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When we talk about Method Statement immediately another question comes in our mind.
What is SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and what is difference between Method Statement and SOP.
So, first let me clear this point that Both “Method Statement” and “SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)” are the same. Both includes the process flow for any work for which SOP prepared. Some organization have their own local definitions and if you are working with that organization you have to apply those definitions.
What is Method Statement
Method statement is a document that includes exactly how to carry out work safely for which it prepared.
One main thing that should keep in mind while preparing any Method Statement that each specific work should have separate method statement. Since each activity having their own tools and PPE and the main thing that should not be ignored that is their own risk.
The main purpose of method statement is, it plays very important role when it comes to the HSE and Quality of any projects, particularly in any construction industries. These documents also include Tools and Tackles, knows your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), Scope of work, Risk Assessment (To make sure certain high-risk tasks and activities involved in the for which method statement is prepared)
The purpose of method statement is to describe the safety precautions to put in place to control the risks identified in risk assessment. It details the equipment’s that are going to be used on that task and also PPE required to keep workers and site visitors safe while ongoing task.
Before proceed for preparing the method statement each task need to be broken down into small steps so that it can easy to understand the process flow of that task, i.e. what tools are require and the first point that should be fix in our mind that is to assess the hazards involved in each step and also how to control that identified hazards and mitigate the risk. The statement should also include the hazards associated with task and activities. For example, if any waste produced, the document needs to prepare and it includes when to dispose, how to dispose and where to dispose that waste safely.
SOP is not just to suggest the control measures but it also detail the exactly how the execution is going to be implemented. Each statements of SOP should be crystal clear so that it could not create any confusion.
SOP play very important role in any construction industry because the task carried out at any construction site involves high level risk. And also, workers use dangerous equipment, work at height, confined space work and are often exposed to hazardous material and hazardous waste. Injuries in the construction industries are common and also fatal rate in the construction industries are more than others industries. But with the proper implementation of SOP these risks can be mitigate and workers, site visitors can work in safe environment.
Who is Responsible for preparation and Implementation
While preparing the SOP some points should be kept in mind that only quality or safety or execution team is not responsible for preparation and implementation of SOP separately. It is team work, every one has to be involve and sit on single table, and it is also necessary that you have to include some ground level staffs since most of the idea comes from ground level worker.
You should prepare SOP before task starts. First of all, you have to do risk assessment. Once the risk assessment part done, you have to prepare method statement by implementing and using those risk and potential hazards.
You have to keep in mind that SOP is a live document and need to be reviewed and edit when ever task carried out at new location or using new equipment since every place and every equipment having their own risk.
Difference between Method Statement and Risk Assessment
As we know before going to proceed for method statement our first task is to assessment of risk hence it always creates confusion that is method statement and risk assessment same?
While both documents aims is to confirm and improve safety and quality of work at site, even they are not same.
Risk assessment identify and assess the hazards and risks involved in that task and suggest control measure while Method Statement includes Tools and Tackles, PPEs, Scope of work, Process flow of execution work, detailing how when and why you should implement measures.
10 adequate Benefits of Method Statement
- Comply with the law
- Fulfil client requirements
- With the help of Method statement you can plan work
- Method Statement can put controls in place
- Make better decisions
- Commit to health and safety
- Communicate arrangements
- Coordinate with other activities
- Monitor health and safety performance
- Keep people safe
Comply with the law
All Employers have their own legal health and safety responsibilities, and these are documented in various health and safety regulations. In fact, even before the regulations, organization have to take care of their employees. All businesses have a legal requirement to risk assess the health and safety risks arising from the work they carry out.
Fulfill Client’s requirement
For every organization, they have to write new risk assessments and method statements when they are awarded a job and asked for a copy from their clients. In the construction industry, health and safety documentation for nearly every new project they have to prepare. The client will ask for these documents because they want to check how the work will be carried out safely.
With the help of Method statement you can plan work
When Carry out the assessment, encourages planning for the task or activity. Rather than just going ahead for the work, and finding out the risks, you can think about the challenges of the task first. Consider what hazards you might face, and how you can control that risk.
Put controls in place
While preparing method statement it is much easier to put controls in place and risk assessments. During planning stages, you are in a better position to gather resources for the activity and decide on the most appropriate controls. You also have time on your side. If you are already on the site or doing the task, it’s often too late to look for a safer way to do things without causing delays
Make better decisions
While preparing method statement, thinking ahead about how the work will be carried out, and considering the options available, it will helps you make better decisions. For example, your risk assessment may identify a number of controls that can be put in place to improve health and safety standards for a particular activity.
Having these controls written an action plan on your document will help you to prioritize what needs to be done first, and decide when future improvements can be made.
Commit to health and safety
While preparing method statement your risk assessment and method of work gives a degree of commitment to what is written down. The document then forms a basis for the management of the activity that can be developed and amended in the future.
The purpose of preparing method statement is that they can communicate their thoughts to whom those are planning the work. Verbal instructions passed down through the management structure can get forgotten or misunderstood, whereas detailed written risk assessments and method statements provide clear instructions to your work.
Coordination with other activities
Having written risk assessment and method statement allows coordination with other activities. You can often spot risks and hazards that might affect the task, that wouldn’t necessarily be picked up at site.
Monitor health and safety performance
Prepared Method statement will provide a record, not only to show you have complied with their legal duties, but as something they can refer back to, and use to monitor activities. Written records of decisions made, instructions given and feedback allow you to check that procedures are being followed, and identify any weaknesses in health and safety management.
Keep people safe
The ultimate purpose of method statement, of course, is to keep people, safe. By planning ahead, assessing the risk, putting controls in place and communicating with your team how to work safely, you can create a safe place of work. And by documenting the process, you can monitor and continue to improve health and safety standards.
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