How to write a Method Statement

Download a free template from HSEDocs to write a method statement.

Download this free method statement template or read more about how to write a method statement below. You can also use this method statement template in conjunction with the video tutorial:

Before using this template, let’s examine the principles behind method statements and why principal contractors and large organisations ask for them. Two keywords that spring to mind are professionalism and safety. If you and your business have risk assessments, method statements and COSHH assessments, it shows that you want the work and want to carry out the work without harming your staff or others.

A method statement is intrinsically a written, safe system of work. It is a list of instructions that someone can use to carry out a job safely, with control measures in place to help prevent themselves and others from harm. Method statements have become increasingly crucial to CDM projects, schools, public buildings, housing associations, and others.

Although this is a template, it is not a blank document. There are areas of red text throughout the document that tell you what to write and where to write it, making the process as easy as possible. Going through the document one step at a time, the first thing we see at the top of the template is the following image:

The top line is the title of this template, and it's here you fill in the following details: Include the words 'method statement', then enter the trades your document is relevant to and finally, a description of the task. '. It's important to put 'method statement' in the title, not just because anyone who looks at the document knows precisely what it is, but also for indexing; by indexing, I mean making the document easy to find using the search feature on your computer.

After the title is a field for the author's name, I always suggest that when writing a method statement, this is the company or trading name, not an individual's name. The main reason is that method statements can evolve as some aspects of the task may be omitted, added, or amended. So, although John might write the initial document, Martha, Jean, and Sam may edit and amend it as required over the following years.

After your company name, you will see that the image at the top of this method statement template asks who the document has been prepared for. Although the document has been prepared as instructions for your operatives or staff, you should enter the clients' names or project details in this field. This is because the method statement is for the client's approval.

The following section (see image above) is titled 'Scope of works'. This is the index for the task that's about to be carried out, and the below example numbers elements from 1 through to 5. Just like a book, chapter one comes after the index, which is a step-by-step process of what to do at the start of work.            

The Method Statement and Risk Assessment have a symbiotic relationship where one influences the other and should be created together.

If you imagine using this template to write a method statement for cleaning windows, you should first jot down key activities which highlight the risks and may alter the method used for carrying out a task. Here's an example:

Get hot water.

Add detergent

Get ladders off the van

Position ladders

Climb ladders

Wash window

Dry window

Descend ladders

Put ladders on the van

Straight away from the first activity of getting hot water, a Risk and Method are created. The risk is from scalding, and the safe working method will be to add cold water to the bucket before heating it.

Detergents increase the risk of dermatitis, so a safe working method is to add a measured amount of detergent per the manufacturer’s instructions.

So, the critical descriptions expand from two or three words into Risks, Control Measures and a Safe Working Method Statement.

It's also important to remember that the best people to help you write a method statement are those who carry out the tasks you are writing about.

Finally, at the end of the method statement template is the section to add your name, sign, and date the document to indicate that you are happy to submit it to contractors and employees as required.

We hope that this tutorial helped. However, if you need further advice, Risk Assessments, Method Statements, or COSHH Assessments, you can either use the search box near the top of the page or browse our categories on the left-hand side. Of course, if you can't find what you're looking for, please get in touch.



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