How to write a Method Statement

Download a free template from HSEDocs to learn how 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 you start using this template, let’s look at the basic principles behind method statements, and why they are being asked for from principal contractors and large organizations. 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 not only do you want the work, but you want to carry out the work without harming your staff or others.

A method statement is intrinsically a written safe system of work. 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 and have become increasingly important  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 telling you what to write and where, and hopefully making the process as easy as possible for you. 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 exactly 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 authors name. I always advise when writing a method statement, that this is the company or trading name and not the name of an individual. The main reason for this 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 own operatives or staff, in this field you should enter the clients name or project details. This is because the method statement is for the clients approval.

The next 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, after the index comes chapter one which in this case is a step by step process of what to do at the Start of works.            

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

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

Get hot water.

Add detergent

Get ladders off van

Position ladders

Climb ladders

Wash window

Dry window

Descend ladders

Put ladders on van

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

Detergent gives the risk of dermatitis so the safe working method would be to add a measured amount of detergent as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

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

What's also important to remember is that the best people to help you write a method statement are the people 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 say that you are happy to submit it to contractors and employees as required.

We do 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 found near the top of the page, or browse our categories on the left-hand side, and of course, if you can't find what you're looking for, please get in touch.



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