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As a tradie or builder, you’ll know that safety should always always be a top priority. 

It’s pretty simple, if you do high risk activities, you need a SWMS. 

A SWMS (safe work method statement) is a document that outlines the safe work procedures for specific tasks or jobs you do as a tradie. It includes information on the risks involved, as well as the control measures that will be used to eliminate, or minimise those risks. It is required by law when performing specific tasks. 

Depending on your business, you should also consider what other safety documents you need to have in place such as a safety management plan. This is because the risks associated in the construction industry are significant. Plus, legislation requires you to manage safety. The easiest way to do this is by having a management plan in place.


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What Does a Safe-R Outcomes SWMS Include?

Get piece of mind with our safety documents knowing that they’re up to date with current legislation 

Our safe work method statement is an ‘all-in-one’ SWMS that enables tradies and builders to manage their WHS obligations as required by legislation. It can be used to show government inspectors, for insurance purposes, government tenders and for other contract work, and can even be re-used for future jobs. 

This is not a blank template, you just need to fill in your details and can even include your logo for a professional look.

Depending on your type of trade, your SWMS will include pre-filled sections like:

  1. Drugs & alcohol
  2. Use of hand tools
  3. Working at ground level
  4. Working at heights
  5. Working with power tools
  6. Working around mobile plant
  7. Working on ladders
  8. Working on scaffold
  9. Working near voids
  10. Working near electricity
  11. Using hazardous materials
  12. Working with asbestos
  13. Emergency procedures
  14. PPE
  15. SWMS register
  16. All legislative requirements
  17. Plus more!

Here are some frequently asked questions about SWMS...

If you do high risk construction work then yes, you need a safe work method statement by law. Each state has different legislation in regard to what is considered high risk construction work which can make things confusing for builders and trade contractors who want to do the right thing. Here is some more information on what a SWMS is.

And not only is it difficult to find the information sometimes, it is then difficult to try and decide whether it applies to you. But generally, if you are working on a construction site, you are going to be doing some kind of high risk construction work, so it is best to have one, just in case. (See other FAQ – What is High Risk Construction Work?)

Remember there is no monetary value placed on when a SWMS is required. Many clients believe that if a job is under a certain amount that it is not needed, this is false. Even if you are doing a job that costs $0 but you are doing high risk construction work, then under most states legislation you should have a SWMS for that work.

Refer to the above, but if you are here, then yes you probably need a safe work method statement!

Contrary to popular belief, you only need one SWMS to cover all the high risk work you are completing. The legislation sets this out very clearly, including what tasks are considered ‘high risk construction work’. 

Here is an excerpt from Safe Work Australia website…

"One SWMS can be used for work that involves multiple high risk construction work 
activities, for example a work activity that requires using powered mobile plant, 
working at heights of more than 2 metres and working adjacent to a road used by 
traffic other than pedestrians.

A SWMS is classed as an administrative control and is used to support higher order 
controls to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety, for example engineering 

A SWMS is generally different from other documents that focus on specific tasks or 
processes, such as a Job Safety Analysis or a Safe Operating Procedure. 
A SWMS is not intended to be a procedure—rather it is a tool to help supervisors 
and workers confirm and monitor the control measures required at the workplace."

In other words, you don’t need a different SWMS for each power tool or each piece of equipment you use, or for every task you complete. 

Some other safety companies try to make it extra confusing (and costly for you) by saying you need multiple SWMS, but our goal has always been to make things as easy and budget friendly as possible for our customers.

This depends on your business and the type of work you do.

Please note that we’ll never try to upsell you to something you don’t need, but our advice is in regards to legislation and what we know different organisations and government bodies require.

So, here are some different scenarios which may help you decide what subscription is best for you…


If you normally sub-contract to a builder or other business then a SWMS will probably be enough.


If you do maintenance work for real estate agents or insurance companies then a safety management plan is recommended as well as the SWMS.

If you’re a tradie and not subcontracting to someone else and don’t have employees , then you should have a safety management plan and a SWMS.

A safety management plan and a SWMS is the bare minimum that should be in place for a construction-related business.

Basically, a SWMS is for your job, whereas a safety management plan is for your business (ie. you have considered and addressed issues that may include drugs and alcohol, driving company vehicles, dealing with the public, environmental issues etc)


To minimise your business’s exposure to safety issues, the extra documents and training contained in the Professional subscription is essential to your business.

If your business employs others then you should be endeavouring to have an entire safety system to help show your doing everything you can to manage safety across your business.

If you are working for insurance companies, government bodies or submitting tenders for government jobs then you really should have the Professional subscription to have all of your safety in place to improve your chances of winning those jobs.

The Professional subscription can potentially help earn you money and also save you money!

If you’re still undecided, feel free to send us a message, an email or book a call with a safety expert.

Once you purchase it, you should review it and add or remove anything you feel is important plus include your business details, and the site address. 

You are then able to email it to your workers or whoever else has requested it. You can ask workers to download it so they have a copy on their phone or tablet, and you can do likewise. Or you can print it and keep it on site, and during toolbox talks ensure everyone knows where it is located, and then for best practice, get them to sign off on it that they have read it/are aware of its contents.

A Safe Work Method Statement, or SWMS for short, is a document that is required for any high risk construction work in Australia.
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High risk construction work is generally considered to be the following and is covered in each states WHS legislation. 

High risk construction work:

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

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Not sure if you need a SWMS? Read this article on the topic

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