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Procedure for Safety Method Statements

Contractors Knowledge Base


Principal contractors commonly ask sub-contractors for a safety method statement covering their area of work. The purpose of the method statement is to assure the site management that the particular operation to be carried out can be undertaken in a controlled manner with due regard for the health and safety of all concerned. It also allows the site management to plan for any necessary plant or equipment, which may be needed, and to avoid any overlap with other work. This procedure is designed to produce such method statements.


The method statement may require support documentation such as plant test certificates, COSHH assessments, evidence of operator competence and risk assessments. Details of necessary protective equipment and clothing may also be required.


A safety method statement document must be produced by a senior company representative to give the following information:

  1. The exact area of the work. Any necessary sketches and drawings should accompany this information.
  2. The sequence of work operations. This is a step by step description of the work content.
  3. The name of the person responsible for monitoring safety and health.
  4. A schedule of the items of plant to be used. Authorised users should be identified and plant test certificates made available.
  5. Health hazards must be identified and controls which are to be used should be detailed.
  6. Any special personal protective equipment or clothing should be itemised.
  7. Should any aspect of the work require a permit-to-work then the detail should be specified.
  8. Emergency procedures, including those for emergency rescue should be identified where appropriate together with any special first-aid requirement.

Once the work is completed or delayed for any reason the permit-to-work must be signed off and filed.