Potting Machine Safe Work Method Statement

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

Potting Machine Safe Work Method Statement

Potting Machine Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)

Whether you need to get on site to start work, looking to create a safe work environment or pitching that next Government Tender, the Potting Machine Safe Work Method Statement is easy to customise, easy to use and easily integrates into your current Safety Management System (if you have one! If not, we need to talk, seriously. Don't take that sort of risk - we can help).

Look, we understand the challenges that many business owners face, let alone having to understand complicated safety documentation written in a language that nobody understands. 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 Potting Machine 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. General precautions
  8. Setting up
  9. Preparation
  10. Operation
  11. Troubleshooting
  12. Cleaning and maintenance
  13. Moving and transporting machine
  14. On completion

The Potting Machine Safe Work Method Statement Includes


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

Your Potting Machine 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.

Potting Machine Safe Work Method Statement

  • Detailed and pre-filled Potting Machine Safe Work Method Statement.
  • Instant 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 Potting Machine 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 potting machine project as needed, making sure that your Potting Machine SWMS Template addresses any site specific risks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When preparing your Potting Machine 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 Potting Machine.

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

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

Assessment of Site Conditions

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

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

Potting Machine Training and Worker Qualifications

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

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

  • Guard or fence off all exposed moving parts where a person may be caught between moving parts or may become (or clothing may be) entangled make sure all guards and covers are fitted and no person is wearing loose clothing near the machine.
  • Check operation of all controls, including emergency stop buttons prior to use rectify faulty controls promptly.
  • Provide duckboards or open mats in areas where there is a chance of potting mix being spilt.
  • Provide bins or receptacles for emptying pots at planting stations.
  • Keep work areas clear of spills and empty pots, trays, boxes, waste, etc.
  • Provide hop-up or platform for operator to load pots on supply belt (if required) providing fall protection on platform is necessary.
  • Always locate the machine on a firm level well-drained surface (preferably roofed) ensure machine is horizontal when used.
  • Make sure that stabiliser legs are extended to the floor and firmly clamped before use make sure that machine will remain stable.
  • Make sure that adequate space is available for access to all parts of machine always remove any bump and trip hazards.
  • Make sure adequate illumination in enclosed work areas for good visibility always provide task lighting in badly lit areas.
  • Make sure the electricity supply circuit is protected by an operating RCD or safety switch never use on unprotected circuits.
  • Test and tag the machine every 6 months or every 3 months if used outdoors never use equipment if out of test.
  • Regularly check water and oil traps on air lines to make sure air supply remains clean always keep hands away from ejected fluids.
  • Keep all persons away from area in front of hopper if using machine to load preferably barricade the area if hopper is filled frequently with loader or forklift, etc.
  • Limit the size of bins and utilise team lifting if loading hopper by hand.
  • Make sure that pot carousel is set up properly for size of pot being filled always replace guards after adjusting holders.
  • Make sure that pot de-stacker and drill unit are properly set up for pots being used always make sure power is OFF before adjusting.
  • Make sure that electricity and air supply are on before starting machine.
  • Make sure that all guards and covers are in place and secured before starting work always check that all tools and parts are removed and that all guards are refitted.
  • Never allow wearing loose clothing or jewellery and contain long hair near moving parts always keep away from moving parts of machine.
  • Never place hands inside guards, or into areas that cannot be fully enclosed always keep hands away from moving parts.
  • Do not attempt to handle fallen or misplaced pots in pot carousel while operating always stop the machine completely before correcting fallen or misplaced pots, or removing foreign objects.
  • Keep hands away from pot dispenser if placing directly into pot destacker unit.
  • Replace guards on pot supply belt after placing additional pots on belt.
  • Avoid over-reaching to place pots use safe access if out of easy reach and ensure that proper handling procedures are followed.
  • Provide safe access for placing trays of seedlings into pots being filled wearing gloves when handling pots, etc. is essential.
  • Check for potentially harmful noise levels if operating machine in enclosed areas wearing hearing protection is necessary if required.
  • Never attempt to remove guards or covers while machine is operating make sure all guards and covers are in place at all times that machine is operating.
  • Make sure that machine is isolated and inoperable before removing guards.
  • Provide means of ensuring that machine cannot be restarted during maintenance by providing effective main switch lockout.
  • Stop machine and use long handled tool to clear or removes oil supply blockages never enter or reach into soil hopper.
  • Make sure that electricity has been switched off and de-energised and that air supply is shut off before commencing cleaning, repairs, adjustments or maintenances always lock out the energy supply systems to prevent inadvertent operation.
  • Isolate compressed air supply when working around air-actuated parts always release any air pressure within system.
  • Never direct high-pressure water, etc., towards electrical components or controls.
  • Make sure that power supply lead is unplugged and locked out if a person has to enter the soil hopper for any purpose always provide safe means of access into and out of soil hopper.
  • Employ an assistant or spotter to keep person in soil hopper under observation at all times male sure that means of safe rescue is available.
  • Person entering hopper should be wearing safety harness to assist in rescue if disabled always provide means of obtaining assistance.
  • Always provide lifting aids or assistant(s) when handling heavy or awkward parts ensure safe handling procedures are followed.
  • Make sure that all persons are provided with and wear appropriate protective clothing and equipment when cleaning or maintaining pot filling machine wearing eye, hand and foot protection is necessary for cleaning and maintenance work.
  • Pot filling machine is mobile, but is not designed to be towed on public roads always use truck or trailer to transport on road.
  • Make sure that all loose parts are secured, and all supports are raised before moving also make sure tyres are properly inflated.
  • Make sure that electrical power leads and air supply are disconnected before moving.
  • Make sure that plant or vehicle used for towing is fitted with appropriate tow point.
  • Make sure that hitch and safety chains are attached and secured properly before moving machine.
  • If machine has to be moved across any slopes, make sure of emptying soil hopper before moving.
  • Travel only at walking pace when moving machine.

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.