What is the difference between a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) and a Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
SWMS vs JSA's: These documents are extremely similar, however there are key differences between the purpose of the two, read our guide to learn more.

When it comes to workplace safety in Queensland, there are so many types of documents created to identify and prevent hazards that it can be easy to get them mixed up. While some may seem interchangeable at a quick glance, they are actually created for specific purposes. Read our guide to learn the difference between a SWMS and a JSA.

What is a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)?

A Safe work method statement (SWMS) is a document used in the construction industry for high risk activities that contains the following information: 

  • Description of the job
  • Person responsible for implementing, reviewing and monitoring the SWMS
  • Qualifications and training necessary to do the task
  • Any potential risks or hazards and the level of risk
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), signage and tags required
  • Plant and equipment needed
  • Emergency plan and rescue procedure in case of hazards
  • Relevant Safety Data Sheets and Legislation
  • Current action or procedure used in the event of an accident

Read Our Blog Post To Learn More: What Is A Safe Work Method Statement?
Have you ever been asked to provide a “SWMS” or “Safe Work Method Statement” on a project in Queensland? Read our post where we answer the question – What Is A Safe Work Method Statement?

What is A Job Safety Analysis (JSA)?

A job safety analysis (JSA) is a document that outlines health and safety principles of a task. While they are common in construction, they are also used in other industries that involve hazards. It includes:

  • Name and location of task, person in charge of it and their supervisor
  • Instructions and logical sequence of performing the job
  • Qualifications and training necessary to do the task
  • Any potential risks or hazards and the level of risk
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), signage and tags required
  • Plant and equipment needed
  • Emergency plan and rescue procedure in case of hazards
  • Relevant Safety Data Sheets and Legislation 
  • Current action or procedure used in the event of an accident

What is the difference between a SWMS and a JSA?

While the two lists above are extremely similar, there are key differences between the purpose of the two documents.

The JSA is created before a task is completed so that the person doing the job knows all the risks and safety precautions. It is created for a specific task, such as operating a specific piece of machinery.

The SWMS document is prepared for a certain type of task that is conducted regularly. It is a reference or “cheat sheet” for people conducting that type of activity, but is created in a way that it can be improved over time. Workers are required to check the SWMS before conducting a task and ensure that it applies to the task they are doing.

The SWMS and JSA are two different types of documents that work well when used together. The actual content on the two documents is transferable so that hazard and control measures can be refined over time and the most current safety procedures can be adhered to by all workers.

A JSA is generally created first and can then be used to create an SWMS that will outline safety practices and procedures. The SWMS can then be used as a reference for all employees.

Overview Of Differences Between Safe Work Method Statements and Job Safety Analysis:

SWMS

JSA

Specific to the construction industry

Commonly used in construction but found in other industries with high risk tasks

Required for all high-risk construction work, when conducting a risk assessment and when identifying hazards

One or two page form outlining the hazards associated with a particular task

A legal document that outlines high-risk activities that are conducted regularly as part of a job

Created before a specific task is carried out for workers to understand the safety principles involved (for example a JSA would be created for a specific piece of machinery)

A document of safety procedures, risks and Legislation relevant to any regular high-risk activity 

A short form or checklist that outlines hazards and procedures associated with a specific task

Do I Need a SWMS or a JSA?

For any regular high-risk work, you will need an SWMS to outline the risks, hazards and procedures associated with any activity.

For an activity that is not conducted regularly or that is low or medium risk, you will need a JSA.

Where Can I Download A Free Safe Work Method Statement Template for Queensland?

Download Our free Safe Work Method Safety (SWMS) Template Here

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