Formwork Safe Work Method Statement

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

Formwork Safe Work Method Statement

Formwork 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 Formwork 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 onsite, save you loads of time and are very user-friendly. This way, you can get on with doing what you do best.

The Formwork 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. Design
  8. Materials and components
  9. Construction
  10. Structure and supports
  11. Erection of Elements
  12. Steel Fixing
  13. Pre-Pour Inspection
  14. Pouring and finishing
  15. Stripping and Storage
  16. On completion

The Formwork Safe Work Method Statement, includes;

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

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

  1. Add your company logo and details to the SWMS Template.
  2. Identify site specific 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. Have secure and effective guardrails, toe boards, access ladders and stairs around the periphery.
  2. Wear appropriate PPE as a formworker; Helmets, appropriate clothing, gloves, steel cap boots.
  3. For high work; safety harnesses and security screens are to be installed.

Formwork Safe Work Method Statement

Need to edit your
Formwork Safe Work Method Statement
$ 96.80 AUD
$ 96.80 AUD
Buy now

5 SWMS Pack

$86.50 each
$ 432.50 AUD
$ 432.50 AUD
Buy now

10 SWMS Pack

$76.50 each
$ 765.00 AUD
$ 765.00 AUD
Buy now

20 SWMS Pack

$ 1,310.00 AUD
$ 1,310.00 AUD
Buy now

50 SWMS Pack

$55.50 each
$ 2,275.00 AUD
$ 2,275.00 AUD
Buy now

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 Formwork 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 formwork project as needed, making sure that your Formwork SWMS Template addresses any site specific risks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When preparing your Formwork 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 Formwork.

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

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

Assessment of Site Conditions

Thoroughly assess the work site/area conditions when doing formwork and ensure that:

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

Formwork Training - Worker Qualifications

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

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

  • Formwork and structures must be designed by a competent formwork designer or structural engineer to safely support all loads on it.
  • Specifications (including drawings, curing times, etc.) must kept on site.
  • Design or materials must not be altered unless authorised.
  • Design must be in accordance with:
  • AS for Formwork for Concrete and AS for Concrete Structures
  • Load-bearing capacities of components must not be exceeded.
  • Check components are in good serviceable condition before use.
  • Ensure timber supports and ply sheets are suitable size and grade.
  • Materials and other components must conform to relevant Australian Standards.
  • Ensure that forms are capable of carrying loads during construction.
  • Evidence records must be kept on site.
  • Ensure that suitable safe access is provided for workers during construction and pouring, and that penetrations and holes are completely covered.
  • Edge protection to avoid falls from deck must be provided on all edges.
  • Persons should work from a surface such as a deck sheet where possible.
  • Cover or all holes and penetrations left behind the leading edge of the deck covers should be securely fixed and clearly marked as such.
  • Do not allow other trades (electricians, plumbers, steel fixers, etc.) on to deck area until it has been checked and secured for safe working conditions.
  • Work platforms must be applicable width to standards (single plank not acceptable).
  • Provide adequate edge protection.
  • Lay sheets from a finished area.
  • Paint covers with contrasting colour with identifying legend/map.
  • Carry out check to ensure areas are safe before entry.
  • Ensure formwork is supported on stable foundations.
  • Support structures must remain in place until after inspection and authorisation to remove by the competent person.
  • Supports must not be removed, altered or dislodged unless authorised by a competent person.
  • Ensure footings can support loads.
  • Support structures must not be interfered with, and report any movement of props.
  • Ensure that formwork assembly is stable when under combined loads.
  • Vertical elements must be braced fully prior to and during stripping.
  • Ensure that load limits of lower floors are not exceeded at any time during construction.
  • Slinging and direction of loads must be carried out by (or under direct instruction of) a competent and suitably certificated person at all times.
  • Ensure that eccentric and wind loads are included and allowed for in loads.
  • Back-prop floors until fully cured.
  • Ensure that elements are not bumped or moved during erection.
  • Ensure bundles of reinforcing steel are not concentrated to impose unsafe loading on the formwork supports or structure.
  • Do not drop loads. Steel fixers must remain within designated safe work areas.
  • Exercise care when walking across mesh on chairs or beam drop downs.
  • Provide assistance when moving sheets and fabricated reinforcing elements.
  • Wear suitable protection when cutting, welding, or grinding any re-enforcing.
  • Lower steel slowly to avoid impact loading on supports.
  • Clearly designate safe areas.
  • Provide safe crossing over voids.
  • Ensure adequate personnel on job site.
  • Wear eye and hand protection.
  • Pre-pour inspection by competent personnel must be carried out to verify correct spacing of frames, props and timbers, correct joist and bearer sizes, acceptable jack extensions, and adequate bracing for stability.
  • Signed inspection certificate showing safe structure confirmation should be obtained before pouring.
  • Ensure floors and components are not overloaded when placing kibbles, skips, compressors or generators during concrete placing and finishing processes.
  • Prevent entry underneath the concrete pour areas.
  • Ensure safe access is provided for persons using vibrators on vertical panels and beam sections.
  • Ensure that pipes, hoses and equipment are suitably restrained when being
  • used above other workers barricade area below if possible.
  • Exercise care when handling kibbles, concrete hoses, barrows, vibrators and mechanical trowels.
  • Adequate persons to carry out work safely.
  • Wear hearing protection when working with machinery and plant which produce harmful noise levels when in operation.
  • Place heavy loads on areas only that are designated as suitable for load bearing.
  • Prevent ALL entry into area.
  • Edge protection must be provided and tops of vertical forms, etc.
  • Mechanically restrain items to prevent falling during use.
  • Use mechanical aids where possible, or allocate adequate.
  • persons to safely carry out task comfortably.
  • Wear hearing protection.
  • Provide safe access to strip forms ladders should be used only for access or for tasks which can be carried out with one hand only.
  • Ensure exposed holes and penetrations that are on formwork that is stripped will be covered or protected prior to commencement of stripping.
  • Ensure persons dismantling formwork are working from properly constructed scaffolding or planked shoring frames.
  • Prevent entry into areas below where formwork is being stripped, or where forms and panels are being lowered to.
  • Ensure safe handling of stripped formwork is available and practiced. Stack stripped formwork and equipment clear of work and access areas.
  • Avoid walking on ply or sheets which have been treated with bond breaker.
  • Clean equipment of concrete, and remove nails, etc, before storing.
  • Use of tie bar puller must not be carried out from ladders.
  • Replace covers or place barricades around any holes.
  • Ensure platforms will not move or fall when formwork is removed.
  • Never use drop stripping unless personnel or machinery, etc., are clear of all risk of falling sheets and materials.
  • Provide designated storage areas. Remove and stack materials before allowing personnel into the work area.

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.