Asbestos Materials Safe Work Method Statement

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

Asbestos Materials Safe Work Method Statement

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

  1. Planning & 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. Control of asbestos
  8. General precautions
  9. Cleaning of surfaces
  10. Disturbance of ACM
  11. Removal of asbestos or ACM
  12. Handling and disposal of asbestos waste
  13. On Completion

The Asbestos Materials Safe Work Method Statement Includes


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

Your Asbestos Materials 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. Ensure all on site risks are identified and addressed, and added to your Safe Work Method Statement.

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. Wearing the right PPE is essential to protect your health and well-being, when working with asbestos, particularly an appropriate respirator.
  2. Wear disposable clothing, particularly disposable coveralls. These should be definitely worn to prevent the contamination of clothing and footwear. An attached hood or disposable hat, as well as suitable disposable gloves should also be worn.
  3. Work in a well-ventilated area and, where possible, in the open air. However, do not work on windy days with asbestos material.

Asbestos Materials Safe Work Method Statement

  • Detailed and pre-filled Asbestos Materials Safe Work Method Statement.
  • Immediate Download Delivery.
    Fully editable Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) Template.
  • Easy to use - no fuss customisation.
  • Referenced to Australian & NZ Standards (AS/NZS) & 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 Asbestos Materials 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 Asbestos Materials SWMS Template addresses any site specific risks.

The fastest and most cost effective solution would be to purchase a Bluesafe Asbestos Materials SWMS Template. However, if you decide to take the route of writing your own asbestos materials SWMS.

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

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

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

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

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

Your Asbestos Materials Safe Work Method Statement should also identify any high-risk machinery or equipment in operation near the worksite, such as:

  • Forklift
  • Crane
  • Hoist
  • Asbestos Materials
  • 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 Asbestos Materials 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 Asbestos Materials SWMS must be reviewed continually to ensure it remains effective and relevant. The Asbestos Materials SWMS must be reviewed (and revised if necessary) if relevant control measures in relation to asbestos materials work are revised. The review process should be carried out in consultation with workers (including contractors and subcontractors) who maybe affected by the Asbestos Materials and their health and safety representatives who represented that work group at the workplace. 

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

  1. All persons involved in the asbestos materials work are advised that a revision has been made and how they can access the revised Asbestos Materials 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 Asbestos Materials SWMS; and,
  3. Workers that will be involved in the asbestos materials work are provided with the relevant information and instruction that will assist them to understand and implement the revised Asbestos Materials SWMS. 

When preparing your Asbestos Materials 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 Asbestos Materials.

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

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

Assessment of Site Conditions

Thoroughly assess the work site/area conditions when working with asbestos materials and ensure that:

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

Asbestos Materials Training and Worker Qualifications

Ensure all workers have the appropriate licenses in conducting Asbestos Materials as well as any qualifications that may be required for various asbestos materials 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 Asbestos Materials SWMS including all safety and emergency procedures.
  2. Be qualified, knowledgeable and competent in Asbestos Materials operations and asbestos materials work as well as all delegated tasks/responsibilities
  3. Be fully aware and understand the scope of work in relation to the Asbestos Materials SWMS 

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

  • Use the services of an asbestos removalist to arrange removal as soon as possible.
  • Do not allow any unauthorised or unnecessary entry into the area.
  • All work procedures must conform to the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos to remove ACM or asbestos.
  • Consider removal. However, if not practicable, use sealing or encapsulation as a short-term control measure (this may not be allowed in some States).
  • Minimum disturbance, seal or encapsulate (not allowed in some States).
  • Where possible, attach label and inspect regularly to make sure that the ACM is not deteriorating.
  • Permit only authorised personnel to carry out the work with asbestos or asbestos-containing materials.
  • Encapsulation or sealing of ACM is not allowed in ACT, Qld or SA.
  • Encapsulation or sealing of ACM is not allowed in ACT, Qld or SA.
  • Standard international asbestos labels may be used to warn of presence of asbestos or ACM.
  • Persons working with asbestos or ACM must not eat, drink or smoke in areas where asbestos fibres may be present, or after working with ACM, until hands, face and clothing are free of dust.
  • Do not allow eating or drinking in work area.
  • Do not allow smoking.
  • Inspect the surfaces to be cleaned and make sure the ACMs are in a good stable condition and not friable.
  • Carry out the following activities -
  • use a power tool to clean an ACM
  • use a high-pressure water cleaner to clean an ACM, or to clean up the debris from an ACM
  • use compressed air to clean an ACM, or a surface where debris from an ACM is present.
  • All cleaning material including gloves, etc., must be disposed of as asbestos waste.
  • For wiping surfaces, use only folded wet cloth and not wadded. Dispose of the cloth as asbestos waste after use.
  • When cleaning, wearing disposable gloves is essential.
  • Do not use a domestic type vacuum cleaner use only approved HEPA industrial vacuum cleaner that is specifically designed for use with hazardous particulates.
  • Do not unnecessarily remove or disturb ACM.
  • All States and Territories prohibit the use of power tools for cutting ACMs.
  • ACT prohibits drilling of ACM
  • Capture particles using heavy-duty plastic sheets.
  • If possible, reduce the generation of dust by wetting ACM.
  • Do not allow unauthorised access to the work area.
  • Spread of dust to other areas must be prevented.
  • Do not allow re-entry until the area is properly decontaminated.
  • Find out whether working is possible without disturbing theACM.
  • Wearing P2 particulate dust mask or respirator is necessary.
  • Prevent contamination of clothing by wearing disposable overalls.
  • Wearing disposable gloves is necessary.
  • Only an asbestos removalist must remove asbestos or ACM.
  • An asbestos removalist must hold a licence before being permitted to remove friable ACM in all states and territories. Some states and territories also require a licence for removal of specified quantities of ACM, regardless of whether they are friable, and relevant authorities should be consulted prior to any removal work.
  • Develop an Asbestos Removal Control Plan based on removal requirements and client specifications before starting on any removal work.
  • Removing asbestos or ACM must conform to the Code ofPractice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos.
  • All ACM removal must conform to Parts 9 and 10 of the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos.
  • Consult the territory OHS or relevant state authority regarding the training, information to be provided, and the health monitoring of asbestos workers.
  • It is necessary to wear appropriate respirator as specified in Appendix C of the Code of Practice.
  • Try not to breath in or contact dust containing asbestos
  • Use suitable heavy-duty sealable plastic bags for placing asbestos waste. Make sure sharp points and edges of waste do not damage the plastic. Never overfill the bags, fill only to half-full.
  • Use heavy-duty plastic tape to seal all seams and openings fully.
  • Once the process of decontamination is completed, double-bag all asbestos waste immediately. Do it outside the work area.
  • Disposal must be done only at an approved landfill site, only after labelling the bags and packages.
  • Never place asbestos waste in industrial, commercial or domestic waste bins.
  • Wearing P1 or P2 particulate dust mask or respirator is necessary.
  • Wearing disposable coveralls and gloves is necessary.
  • International asbestos labels must be used to warn of the presence of asbestos or ACM.
  • Place all waste bags in a solid waste drum, bin or skip.
  • Remove them from the site using an approved and licensed carrier.

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.