Guidance Note 30 - Tree surgery method statement
This Guidance Note gives practical information about creating a method statement.
A completed sample template has been included in Appendix 1 and a blank template in Appendix 2. If you wish to use the template in Appendix 2 to construct your own documents, you must ensure that all references to Alcumus SafeContractor Accreditation have been removed and the final documents are clearly incorporated into your existing safety management system.
A method statement is an ideal way of recording the hazards involved in a specific work activity and communicating the risk and precautions required to all those involved in the work, including those undertaking the work and their immediate managers.
A method statement should be developed in conjunction with a risk assessment and together these demonstrate a safe system of work. The method statement needs be clear, no longer than necessary, and not over complicated. The document should avoid ambiguities or generalisations, which could lead to confusion, and layout a step-by-step sequence of work to describe how the activity is to be carried out safely.
The actual format is dependent on the work being undertaken and the organisational arrangements in place but generally the following headings should be present:
- Organisation/company in control of the operation.
- Named individual responsible for the activity and its safety.
- Name of method statement originator and authorisation date.
- Arrangements for changing/deviating from method statement.
- General description of activity.
- Location of activity including access and restrictions.
- General working environment considerations, e.g. temperature and wind speed.
- Protection of others, e.g. members of the public.
- Emergency procedures, including location of emergency equipment.
- Identity of operatives (and any specific training or certification required).
- Requirements for Personal Protective Equipment.
- Plant and equipment used, including safety precautions and restrictions.
- Materials information e.g. hazard information and storage/transport requirements.
- Work sequence, including associated risks and required control measures for each stage.
- Safety checks/clearances at specific stages.
- Final clearance that activity is completed to specification.
- Any other additional information that may be relevant.
The list above is not exhaustive and a method statement may or may not include each and every item. However, as a minimum it must achieve the following objectives:
- It should be up to date, identifiable and its source accountable.
- It should contain the sequence of works.
- It should identify the associated risks and control measures.
- It should state actions/authorisation required to deviate from method statement.
Appendix 1 is a sample method statement. It can be as simple or as detailed as the job/risk requires, so long as it meets the four main objectives.