SC06 - Appendix 7
08 Apr 2021



Risk Assessments and Method Statements


7.1 General

Risk assessments and method statements go hand in hand when ensuring all risks are managed on any project. A method statement can take information from a risk assessment and add further details for complex work, projects involving a number of high risk activities or work involving contactors to ensure a high level of communication.

7.2 Template Method statement

STFC provides a template method statement for general use​: (WORD | PD​F)

7.3 Areas for consideration in a safe system of work

These include:

  • People
    • competency of contractors
    • the work activity being carried out
    • the duration and timing of the work
    • proximity of other people in the area
    • lone working
    • physical status of the workers such as pregnancy or vertigo sufferers
  • Equipment
    • suitability of equipment for task including guarding
    • effect of equipment on people or environment (noise/vibration etc.)
    • the equipment to be used and its inspection and maintenance
    • control of possible falling objects or unstable equipment
  • Materials
    • condition and stability of work surfaces such as fragile materials, slippery surfaces, hot, cold, sharp, heavy etc and
    • disposal of wastes including any radioactive materials:
      • How will they dispose of wastes (our skips or will they have their own contractor)
      • Who will transfer their waste (are they registered as a waste carrier with EA/NRW/SEPA)
      • Can they provide evidence of waste contractor, waste carriers licenses etc.
      • How do they manage hazardous waste
      • Will they segregate waste (general and recyclables)
  • Environment
    • the location in relation to the presence of hazards such as open excavations, overhead services, radiation etc
    • the working environment with regard to weather, wind or lighting
    • safe and appropriate control of hazardous substances (e.g. dusts, chemicals, etc.)
    • safe means of access and egress
    • frequency of access
    • prevention of access by unauthorised persons and
    • separation of work from other people in the area

A typical method statement might contain the following:

  • Description of the work
    • why is the work being carried out
    • the scope of the work, how long it will take etc.
    • the resources required to carry out the task
    • the sequence of operations necessary
    • controls required (e.g. PPE, LEV, atmosphere tests, etc.) and
    • completion criteria
  • Location of the work
    • where on site the work is to be carried out
    • details of how the work might affect or be affected by other work in the area and how that will be controlled (e.g. warning signs, fencing etc.)
    • what preparation work needs to be carried out and
    • location of any signage
  • Access/Egress
    • give details of any special access or egress requirements
    • Emergency procedures
    • details of fire and first aid procedures
    • how to deal with possible spills
    • reporting of incidents and near misses and
    • contact details of personnel involved

In assessing documentation from contractors, managers may need expert advice.

7.4 Related STFC SHE information

  • STFC SHE Code 5, Incident Reporting and Investigation
  • STFC SHE Code 6, Risk Management
  • STFC SHE Code 13, CDM

7.5 References and further reading

​Health and Safety Executive
​Managing contractors – a guide for employers​
​Health and Safety Executive
​Use of Contractors – a Joint Responsibility (INDG368)

​Health and Safety Commission
​Management of health and safety at work (Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999) Approved code of practice and guidance. L21

​​Health and Safety Commission
​Safe use of work equipment (Provision and Commission Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) Approved Code of Practice and Guidance L22
​​Health and Safety Executive
​Personal protective equipment at work (Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992) Guidance on regulations L25

​All STFC SHE documentation can be found on the STFC SHE Website

The STFC has also established free access to a source of HSE guidance and documentation as well as British Standards technical documents - Info4Education

Contact: Baker, Gareth (STFC,DL,COO)