29th March, 2018
RAMS is an acronym and it stands for two types of documents, that are often found together. Risk Assessments and Method Statements. If someone asks for your RAMS documents, it's just a short way of asking for your risk assessments and method statements for the project or activity.
When we talk about RAMS documents, in health and safety, we are not talking about the woolly creatures with horns (a.k.a. rams).
Disappointing, I know.
So what are RAMS documents?
So, if someone asks for your RAMS documents, it's just a short way of asking for your risk assessments and method statements for the project or activity.
As we just mentioned, risk assessments and method statements are often found together. In fact, if you are asked for a method statements, you will almost always be asked for a risk assessment to go with it.
Risk assessments are a legal requirement, you see. So if your work is high risk enough to need a method statement, then you will certainly need a risk assessment as well.
Nope. You can supply them together, and they may be asked for together. But usually, it will be 2 or more documents.
To provide RAMS, you are certainly going to be supplying both a risk assessment and a method statement.
Depending on the task or activity, you may need to supply a few documents.
For example, let's say you are completing a bathroom refurbishment. Your client has asked for your RAMS documents.
That's fine, we know what these are now.
You might supply a plumbing risk assessment and a plumbing method statement. But what about the strip out works, and the electrical works to install those fancy new spotlights. What about the tiling, and the painting?
Sometimes, you might expand your method statement to include all the works. You may even do that for your risk assessment also.
That's usually a simple enough task on a smaller project or a single task carried out by one tradesman.
But, it doesn't really make sense on a larger project.
Does your electrician really need to look through all the controls for works that he is not a part of, and won't even be being carried out when he is on site.
The best way to provide health and safety information is to provide clear, concise information, and make sure that everyone gets the information they need.
If you hide the important information, amongst pages and pages of information that's not relevant for a specific task, it can be tricky for your workforce (and you, and your client) to find the information they need.
It's all important, of course, but it's important to different people, at different stages of the project.
So even though RAMS are often asked for as one thing, remember that RAMS are groups of documents.
Now we know what RAMS documents are, how do we create them?
What you really need to know here, is how to create risk assessments and method statements. These are two different documents, both need to be created when you are asked for RAMS.
Luckily, they are fairly easy to put together, if you know what work you are going to do, and how you are going to complete it safely.
Now you know, risk assessments and method statements.
This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.
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