Method Statement

A narrative description of work methodology that will be applied in a specific construction operation where details are required. The method statement explains in detail the works to be undertaken and that the productivity rates of the combination of equipment, manpower construction methods and techniques conform with the engineering assumptions in the development of the project schedule.

Method statements are widely used in construction as a means of controlling specific health and safety risks that have been identified (perhaps following the preparation of a risk assessment), such as lifting operations, demolition or dismantling, working at height, installing tower crane 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 safety risks 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.

The format in which method statements are prepared, reviewed and used by a competent person (OSH), and as part of the quality assurance (QA) system prior to its use.

Method statements should be written by a competent person who is familiar with the process being described and may need to be agreed between the client, principal contractor and contractor.

The HSE suggests that those preparing method statements should consider:

  • Is there a safer way of doing this task?
  • Will workers actually implement the controls as planned?
  • Do controls make the job difficult or inconvenient?
  • Are there small changes that will improve the intended method?
  • How will controls work in adverse conditions?
  • Will workers require additional briefing or instructions?

Method Statement (MS) has no definite format and may vary with work processes, It may contain the following:

  1. Details of the organization in control of the activity
  2. Details of the individual responsible for the activity
  3. A description of the activity
  4. A description of how the work will be managed
  5. The location of the activity, its boundaries, means of access and how it is separated from other activities
  6. Plant and Equipment required
  7. A step by step description of the activities to be undertaken
  8. Precautions necessary to protect workers and other people that could be affected, including PPE and ventilation requirements
  9. Training requirements
  10. The need for some specialty operators in some activities
  11. Emergency Procedures
  12. Handling and storage of wastes
  13. Method of safeguarding existing structures, temporary works

The following is the outline for the preparation of the Method Statement:

  1. Introduction
  2. Purpose and Scope of Work
  3. Reference Specifications and Standards
  4. Responsibilities
  5. Required Equipment/tools
  6. Materials
  7. Work Execution
  8. Attachment