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Safe System of Work Plan (SSWP)

Definition - What does Safe System of Work Plan (SSWP) mean?

A safe system of work plan (SSWP) is a methodical checklist with pictograms of health and safety specifically designed for the construction industry. It complements, but does not substitute, the safety statement required under the safety, health and welfare at work act. It does not replace the requirement of safety statement that is described by the health and safety authority. SSWP is relevant to contractors, self-employed persons and employees that help users in construction work to remain safe and comply with legal obligations.

Safeopedia explains Safe System of Work Plan (SSWP)

A safe system of work plan (SSWP) is an initiative that was launched in 2005 by the Health and Safety Authority (HAS), Ireland. Its objective is to help management and workers to identify hazards associated with construction work, and to eliminate, or reduce risks before work starts. This is a bottom up approach to safety management. Another issue is related to migrant construction workers whose first language is not English and, therefore, uses pictograms. Employees who do not speak English are at higher risk as they may not understand health and safety measures and instructions in English.

SSWP has following features:

  • It uses pictograms
  • It is kept with workers for their reference until the work is over
  • It works as an aide memoire
  • It increases workers safety mechanism
  • It complies with some of legal requirements

There are five types of SSWP forms available, which includes:

  • House building form
  • Ground works form
  • Demolition form
  • Civil engineering form
  • New commercial building form

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