Home - JSA or SWMS: Which is more important?
July 16, 2020

Does the Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) now take over from the Job Safety Analysis (JSA)? Is each one specific to their site, or are they both required?

An SWMS is different from a JSA.

An SWMS is specific to the construction industry which is required for all high-risk construction work. The SWMS is an overarching safety document that identifies the high-risk activities to be performed on a worksite, the hazards, and risks arising from those activities and the measures to be put in place to control the risks. An SWMS remains in place for the duration of the project and is only amended or updated if there is a significant and permanent change in the work environment.

A JSA is a one- or two-page document that outlines the hazards associated with a task on a particular day the task is to be completed and how the task can be performed safely.

This is often prepared by the worker required to carry out the work, subject to that worker having suitable training and instruction to prepare the JSA. A JSA is commonly used in the construction industry and tends to be more for the purposes of a daily analysis to ensure that any daily changes in conditions are assessed and taken into account when looking at the work procedure on that day.

The JSA interacts with the SWMS in so far as there may be new risks or hazards present on a particular day (for example poor weather), that were not otherwise addressed in the SWMS.

If you found this answer helpful, the Health & Safety Handbook chapters on Construction, Supervision of Safe Work, Risk Assessment, and Health and Safety Policies and Procedures chapters offer a lot more detailed information to help you provide a safer workplace that meets your legal duties to your workers.

Having a copy of the Handbook at your fingertips means you can find the information you need, when you need it, instead of having to memorize what you need to do or rely on incorrect information.

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