Method Statement toolbox talk

A simple, 5 minute outline of what to cover in a toolbox talk on Method Statement.

Method statements could be written for any piece of work that is considered hazardous or non-routine. These are useful to record specific hazards and communicate the risks to all persons involved. These should form part of the Safe system of work for employees or contractors.

Why run a Method Statement Toolbox Talk?

  • Purpose of a method statement
  • Who is responsible for writing a method statement?
  • Contents of a method statement

Purpose of A Method Statement

  • Provie Job specific inputs
  • To carry out the work safely
  • Identify the potential hazards
  • Outline the necessary precautions
  • Describe methods and controls used to manage risks

Who Is Responsible for Writing a Method Statement?

Generally, the site supervisor or foreman overseeing the work or the team carrying out the work is responsible for writing a Method statement and ensuring that inputs from all workers are incorporated into it and workers are also provided access to a copy.  It may be best practice to write a Method statement if you are:

  • Carrying out high-risk work – confined space work or work from heights 
  • Carrying out non-routine or complex work
  • Working with a large number of sub contractors or others on site 
  • Working with electricity - this could be working on powerlines, installing new lines, connecting electricity supplies, or cutting lines. 


Contents of a Method Statement

A method statement should be sequential (step-by step instructions), easy to understand, tailored, consultative and complete. A method should contain the basic information such as:

  • Company or contractor doing the work
  • Location (address)
  • Expected dates and time of start and finish
  • Brief summary of work and sequential steps 
  • Breakdown of materials and/or plant that will be operated
  • Tools needed 
  • Significant hazards identified
  • Details of hazardous substances
  • Health and Safety contacts
  • Emergency response – i.e. first aid, evacuation procedures, and rescue procedures

If more complex work needs to be carried out or if there are overlapping work areas used by the public, contractors or visitors, then further information may be required. 


Key takeaways:

  • Should be included as part of a Safe system of work
  • Should be job specific
  • Should be easily understood by everyone who is involved in the work to be carried out
  • Might also be known as a JSA (Job safety analysis), task analysis or Safe work method statement

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