HSA publish a new guidance document on Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS)

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has published a new guidance document for developing a Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS), which is available online here. The document provides guidance for employers on how to develop appropriate RAMS before carrying out any medium to high-risk work activities, thereby ensuring that these work activities are planned, organised, performed, maintained and revised as necessary. The RAMS is developed in consultation with stakeholders, such as the employer (contractor), Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS) and workers assigned to the task.

Method statements are not a requirement under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 or other legislation, however under Section 8 of the Act it specifies employers shall provide “..systems of work that are planned, organised, performed, maintained and revised as appropriate so as to be, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health”. In addition, Section 19 specifies the requirement for employers to identify the hazards in the place of work under his or her control, and that they assess the risks presented by those hazards. For a construction project, the most important process is ongoing risk assessment and risk control. Below the HSA have developed a useful process diagram for developing the RAMS:

It is important for employers to note that the preparation of a RAMS should not be a box-ticking exercise. To effectively minimise risks in the workplace, it is important to ensure the following:

  • hazards and associated risks are to be identified, and appropriate control measures are implemented;
  • the RAMS is reviewed and amended as it is a live working document;
  • if there are any significant changes to the systems of work, plant and equipment or training requirements etc. that they are reflected in the document;
  • workers are briefed and consulted;
  • all stakeholders sign off on the RAMS before starting work.

Occupli Consultancy can assist you in understanding how risks can be successfully assessed and controlled on construction projects. CMSE Consultancy also assist in developing legally required written risk assessments for all of your work activities.

For more information, Please contact the Occupli Consultancy Team via info@occupli.com

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