Health & Safety in Construction – Risk Assessments & Method Statements

by CHAS BRAY | Nov 7, 2022 | Blog

Part 5

In the previous four parts of this series, we covered CDM’s, the Principal Contractor and Sub-contractor roles and CPPS. In this final part, we’re talking about RAMS.

What are RAMS?

The Construction Design & Management Regulations (CDM 2015) require a safe system of work (SSOW) to be developed for all construction activities, this is accomplished either through a CPP (construction phase plan) or a set of RAMS (risk assessments & method statement).

A method statement is a safety document that describes how to carry out a site activity safely. It is really like a set of clear instructions from arriving on site, carrying out the works, to leaving site at the end of the works. Once completed, a site briefing must be conducted to consult and record attendance (understanding of the SSOW to be applied to the works), this must happen prior to work commencement.

Who compiles RAMS?

It is the responsibility of all site-based CDM appointment holders (Principal Contractors/Trade Contractors) to compile and develop an SSOW for the construction activities being undertaken. This ensures that the hazards are correctly identified and that suitable and sufficient controls are put in place to eliminate or reduce the risk to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

What must be detailed within RAMS?

What to include in a risk assessment method statement:

  • Project details (author/date/review date/project number)
  • Description of the works (including location)
  • Start date and duration of the task (including day or night)
  • Key responsibilities (safety critical persons):
    • Project Manager
    • Site Manager
    • Site Supervisor
    • TWC (Temporary Works Coordinator)
    • Fire Responsible Person (including Fire Marshals)
    • First Aiders etc
  • Methodology of how the work is to be completed:
    • This sets up the plan from arrival on site to handover and departing
  • Key hazards associated with the works (including any temporary works):
  • Emergency procedures, should include:
    • First aid arrangements
    • Fire emergency and evacuation
    • Working at height rescue plan (if required)
    • Environmental spillage procedures (if required)
  • PPE requirements:
    • This should designate the site PPE requirements, based on the works
  • Plant and equipment to be used:
    • Details of any plant equipment to be used during the works
    • Inspection requirements (plant and lifting equipment registers)
  • Hazardous substances
  • Any environmental concerns or permit requirements
  • Welfare provision

Method Statement (RAMS) Compilation:

A method statement should be compiled by a competent person, normally a site manager or site supervisor who has attended either of the following CITB courses:

  • SMSTS (Site Managers Safety Training Scheme) 5 day
  • SSSTS (Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme) 2 day

In addition, a method statement could be compiled by a competent person within your organisation that can demonstrate competence:

  • Health and Safety Professional
  • Technical Expert (qualifications or experience)

Notify Technology can assist with the compilation of your RAMS, through an approved and industry accepted process that meets CDM 2015 & SSIP requirements:

Method Statement Guide showing how to get to the method statement tab and method statement template tab.

How to Complete the Method Statement Form

I strongly recommend a free demonstration to understand how Notify can help regarding your RAM’s requirements.

Points To Remember

  • All construction works must have a site-specific set of RAMS in place
  • Once completed a RAMS Briefing must take place prior to the commencement of works
  • Point to remember:
    • Risk assessments- These identify and assess the hazards and risks involved in projects and detail control measures
    • Method statement – They should expand on the control measures outlined in the risk assessment, detailing how, when, and why you should implement measures (site planning)

By Chas Bray, Specialist Consultant

Further blog to follow in this series covering CDM Compliance:

  • Blog 6 – Construction requirements for toolbox talks and reports/registers

References Used: