Working On Roofs Safe Work Method Statement

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

Working On Roofs Safe Work Method Statement

Working On Roofs 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 Working on Roofs 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 Working On Roofs 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. Use of ladders
  9. Use of scissor lifts
  10. Use of elevating platforms
  11. Edge protection
  12. Steep roofs
  13. Brittle and fragile roofs
  14. On completion

The Working On Roofs Safe Work Method Statement, includes;


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

Your Working On Roofs 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.

Now that your Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is ready for use, you can also make the SWMS document available as a training resource for activities such as WHS-OHS Toolbox Meeting Talks or Workplace Inductions.

Bluesafe Quick Tips:

  1. Use battery powered tools on the roof, to minimise tripping and electrical shock.
  2. Exclusion zones for working near incoming service lines and overhead power lines must be maintained at all times.
  3. Before starting work, ensure the electrical supply to the property is isolated and that it will not be turned on while work is in progress.

Working On Roofs Safe Work Method Statement

  • High quality and ready to use Working On Roofs Safe Work Method Statement.
  • Instant Delivery.
  • Fully editable Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) Template.
  • Easy to customise - instructions included.
  • 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 Working On Roofs 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 working on roofs project as needed, making sure that your Working On Roofs SWMS Template addresses any site specific risks.

The fastest and most cost effective solution would be to purchase a Bluesafe Working On Roofs SWMS Template. However, if you decide to take the route of writing your own working on roofs SWMS.

There are some fundamental requirements and information which you may want to consider add ing to your Working On Roofs SWMS such as:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When preparing your Working On Roofs 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 on Roofs

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

  • Health and Safety guidelines for working on roofs work
  • Emergency plans and evacuation procedures for the Working On Roofs SWMS
  • Worker inductions for Working On Roofs
  • Toolbox talks (safety meetings) added to the Working On Roofs SWMS
  • Outline details of supervision of the site and workers on the Working On Roofs SWMS
  • Check all workers qualifications, permits and competencies for Working On Roofs operations
  • Ensure the Working On Roofs and any related equipment is functioning correctly
  • Hazard reporting procedures in place and added to the Working On Roofs SWMS
  • Incident reporting procedures in place and added to the Working On Roofs SWMS
  • Exclusion zones when conducting working on roofs work
  • Risk Assessment for TASK completed and noted on the Working On Roofs 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 working on roofs work is conducted
  2. Suitable access and adequate space to conduct working on roofs work safely
  3. Consult with all stakeholders on potential hazards and risks when conducting working on roofs work
  4. Consultation with all relevant workers and personnel for Working On Roofs SWMS details
  5. If conducting Working On Roofs at night, ensure there is adequate lighting
  6. Check that the work environment is suitable for working on roofs work

Working On Roofs Training and Worker Qualifications

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

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

  • To prevent objects falling off working surfaces, provide edge protection.
  • To prevent access to areas where objects may fall, barricades may be used.
  • Before commencing working, make sure that electric wires and de-energized, insulated with matting, and identified with tiger tails
  • Use footwear having flexible soles, and a non-slip sole pattern.
  • Be very careful when working on mossy, wet or steep roofs.
  • On sites where falling objects may occur, wearing head protection is recommended.
  • Always maintain a safe distance from electric catenary wires.
  • Make sure of maintaining a good footing at all times.
  • For access only, use extension or single ladders, except where the work to be carried out is of the nature that the equipment or material used does not cause loss of balance, or restrict the movement; the trunk remains centred on the ladder, and equipment can be used with one hand.
  • Use only industrial ladders and have 3 points of contact always.
  • Stand the ladder on a firm, stable surface, and secure it against movement.
  • Make sure that the total load in the bucket of the unit, including personnel, tools and equipment and materials does not exceed the safe working load of the unit.
  • Make sure the unit cannot move when platform is extended, by checking the operations of outriggers, stops, brakes, etc.
  • Always lower the platform, even when moving the unit for short distances only.
  • When working at heights, persons must not lean out over the rails of the platform.
  • Always park scissor lifts as close to building as possible(not more than 100mm from the roof being accessed), when preparing to step from ladder to roof.
  • Raise the platform until floor of the platform is level with the roof.
  • If fitted, depress Dead man button to prevent movement of machine.
  • Prevent any unauthorised movement or operation of the machine while in use for accessing the roof by placing sign on the bottom control panel.
  • Do not exceed the safe working load of the scissor lift.
  • If brakes and stops fail to prevent all movement, do not use the unit.
  • Never travel with a raised platform.
  • Always keep body inside platform.
  • Keep the edges of the platform as close as possible to the roof being accessed.
  • Avoid a step up or a step down.
  • Place a DO NOT USE tag on the controls to prevent unauthorised movement of the machine.
  • Make sure that total load in the bucket of the EWP does not exceed the safe working limits of the unit. This must include personnel tools, equipment, and materials.
  • All persons in the EWP bucket must wear appropriate safety harness to prevent them from falling to the ground or on to any part of the EWP or the truck.
  • Raise the platform until the floor of the platform is level with the roof.
  • Mobile scaffolds must have their wheels locked before any person is allowed to climb on to the scaffolding.
  • If fitted, depress Dead man button to prevent movement of machine.
  • Prevent any unauthorised movement or operation of the machine while in use for accessing the roof by placing sign on the bottom control panel.
  • Never exceed the safe working load of the EWP.
  • Never use belt type harnesses, parachute type harnesses are preferred.
  • Position the bucket such that the gate faces the roof.
  • All scaffolding must be marked SWL
  • Place a DO NOT USE tag on the controls to prevent unauthorised movement of the machine.
  • To prevent persons falling, edge protection must be erected around the perimeter of the work. This must comprise a mid-rail and a guardrail designed to withstand any reasonable force, which is expected to fall against it.
  • Risk of persons being injured from falls is increased where
  • Potentially slippery roof materials or conditions (e.g.,highly glazed, wet, mossy, etc.) are present
  • Roof pitch is greater than 250 (1 in 2 slope)
  • Brittle or fragile roof materials are present
  • The area to which the person may fall presents a hazard(e.g., hard surfaces, starter bars, building materials, trenches, pipework, etc.).
  • Edge protection should conform to the requirements stated by the Authority.
  • Where objects can fall onto people in the adjoining areas such as residences, streets, etc., catch platforms or hoardings must be used, along with perimeter screening.
  • Guardrail must be minimum 900mm high with toe board and mid-rail.
  • Only a competent person should erect an edge protection system and this must be used according to the instructions of the manufacturer.
  • A ladder may be placed on the roof to allow a person to climb the steep roof safely.
  • Make sure the ladder is secure on the roof before attempting to climb on it.
  • Consider using a fall arrest system where the work is of a longer duration.
  • Make sure the ladder is attached securely to the roof.
  • Make sure there is adequate foothold.
  • Provide edge protection.
  • If fragile or brittle roof areas are accessed or traversed regularly, permanent walkways must be installed.
  • If the roof pitch is more than 15° or the slope is 1 in 4, the risk of a fall increases.
  • If a permanent walkway is not practicable, provide adequately secured temporary walkways or other means of preventing a person from falling through while traversing the roof.
  • Never rely on roof purlins as safe footings.
  • Spread the load evenly over the roof area.
  • Never place heavy items on a fragile roof and always spread the load evenly over the roof areas.

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.