Pipe Laying Safe Work Method Statement

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

Pipe Laying Safe Work Method Statement

Pipe Laying Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)

Looking to start work on site? Or maybe you're just looking to make your workplace safer, or possibly you're going for that next Government Tender - Either way, the Pipe Laying Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is comprehensive, easy to understand and is designed to be implemented into your business with as little fuss as possible.

Look, we understand business can be hard enough as it is without all the red tape, often written in language only a martian would understand. That's why every Safe Work Method Statement Template is written in an easy to understand format, while at the same time being some of the highest quality in the industry. Our SWMS documents get you on site, save you loads of time and are easy to use. This way, you can get on with doing what you do best.


The Pipe Laying 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. Site safety and security
  8. General precautions
  9. Storage and handling of pipes
  10. Woking intrench or excavation
  11. Movement and laying of pipes
  12. Inspection and testing
  13. Backfilling and compaction
  14. On completion

The Pipe Laying Safe Work Method Statement Includes


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

Your Pipe Laying 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.

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.

Pipe Laying Safe Work Method Statement

  • Detailed and pre-filled Pipe Laying Safe Work Method Statement.
  • Instant 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 Pipe Laying 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 pipe laying project as needed, making sure that your Pipe Laying SWMS Template addresses any site specific risks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When preparing your Pipe Laying 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 Pipe Laying. 

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

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

Assessment of Site Conditions 

Thoroughly assess the work site/area conditions when pipe laying and ensure that:

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

Pipe Laying Training and Worker Qualifications

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

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

  • Erect suitable security fencing around the perimeter of a work site.
  • Prevent persons from falling in by suitably barricading excavations.
  • Do not allow unauthorised entry to a work site, and restrict all entry into hazardous areas.
  • Make sure the trench walls are stable and the trench is sufficiently wide to enable pipes to be moved about without shoring or bumping the walls.
  • Make sure that there is adequate space available to use machinery for picking up and laying pipes that are too heavy or awkward to be manually handled.
  • All persons on the site must always wear PPE suitable for the site.
  • Only a competent person must carry out daily ground inspections.
  • Make sure that pipes can be placed between braces and struts.
  • Refer to table for PPE requirements.
  • Make sure vehicles and plants have adequate room while unloading.
  • Use only the methods approved by manufacturers for slinging and lifting pipes.
  • Inspect all pipes for damage on delivery, and reject any faulty pipes.
  • Store pipes on level area and on dunnage, using chocks to prevent rolling.
  • When storing large diameter concrete pipes, follow the manufacturer's instructions to prevent damage due to self-weight, temperature stress, etc.
  • Make sure there is adequate space available to pick up and remove for laying.
  • All rubber rings, lubricants, etc., must be stored in clean, dry areas away from direct sun.
  • Sling and transport pipes using methods that can prevent damage.
  • When transporting by crane, etc., use tail rope to prevent pipes from swinging.
  • Pipe storage requires a clear area.
  • Allow only approved lifting gear to be used.
  • Store separately for return.
  • Never support pipes at ends.
  • Store pipes with the TOP mark on the top.
  • Use packing props to prevent damage to pipe from contraction stresses.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight.
  • Avoid bumping and rolling.
  • Never try to control pipes with hands.
  • Remove mud and water from trenches to provide firm bedding for pipes.
  • Make sure the trench walls are stable and the surfaces where the pipes are to be laid are even and free from rocks, etc., as these could press against the laid pipes.
  • Support pipe barrels by placing suitable bedding material on the floor of the trench.
  • When pipes are being lowered into the trench, never stand near. Do not stand between pipe and trench wall or pipe being lowered and pipes already placed.
  • If the operator is unable to see the pipe being laid into position, a qualified dogger must control the movements of the pipe being lowered by the crane.
  • Make sure that all slings can be removed safely from under the pipe when laid, or that lifting devices can be removed safely before detaching from pipe.
  • A clean floor will reduce slip hazard.
  • Never enter a trench unless it has been declared safe to do so.
  • Never support pipes on socket alone.
  • Keep all persons away from the pipes being lowered and positioned in the trench.
  • Dogger must hold relevant Certificate of competency.
  • Never drag slings under the load.
  • Support the pipe barrel by spreading the bedding evenly while providing gaps for sockets.
  • For slinging and lifting pipes, use only the methods approved by manufacturers that allow pipes to be lowered jointed easily between props and struts.
  • Laying pipes UP a slope will prevent spigot slipping out of socket due to gravity.
  • Where possible provide suitable level surface and area to cut pipes.
  • Use suitable approved or specified means such as a blade cutter to cut pipes.
  • Make sure appropriate PPE is available for protection against dust, noise, etc.
  • Make sure the pipes are laid with proper orientation to prevent crushing.
  • Make sure proper rubber rings and lubricants are used for making joints.
  • Push the pipe home and never stand on a pipe to pull the pipe home with a bar.
  • While making grouted joints, avoid hand contact with wet cement.
  • When laying pipes pack the bedding under, and remove any solid supports if used.
  • Never look directly into the beam if using laser to align the pipes being laid.
  • While spreading, maintain a safe posture.
  • Allow only suitably trained persons to carry out slinging.
  • Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
  • Avoid cutting pipe inside a trench.
  • Wherever possible cut pipes wet.
  • Wearing eye, hearing protection and P1 particulate dust mask is necessary.
  • Make sure of using the correct size of rings for the pipe and those rings are not twisted.
  • Wearing hand protection is necessary.
  • Be careful when pushing bar.
  • Wearing eye protection is necessary.
  • Do not look directly into the beam or point at others if using laser to check alignment.
  • Before persons enter a pipeline, make sure it is adequately ventilated.
  • If entering restricted pipelines, always provide the person with harness and a lifeline.
  • Be careful when lowering or lifting crawlers and cameras into pits.
  • Inspect the seating and the seal of plugs before pressurising the pipeline for static tests.
  • Never exceed the safe working pressure for the pipe or fittings.
  • Never carry out vacuum testing if any person is within the pipe or manholes.
  • Always obtain assistance when handling large fittings within deep manholes.
  • Make sure of adequate ventilation in pit or manhole where smoke generator is to be used.
  • Make sure of notifying residents and authorities before using smoke test.
  • Wearing eye protection is necessary.
  • Provide fresh air from a clear area.
  • Observer MUST be posted.
  • Proper handling practices must be observed.
  • Make sure the pipes and seal are clean.
  • Wearing eye protection is necessary.
  • Make sure all persons are accounted for.
  • Proper handling practices must be observed.
  • Always provide fresh air into the pit.
  • Post advisory signs in the area.
  • To compact, place backfill material evenly along both sides of pipe.
  • Compact each layer alongside pipe by using plate compactor.
  • Never use any heavy compaction equipment until specified fill height is reached. Note ®C do not use excavator mounted wheel compactors.
  • Make sure the backfill around the pipe is clean and free of large stones.
  • Refer to charts from the manufacturer.

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.