Last edited 02 Aug 2018

How to write a method statement

Method statements are widely used in construction as a means of controlling specific health and safety risks that have been identified (perhaps following the preparation of a risk assessment), such as lifting operations, demolition or dismantling, working at height, installing equipment, the use of plant, and so on.

A method statement helps manage the work and ensures that the necessary precautions have been communicated to those involved. Method statements should be written by a competent person who is familiar with the process being described and may need to be agreed between the client, principal contractor and contractor.

The first stage involves examining the work activity or process in question in preparation for writing the statement about it. The potential hazards of the work should be identified, including anything that has the potential to cause ill health or harm to anyone involved.

There should then be an analysis of what has been done to mitigate against these risks and whether the mitigation measures are sufficient. The guide term ‘As Low As Reasonably Practicable’ (ALARP) should be followed, and if necessary, further safety measures adopted.

The method statement typically begins with a header which contains important information for site staff and clients. This can include:

  • The title of the job.
  • The site address.
  • Company name, address, logo, contact details, etc.
  • Start and end dates for the proposed work.
  • Description of the work.
  • Health and safety contacts.
  • Issue date.
  • Unique document number.

The method statement should then provide further details relating to the specific work activity. These tend to focus on the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be used for site operatives, as well as any environmental or quality considerations that are of particular importance.

The next section of the method statement will typically provide details such as:

The final section of a method statement should set out step-by-step instructions as to how the work activity should be safely carried out and completed.

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