Vehicles Safe Work Method Statement

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

Vehicles Safe Work Method Statement

Vehicles 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 Vehicles 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, and 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 Vehicles 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. Specific precautions
  9. Operation of vehicles
  10. Operation of attachments and special-use vehicles
  11. Maintenance
  12. Passenger sin vehicle
  13. Smoking in vehicles
  14. Accidents and injuries
  15. On completion

The Vehicles Safe Work Method Statement, includes;

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

Your Vehicles Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) 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.

Bluesafe Quick Tips:

  1. Service your car regularly.
  2. Always wear a seatbelt.
  3. Avoid distractions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When preparing your Vehicles 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 Vehicles.

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

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

Assessment of Site Conditions

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

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

Vehicles Training and Worker Qualifications

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

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

  • Either the operator or any other competent person must ensure the vehicle is safe for operation and is suited to the task undertaken.
  • Check the condition of battery. Top-up if required and keep fully charged.
  • Top-up all hydraulics, brake fluids and other oil levels.
  • Check all wheel nuts, condition and inflation of tyres.
  • Ensure correct level of gas and fuel.
  • Ensure proper coolant level in radiator. If necessary, top-up.
  • Seat must be adjusted for a comfortable driving position.
  • Ensure all instrumentation; horn and reverse indicator is functioning.
  • Ensure steering is not loose, vibrating or veering.
  • Ensure brakes are operating normally and not grabbing or pulling. Parking brake must be working.
  • Adjust the seat belt correctly and fasten.
  • Operator must be trained or qualified for the specific machine or attachment.
  • In places where forklifts, mobile vehicles or vehicles are operating, extra care must be exercised by the working individual when entering or leaving the vehicle and when loading or unloading it.
  • If persons working on or near the vehicle have to risk passing traffic, measures for traffic control must be employed.
  • While operating mobile vehicles, always wear enclosing footwear.
  • Check all lights, fluids, tyres, horn, brakes and steering.
  • Wearing eye and hand protection is recommended during checking and servicing batteries.
  • Tyres must be inflated to recommended pressure levels.
  • Never use a defective vehicle. Repair the fault before use.
  • If brakes are defective, do not use the vehicle.
  • Wear the seat belt at all times when in seat.
  • Special use vehicles must be handled by authorized personnel alone.
  • Wearing of High-visibility garments is mandatory, especially in Victoria.
  • Ensure working area and traffic is separated by a barrier or traffic cones.
  • Wearing of enclosing footwear is recommended.
  • For handling hazardous materials, cold, sharp or rough objects, wear suitable hand protection.
  • For handling awkward, large and heavy objects, use proper handling care.
  • If there is risk of exposure to hazardous materials, liquids or dust, appropriate eye protection is to be used.
  • There can be risk of harm if inhaling vapors, gases and dust, generated during transport of loads.
  • Hazardous noise levels may be present because of vehicle operation or other on-site conditions. Wear hearing protection.
  • Do not wear hearing protection while operating vehicle on public roads.
  • Wearing proper hand protection is recommended.
  • Proper lifting procedures must be followed.
  • Eye protection must be used when handling, loading or unloading.
  • If exposure to dust is a hazard, wear respirator or dust mask.
  • Wearing of hearing protection is recommended, especially when ambient noise is high and/or vehicle is not sound proof.
  • Operators and drivers must be familiar with the vehicles they are to drive.
  • For information on lights, gages, controls, etc. driver's manual must be referred.
  • While driving, never exceed the capabilities of the vehicle and always drive according to road conditions.
  • Use the vehicle only for the purpose for which the vehicle has been designed.
  • Never jump down from the cab or tray of the vehicle.
  • Always keep within speed limits and use cruise control.
  • Monitor the safety of the vehicle at all times.
  • For using load-moving vehicles like cranes, ensure the weight of the vehicle and load is entirely supported by the fully extended outriggers.
  • During operation of the vehicle, ensure no person, including the operator, is anywhere near the nip or pinch points or zones.
  • All load shifting equipment must be ensured safe for use and suitable for moving the load, before it is attached to the load.
  • If a flat stable surface is not available, use blocks for ensuring a firm stable contact.
  • Ensure all persons in the vicinity are wearing high-visibility garments.
  • Before use, check the status of the load lifting equipment and the WWL.
  • Before starting operation of the vehicle, ensure completion of all required daily checks.
  • Servicing at specified intervals is to be ensured. Servicing may be done by the operator or an authorized workshop.
  • Only a competent person must be allowed to repair and all repairs must be documented.
  • Fill in the logbooks daily.
  • Servicing must be done as per the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Unauthorized repairs must not be done or allowed.
  • No passenger is allowed to be carried in or on a vehicle, unless specifically authorized.
  • Passengers are required to remain in the vehicle and should alight only when permitted.
  • Passengers on the moving vehicle must keep their body within the vehicle, remain seated and wear a seat belt, all the time the vehicle is moving.
  • Do not allow passengers to interfere with the controls or to distract the operator of the vehicle.
  • Unauthorized person should not be carried on or in a mobile vehicle.
  • For carrying passengers, use only approved seated positions.
  • Smoking in the vehicle is forbidden, unless a special permission is obtained.
  • In case there is another person inside the vehicle, there must be no smoking.
  • All vehicles must carry and display the company smoking policy.
  • Ensure all operators / drivers are familiar with emergency procedures to be followed during an incident or an accident involving the vehicle. Ensure all operators receive an appropriate training in first aid.
  • Ensure all vehicles carry suitable first-aid kits.
  • All vehicles must carry suitable procedures.
  • All vehicles must carry suitable first-aid kits. Ensure all first-aid kits are suitably maintained.

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.