Are RAMS a Legal Requirement?
A risk assessment is the process in which hazards are identified in the workplace, working out how much of a risk they pose to employees, contractors, and the general public, and exploring that risk and the potential ways of eliminating or reducing the risks.
When talking specifically about challenging work environments and projects where there is difficult terrain, assets to manage, and multiple contractors and employees present at all times, understanding the importance of risk assessments is critical.
When should a Risk Assessment/Method Statement be used?
For any business that employs five people or more there is a legal responsibility to have a complete and thorough risk assessment documentation process. Many have heard about risk assessments in the workplace and how important they are for health and safety purposes in numerous industries, but what about a Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS) specifically? And how can you implement an extensive and simple to use Risk Assessment Software that will change the way your site or project runs on a daily basis?
Although according to the Health and Safety Executive RAMS are technically not required by law for those businesses with fewer than five employees, it would be folly to not have a thorough and effective RAMS management system in place for those sites and projects where there are challenging environments, a large turnover of contractors and plenty of potential hazards in play at any given point.
Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS) on the other hand is a creation of documents that are created once the risk assessment process has been fully completed. RAMS documents will contain precise detail about different hazards on site, as well as provide a manual or blueprint, on how to work safely on that specific site, and with specific machinery, and in the vicinity of those specific hazards.
What are the Benefits of RAMS?
The implementation of a RAMS management system is commonplace within construction, infrastructure, and other complex projects with many moving parts.
Although RAMS are not a legal requirement, the vast majority of companies in these industries will have the implementation of RAMS as part of the tender process. As health and safety becomes more important overall, it makes sense that clever risk assessment software is implemented in a way that covers all bases and keeps staff and contractors safe from harm even before they enter the site.
With good management of the RAMS and induction processes a project manager can ensure as smooth a process as possible for the day-to-day running of the site, minimise disruptions, and raise levels of health and safety. The higher the standards of performance across the board, the more profitable a project will naturally become.
RAMS are important, as they are an effective way to ensure that the correct people are entering a site at the correct time and are competent and compliant to do the work.
Through a system such as SitePlanner, the project manager has the power to view all contractors due to work on site, as well as to ensure that all induction and site specific health and safety training has been completed in advance, as well as understand that all permits to work have been provided. This helps to lower the potential risk of accidents and injury on site, and lowers the hours lost to contractor delays when first starting work on a new site.
Other benefits to a Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS) is that they help to engage all parties working on a project to improve site safety and to discuss specific actions and potential tasks onsite (and the ramifications of each). It helps to reduce levels of misunderstanding and poor communication on site (which can cause accidents), and all round improves processes due to thorough step-by-step guides and training for site-specific tasks and situations.
It is important that when putting together a RAMS management system to be implemented within our risk assessment software, that you cover all angles of the project and work sites. It is much more effective to be proactive and to ensure that all contractors are aware of potential hazards and given the best possible foundation of safety to work from, rather than be proactive and respond to issues of health and safety.
You should begin by putting together an extensive list that covers all aspect of the site and tasks that will be required throughout the project.
Include in the list the following:
- A full explanation of all task that are required to be completed by the end of the project
- A detailed look at each specific job role and a risk assessment for each
- A clear pinpoint of the location on site where each job role will be expected to perform throughout the project
- An understanding of the individual responsibilities of each job role
- Extensive list of all equipment, machinery and plant that will be used for each project, role, task on site
- All permits to work for the project as a whole
- A clear understanding of all potential hazards on site, including substances, noise exposure, electrical hazards, protection of the public, emergency plans, first aid provisions etc
- Detailed plan and controls in place to prevent and counteract hazards identified above
Benefits of SitePlanner
With our RAMS function within the SitePlanner software, you can ensure that implementation is thorough and effective, as a method statement will only work if developed correctly and with positive intent and performance.With a clear Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS) and clear communication between all parties working on site, you can ensure that all employees and contractors are fully briefed on all potential risks and understand individual responsibilities, as well as all protective equipment and clothing they are expected to wear throughout the contract.
With the SitePlanner system you’ll have access to all of the relevant information about employees and contractors working on site at any given time. We provide a fully-functioning RAMS management system that is efficient and ticks all the boxes: keeping workers safe from harm, tracking everything you need to keep an eye on and working towards tight deadlines with minimal disruption.
A Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS) is an important process to help keep your work site as safe as possible. With our simple to use SitePlanner software you have access to a RAMS management system and risk assessment software that is consistent across all sites. You’ll have access to date stamped notes and actions, accurate and up-to-the-minute information and data, and an easier process to manage health and safety training, hazard awareness and training, risk awareness, and all permits to work for employees and contractors throughout multiple sites, projects and for different contracts.