gloves.
  • Avoid rubbing face with contaminated hands or gloves.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after contact.
  • Be careful when inoculating animals and obtain assistance if necessary.
  • Use sharps container for needles.
  • Make sure there is good ventilation and wear suitable protective equipment in work areas where there is dust, hair, animal dander, scale, body wastes or saliva ®C these may cause an allergenic reaction.
  • It is necessary to use respiratory protection, gloves, protective clothing and aprons.
  • Do not allow skin contact with animals, and protect clothing from contamination.
  • Launder work clothing separately.
  • Persons working with large animals should wear protective footwear.
  • It is necessary to wear foot protection.
  • When cleaning animal accommodation and or handling soiled bedding and wastes, always wear suitable protective clothing.
  • It is necessary to wear eye and hand, protection, apron and enclosed footwear.
  • Pregnant persons should avoid contact with cat faeces or soiled material.
  • It is necessary to wear protective clothing, gloves, aprons and enclosed footwear.
  • Dispose soiled material, bedding, etc., by placing them in sealed bags.
  • It is necessary to wash hands thoroughly after cleaning or handling waste.
  • Excrement and urine should be flushed to sewer or buried(check with local authority for any restrictions or requirements).

National: View the Model Codes of Practice for Excavation Work on Safe Work Australia's website here.
Victoria: Victoria's Code of Practice for Excavation Work may be viewed on Work Safe Victoria's website here.