Task Analysis/Safe Work Method Statement

For certain types of work, you’ll need to show you’ve planned ahead. Part of our Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP), a Task Analysis/Safe Work Method Statement is an excellent planning tool that ensures all risks and controls are identified - and helps improve productivity by ensuring the right people, plant and processes are ready when you need them. A TA should describe how you plan to do the job safely and proves that you are managing risk.

First things first – do you need to complete a TA? TA/SWMS are required for:

  • Particular risks specified by legislation
  • Any new or complex task
  • When required by contract
  • Permit to Work Systems
  • Work requiring Certificate of Competence
  • If your risk assessment results in CRITICAL or HIGH level or risk
  • Notifiable construction work

If you do need to complete a TA, simply follow the step-by-step guide below.

  1. The job details
  2. The people
  3. Step-by-step
  4. Identify hazards and assess risk
  5. Control risks
  6. Reassess risks
  7. Keep it up

Handy hint: before getting started, it’s a good idea to read our blog post on how to do a risk assessment. If you want to view an example TA, you can download one here. You can also download a free SSSP template here.

Step 1: The job details

Complete top left fields with your company and site name, and date of task. Complete (your) subcontractor details, your name and date TA was written. Complete all details, including personal protective equipment required e.g. safety boots and administrative controls e.g. traffic management plan, pre-start meetings, hazard boards.

picture of task analysis 

Step 2: The people

Record names of all workers involved in task to show they understand requirements of this TA. Workers should sign beside their name to show they have been involved in the TA/SWMS and understand it.

picture of task analysis 

Step 3: Step-by-step

Break down the task into the major steps from first to last and record them on the TA. There will normally be at least three to four steps but may be more if it is a complex task e.g. step 1 = prestart inspection, step 2 = set up site, step 3 = complete task, step 4 = clean up site etc.

Step 4: Identify hazards and assess risk

Record all the hazards you might encounter during each step e.g. 1a = other traffic/plant entering site. Complete an initial risk assessment using the risk matrix and record the risk level e.g. Critical, high, moderate, low, very low etc. Check out our blog post on how to do a risk assessment if you need help with this step.

picture of risk assessment 

Step 5: Control risks

Record the controls used for each hazard and the level of control using the hierarchy of controls.

picture of hierarchy of controls

For example, a control might be a traffic management plan. Record this and the level of control (3/admin control) on the TA. E.g. control = site coordination meetings, level = 3/admin control.

Step 6: Reassess risk

Go back to the risk matrix and work out the new/residual level of risk that you could expect with the above controls in place e.g. critical, high, moderate, low, very low. If you still get a “critical” level or risk, review your controls. Record the new level of risk for each hazard under each step.

Step 7: Keep it up

Repeat the above steps until you have recorded the hazards, controls and risk levels for each step of the task.

Want more help? Our Site-Specific Safety Planning course will teach you how to complete TAs and Site Specific Safety Plans (SSSPs), two of the most common health and safety documents required on site.

Learn how to complete a TA/SWMS

Enrol in our Site-Specific Safety Planning course

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