Job Safety Analysis

Job safety analysis (JSA), sometimes called job hazard analysis (JHA), is used as the foundational part of an accident prevention program. Using JSAs, many accident prevention tools and process can be devised; for example, job safety observations can be conducted, safe operating procedures can be developed, potential hazards can be identified, and audit instruments can be constructed. JSAs can also be used as a training tool. Also, potential types of accidents can be identified, such as struck-against, struck-by, contact-with, contacted-by, caught-in, caught- on, caught-between, fall-same-level, fall-to-below, overexertion, or exposure.

Why JSA?

The reason to develop JSAs for each job at the company's operations is as follows:

  • • Establish proper job procedures
  • • Identify potential or existing job hazards
  • • Determine the best way to perform or eliminate hazards
  • • Improve job methods
  • • Reduce cost
  • • Reduce absenteeism
  • • Reduce workers' compensation
  • • Increase productivity
  • • Increase hazard reporting
  • • Determine what personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed for each job
  • • Develop preventive measures
  • • Develop new safer job procedures or solutions

The easiest and possibly most effective method is the step-by-step process of the JHA or JSA. The hazard analysis process looks at jobs or processes. Done for every job, a JHA or JSA ensures safe steps, teaches new workers, eliminates or controls hazardous materials, and much more. Some companies have work teams complete JHAs or JSAs on every job or process and then use them as a guide to do the job. The JHA is a hazard identification tool, an analysis tool, a training tool, and an accident prevention tool all rolled into one.

JSA/JHA is a process used to determine hazards and safe procedures for each step of a job. A specific job, or work assignment, can be separated into a series of relatively simple steps. The hazards associated with each step can be identified, and solutions can be developed to control each hazard. A simple form can be used to carry out a JHA.

A JSA/JHA is a procedure that integrates accepted safety and health principles and practices into a specific task or job procedure. This is why in a JSA/JHA, each basic step of the job is to identify potential hazards and to recommend the safest way to do the job. Jobs that should have JSA/JHA conducted on them and receive attention first are as follows:

  • • Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates
  • • Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illnesses, even if there is no history of previous accidents
  • • Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury
  • • Jobs that are new to the operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures
  • • Jobs complex enough to require written instructions

Much of the information within this chapter comes from the United States Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration material entitled The Job Safety Analysis Process: A Practical Approach. The precept behind using JSA/JHA is that fatalities, accidents, and injuries can be reduced by working together and sharing safety and health knowledge. An accident prevention method that has proven effective in industry is the JSA/JHA program.

JSA/JHA is a basic approach to developing improved accident prevention procedures by documenting the firsthand experience of workers and supervisors, and at the same time, it tends to instill acceptance through worker participation. JSA/JHA can be a central element in a safety program, and the most effective safety programs are those that involve employees. Each worker, supervisor, and manager should be prepared to assist in the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards. Worker participation is important to efficiency, safety, and increased productivity. Through the process of JSA/JHA, these benefits are fully realized. This process can begin in the following ways:

  • • Involve employees
  • • Review accident history
  • • Conduct a preliminary job review
  • • List, rank, and set priorities for hazardous jobs
  • • Outline the steps or tasks

JSA/JHA is a process used to determine hazards of, and safe procedures for, each step of a job. A specific job, or work assignment, can be separated into a series of relatively simple steps. The hazards associated with each step can be identified, and solutions can be developed to control each hazard.

Why Perform a JSA/JHA?

The following questions need to be answered in conducting a JSA:

  • • What can go wrong?
  • • What are the consequences?
  • • How could it happen?
  • • What are the contributing factors?
  • • How likely is it that the hazard will occur?

The answers to these questions will help in hazard identification. Some of the other accident-specific questions that need to be answered are as follows:

  • • Can any body part get caught in or between objects?
  • • Do tools, machines, or equipment present any hazards?
  • • Can the worker make harmful contact with moving objects?
  • • Can the worker slip, trip, or fall?
  • • Can the worker suffer strain from lifting, pushing, or pulling?
  • • Is excessive noise or vibration a problem?
  • • Is the worker exposed to extreme heat or cold?
  • • Is there danger from falling objects?
  • • Is lighting a problem?
  • • Can weather conditions affect safety?
  • • Is harmful radiation a possibility?
  • • Can contact be made with hot, toxic, or caustic substances?
  • • Are there dusts, fumes, mists, or vapors in the air?
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