Risk Assessments and Method Statements (RAMS) are an extremely important process when attempting to create a safe working environment on a variety of sites, both on land and off-shore. Without the appropriate permits to work and RAMS documents from contractors, projects can be delayed, causing lost time, an increase in budget and many other unforeseen knock-on effects.
With the right type of site planning programme, you can ensure that your project does not suffer from such problems, providing that there is an easily accessible system where all relevant documentation is visible quickly, to make for a streamlined and efficient process of work allocation and induction, no matter the project or industry.
RAMS are important because risk management is a central part of any project management. Investigating and identifying all potential risks and hazards on a new site, or with regards to new techniques and machinery being used on an existing site, ensure that safety remains a priority at all times. It is important that any person working on a site, or visiting as a pedestrian or supplier, understands all risks and hazards present, and how to avoid those risks and hazards.
When an accident takes place on a work site it can have a long-reaching impact. In the case of a serious injury or fatality it could lead to careers and families being destroyed through loss of income and the loss of a loved one, or his or her ability to find employment. The businesses suffer too, with delays to projects, stretched budgets and damage to the bottom line and potentially brand reputation.
Implementing a strategy that is effective will help to minimise the potential for accidents at work, and is therefore a vital part of a business strategy. This type of hazard and risk management review should be carried out whenever a brand new work site is about to open, whenever there is new machinery and equipment is delivered to be used, or where new processes and techniques are being explored by contractors. A new risk assessment review will identify all potential hazards, as well as point out the measures being taken to minimise that risk.
It is a legal requirement for each risk assessment to be stored for easy access and viewing by all relevant parties, and to ensure that checks can be made to see if the necessary measures are being adhered to on site at different points during a project. Regular reviews should also be undertaken to be certain that all points are being addressed and that everything that could possibly be done on site to minimise the risk of injury of contractors and visitors is being achieved.
Of course, a method statement is only as good as those who have written and implemented it. With careful consideration and use of a strong, easy to use system of project and site management, you can ensure that all RAMS are present before any contractors begin work on a new project, or with new machinery and equipment.