Rope Access Systems Safe Work Method Statement

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

Rope Access Systems Safe Work Method Statement

Rope Access Systems Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)

Whether you need to start work on site, looking to make your workplace safer or going for a Local Council Tender, the Rope Access Systems (Sandblasting) Safe Work Method Statement is completely comprehensive, easy to use and easy to implement into your business.

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 Rope Access Systems 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. Selection and inspection of rope access equipment
  9. Site assessment and preparation
  10. Rescue requirements
  11. Setting up rope access system
  12. Materials, tools and equipment
  13. Clean up and maintenance
  14. Inspection and testing of rope access gear and equipment
  15. On completion

The Rope Access Systems Safe Work Method Statement Includes


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

Your Rope Access Systems 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.

Rope Access Systems Safe Work Method Statement

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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 Rope Access Systems 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 rope access systems project as needed, making sure that your Rope Access Systems SWMS Template addresses any site specific risks.

The fastest and most cost effective solution would be to purchase a Bluesafe Rope Access Systems SWMS Template. However, if you decide to take the route of writing your own rope access systems SWMS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When preparing your Rope Access Systems 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 Rope Access Systems.

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

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

Assessment of Site Conditions

Thoroughly assess the work site/area conditions when using rope access system and ensure that:

  • A risk assessment of the rope access systems work is conducted
  • Suitable access and adequate space to conduct rope access systems work safely
  • Consult with all stakeholders on potential hazards and risks when conducting rope access systems work
  • Consultation with all relevant workers and personnel for Rope Access Systems SWMS details
  • If conducting Rope Access Systems at night, ensure there is adequate lighting
  • Check that the work environment is suitable for rope access systems work 

Rope Access Systems Training and Worker Qualifications

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

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

  • At the workplace below, mark an exclusion zone, where objects may be expected to fall.
  • Access to the exclusion zone must be restricted only to persons engaged in the work.
  • Make sure all ground persons wear approved safety caps or helmets.
  • Safety caps fitted with Y type harness is to be worn by all persons who are working from ropes.
  • Make sure persons undertaking the work have the requisite competencies.
  • Demarcate the area using suitable signs and/or barricades.
  • Wearing head protection is recommended.
  • Wearing head protection is recommended.
  • Make sure all equipment and ropes comply with the safety requirements.
  • Before using any equipment and gear, carry out a visual and tactile inspection.
  • Immediately isolate and do not return any faulty or damaged equipment to service unless appropriate repairs are done. Permanently damaged equipment must remain isolated.
  • All ropes must be visually and tactically inspected for damage and wear.
  • To prevent work or backup equipment to come off the rope inadvertently, fit all ropes with a stopper knot.
  • Use slings with strength greater than 12KN for anchoring to parts of a structure or building. Use a safety factor of 5:1 for safety in use.
  • Check for damage, wear and load rating on all caribiners, shackles and similar gear.
  • Cross check all gear.
  • Never use any faulty equipment or gear.
  • Allow only a competent person to carry out repairs.
  • Never use damaged or faulty ropes.
  • Do not use knots that could cause internal damage to the rope through over-tightening.
  • Check slings before using them (refer to SWP for Lifting Equipment for inspection procedures for slings and allied gear).
  • The work area must be clear of all waste and debris.
  • Make sure all ropes and anchorages have a clear access at all times.
  • Make sure all anchorage points will sustain loadings.
  • Make sure all ropes will safely reach the egress points such as the ground.
  • Prevent chafing and damage to ropes by providing suitable protection for ropes.
  • Before commencing rope access work, inspect all connections and anchorages.
  • Make sure there are adequate lanyards, ropes and bags available for tools and materials.
  • Inspect the operation of all communication devices and systems including the battery conditions.
  • The work area must be maintained clear at all times.
  • Make sure ropes will not be fouled.
  • Inspect and certify all anchor points as being suitable.This must be done in writing.
  • Stop movement by fixing edge protection.
  • Make sure all fittings and slings are properly installed and positioned.
  • Spare batteries must be provided as back-up.
  • Make sure appropriate rescue competencies are available for the site and type of work.
  • Make sure that suitable gear is being used for rescue and retrieval of a disabled operator.
  • Means of emergency communication between operators and ground crew must be provided.
  • Do not allow any person to work alone or isolated from other members of the team, unless it is possible to maintain direct and constant verbal communication, such as with a radio.
  • Operators must be trained in suspension trauma relief and rescue techniques.
  • For specific requirements, refer to Section 3 or ARAAIndustry Code.
  • Mobile phones may be used.
  • When a person is working isolated or alone, do not allow mobile phones to be used.
  • Provide training and kits for first aid.
  • Make sure any person working from the rope access system has at least two points of attachment to the system including backup and working line.
  • Before commencing attachment to rope system, inspect all seats, harnesses and riggings such as fittings and slings for safety.
  • Inspect all ropes to make sure that the load is directly on the anchors and there is no slack.
  • Make sure all equipment, materials and tools are attached to appropriate lanyards.
  • When going over the edge, let only one person go first, and others can follow in order.
  • Provide double redundancy to persons by attaching to two independent lines.
  • All connections, harnesses and riggings must be checked.
  • The ropes must not have any stretch.
  • Never carry loose gear over the side.
  • Always maintain capability for a rescue.
  • Prevent all equipment, tools and materials from falling by attaching lanyards to them.
  • Attach with lanyards all items larger than 0.25 m2 or heavier than 8 kg.
  • Never suspend or secure any electrical power tool by their power cord.
  • When using electrical tool or equipment, operate them through portable RCD.
  • Fit with lanyards all containers and bags that handle parts and gears.
  • Make sure all persons working from rope access are wearing appropriate PPE when working. They should at least be using hand protection, eye and head protection.
  • Use lanyards with a safety factor of 10:1 after termination.
  • Every day, before use, check all lanyards.
  • Connections must be provided with safety caps.
  • For containers and bags, use SF of 5:1.
  • Make sure that on completion, all equipment has been retrieved and is properly packed up.
  • Make sure that all permanent anchor points have plugs or covers fitted on them.
  • Make sure that the ropes are not tangled while coiling and packing after use.
  • Protect all gear, slings and ropes from damage by packing them into bags.
  • Prevent damage to harnesses and rigging fittings by placing them in containers or boxes.
  • Make sure that all materials, equipment and tools are retrieved before leaving the site.
  • All gear must be removed from the site, and the site must be left in a safe and secure condition.
  • Make sure there are suitable means available to stow equipment and gear safely.
  • Check all fittings, slings and ropes after each job to ensure they are safe to use for the next job.
  • Any rope, whether a safety rope or a working rope must be removed from all use, it displays sheath damage and/or reveals its kernel through its sheath.
  • Discard immediately any fitting that is found damaged, nicked, worn or distorted. Replace such fittings immediately.
  • After each use, check the harness and discard if there is any evidence of fault, damage or wear.
  • Never use any damaged or faulty rope for any load bearing purpose.
  • Check of all lifting gear must be handled only by a competent person.
  • Refer to SWP for Safety Harness.

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.