Firearms Safe Work Method Statement

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

Firearms Safe Work Method Statement

Firearms 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 big contract or government tender - the Firearms Safe Work Method Statement is easy to customise, easy to use and 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 on site, save you loads of time and are very user-friendly. This way, you can get on with doing what you do best.

The Firearms 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. Licensing
  8. Storage
  9. Use of firearms
  10. Firearm safety
  11. Cleaning and maintenance
  12. Handling ammunition
  13. On completion

The Firearms Safe Work Method Statement, includes;


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

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

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

Your SWMS is now read to use, and may also be used as training materials for work related activities such as Workplace Inductions or WHS-OHS Toolbox Meeting Talks.

Bluesafe Quick Tips:

  1. Never store or handle a loaded firearm in the workspace or home, tragedy can occur at any time with negligence of this type.
  2. Keep a trigger-locking device on the firearm, in addition to keeping it locked away, as an additional safety factor.
  3. There is no such thing as over emphasising and taking all precautions possible for firearm safety.

Firearms Safe Work Method Statement

  • High quality and ready to use Firearms Safe Work Method Statement.
  • Immediate Download Delivery.
  • Fully editable Safe Work Method Statement Template.
  • Easy to customise - instructions included.
  • Referenced to Australian and NZ Standards (AS/NZS) 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 Firearms 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 firearms project as needed, making sure that your Firearms SWMS Template addresses any site specific risks. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Foot Protection - Boots or closed in shoes
  • Hand Protection - 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 Firearms SWMS must be reviewed continually to ensure it remains effective and relevant. The Firearms SWMS must be reviewed (and revised if necessary) if relevant control measures in relation to firearms work are revised. The review process should be carried out in consultation with workers(including contractors and subcontractors) who may be affected by the Firearms and their health and safety representatives who represented that work group at the workplace.

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

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

When preparing your Firearms 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 Firearms.

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

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

Assessment of Site Conditions 

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

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

Firearms Training and Worker Qualifications

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

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

  • Only a person holding a current licence can possess or use any firearm or weapon. (The type of licence will depend on the category or typeof weapon and the proposed use of the weapon).
  • A person is not to possess, carry or use a firearm or weapon unless they hold the appropriate licence.
  • Always keep firearms unloaded other than when being used to shoot, except where the firearm is being used under a security licence store ammunition in a separately locked container.
  • Store the bolt, breech block, firing pin or integral part of the firing mechanism in a locked container separate from the firearm.
  • Store firearms unloaded in a locked container with the bolt removed or the action broken, or a trigger lock fitted if the bolt, firing pin or other integral part of the firing mechanism cannot be removed.
  • Use a securely closed container only if the bolt, breechblock, etc., have been removed and are stored in a separate locked container.
  • Use storage containers made of solid steel or timber, with a sturdy lock and fix it securely to the frame or floor of the building.
  • If the firearm is temporarily stored in a vehicle, it must be locked either
  • In the boot locked in a metal container, or
  • In a metal container fixed to the vehicle, or
  • In a securely closed container that is out of sight in the vehicle.
  • Persons using centre fire firearms or shotguns, or shooting in a confined or enclosed area must wear hearing protection suitable for impact noise.
  • Dust, smoke, and other contaminants will be present when weapons are discharged wearing eye protection is necessary.
  • Treat every firearm as if it was loaded.
  • Always point a firearm in a safe direction.
  • Load the firearm only when ready to fire.
  • Clearly identify the target first.
  • Check your firing zone.
  • Store firearms and ammunition safely.
  • Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms.
  • Do not point a firearm at another person, towards a house or building, vehicle, roadway or boat.
  • Make sure that the firearm cannot be discharged accidentally, especially in situations where children are present in areas where the firearm is being used.
  • Make sure that area where firearm is to be fired is away from persons, livestock, etc.
  • Always keep firearms out of reach of children.
  • Always make sure that magazine is empty, and that no round(fired or unfired) remains in the breech of the weapon.
  • Before commencing cleaning, always make sure that the bolt, magazine, breech block, etc., is removed from the weapon.
  • Before commencing cleaning, always perform full visual check to make sure that the firearm is unloaded and inoperable.
  • Make sure of following manufacturer’s safety instructions when using barrel and bore cleaning solvents, especially if wire brush is being used for cleaning wear eye and hand protection and keep other persons clear.
  • Ammunition must always be stored in a secure container in a cool, dry secure storage location never allow unauthorised access to the ammunition storage.
  • Store primers and propellants in a cool, dry area away from heat, flames and ignition sources never allow smoking or open flames in ammunition loading or storage areas.
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using loading equipment.

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.