Protective Measures – Method Statements

Method Statements may be as simple as a few paragraphs in your written quotation setting out the ‘why’s and wherefore’s’ of the project. What you intend to do is clearly explained in the quote, but it is very important to tell the client how you are going to set about the works.

Even at the most basic level (for example)’ the need to gain access to site in a reasonable manner should be a given, but to protect yourself from any misunderstandings, if you have made clear all relevant comments in your letter, the client will understand your requirements.

On more complex projects, you need to set out a ‘story board’ of each operation, in a clear sequence of events as you have planned them – and based your quotation on the costs involved in that action plan – in a format that may be formulated thus;
WHAT? WHY? WHEN? WHERE? WHO? and HOW? (These headings will act as a guide to ensure you don’t overlook anything)

The WHAT? Is the project, and should be tied in with all relevant documentation, including plans, surveys, location, quotes, etc. – all dated and numbered as required, e.g. Drwg no 1234 rev A dated 29.03.14.

The WHY? Is the reason for carrying out the work. Even if the answer it too obvious to mention e.g. the customer wants a new garden! , it is often helpful to write down the facts (e.g) ‘To clean out an existing pond to ensure the health of the livestock’ that instigated the job in the first place!

The WHEN? In order to comply with any remarks you may have made in your quote, under your Terms & Conditions you may need to specify timings. For example, when the ground is dry enough, or during the correct planting season. This is to protect you from any issues that the client may raise regarding timing that are important to the client, yet they had forgotten to tell you. This note provides you, as the expert, with timings to suit you and the project.

The WHERE? This point may be an important one if you are obliged to work in a restricted manner, either through noise, dust or parking restrictions – anything that will prevent you from working in an efficient way.

The WHO? You should explain your proposals regarding the site staff. Who will be in charge? Will there be any nominated sub-contractors? Are all CRB checks in place? Advising the client beforehand will avoid any problems.

The HOW? This will be longest list of all, as you will have to think the whole scheme through, step by step, and schedule each part of the process. Dry storage? Skip locations? Water points? Toilet arrangements? Deliveries? Overhead cables? Underground services? So much to think about – yet this is the primary reason for completing and submitting a Method Statement!

It shows the client that you have thought the whole project through in an efficient manner. It provides instruction to your site staff and a record of the site for your office staff if they have to deal with any enquiries from any source (delivery lorries etc).