Why are RAMS Important

Why are RAMS Important?


Maintaining safety and reducing risks is paramount, not only for complying with legal standards but also for protecting everyone involved.

Risk Assessment and Method Statements (RAMS) are crucial to achieving these safety goals.

Preventing Accidents and Injuries

RAMS documents help identify potential risks and outline specific procedures to minimise these risks. By assessing and planning, workers can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries on-site.

Are RAMS a Legal Requirement in the UK?

In the UK, Risk Assessments are a legal requirement for workplace safety, as stated in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

However, while Risk Assessments are mandatory, Method Statements, which form part of Risk Assessment and Method Statements, are not strictly required by law* but are often essential for complex activities to ensure safety and compliance.

Complete RAMS is highly recommended and often becomes a standard practice, especially on construction sites and scenarios involving significant safety risks.

They provide a comprehensive approach to planning and safely executing tasks, thus reducing potential legal liabilities and improving safety management.

When Should RAMs be Completed?

Risk Assessment and Method Statements should be carried out in various circumstances, primarily in construction and other industries involving significant risks.

Who Completes the RAMS Documentation?

The individual responsible for completing Risk Assessment and Method Statements documentation is typically a competent person who understands the specific risks associated with the work and has the authority to ensure that health and safety guidelines are followed.

This person is often a site manager or supervisor, particularly in construction and other industries with high-risk activities.

Compiling Method Statements

Someone competent and knowledgeable about the work should compile the method statement, typically the site manager or supervisor.

This individual ensures that all safety procedures and methods are correctly documented and aligned with legal and safety standards.

Appointing a Responsible Person

RAMS process being managed by supervisor

An employer will often appoint a responsible person, such as a site manager or a designated safety officer, to oversee the development of the RAMS. This includes managing the work, ensuring compliance with the risk assessments, and reviewing and updating the documentation as necessary.

This approach ensures that the process is comprehensive and that all aspects of the task or project are considered from a safety perspective.

Risk Assessment & Method Statements are crucial to ensure these tasks are managed safely whenever an activity is identified as high-risk or complex. This includes detailing how the job or task will be carried out to mitigate the identified risks.

How Should RAMS be Recorded?

They must be recorded in writing before work commences for specific operations, such as demolition, dismantling, or structural alterations. This ensures that all safety measures and procedures are clearly defined and understood.

Should Contractors Complete RAMS?

Risk assessment and method statements are often required when engaging contractors, demonstrating a contractor’s capability to manage risks effectively.

This is part of fulfilling ‘Duty of Care’ when vetting contractors.

Legal and Compliance Requirements

While not always legally mandatory, RAMS are generally expected to meet health and safety compliance, particularly on sites with significant risks.

Employing RAMS at these times promotes a thorough understanding and management of potential hazards, thereby enhancing safety on the job site.

Efficiency and Clarity

RAMS provide clear instructions and steps for workers to follow, which can enhance operational efficiency. They eliminate uncertainties and ensure everyone on-site understands their roles and the safety measures.

Supporting Safe Decision-Making

Method statements within RAMS provide detailed guidance on how to carry out tasks safely, supporting workers in making safer decisions in potentially hazardous situations.

Mitigating Financial Risks

By preventing workplace accidents, RAMS also help avoid potential legal and financial consequences from safety failures. This can save considerable costs related to healthcare, legal fees, and possible penalties.

RAMS are not just paperwork; they are fundamental tools that contribute significantly to the safety and success of construction projects. Ensuring these documents are well-prepared and followed can lead to a safer, more efficient, and legally compliant construction environment.

Our systems can incorporate a RAMS process to automatically create the required documentation by answering a few simple questions.

* Relevant at the time of writing: April 2024

James Campbell - Contact Details