Method statements are widely used in construction as a means of controlling specific health and safetyrisks 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.
The process of preparing a written method statement provides evidence that:
Significant health and safetyrisks have been identified.
The co-operation of workers has been ensured.
Safe, co-ordinated systems of work have been put in place.
Workers have been involved in the process.
Method statements are not a requirement of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, however they are identified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as being one way of satisfying the requirements of the regulations and as an effective means of assessing risks, managing risks, collecting workers’ views and briefing workers.
The fact that method statements are not a requirement of the CDM Regulations is evidence of the HSE's intention that implementation of the requirements of the CDM Regulations should not be a paper exercise, where the filling out of a standard template is sufficient, but that it should be an integral and fundamental part of the construction process.