Safetip #47: Job Hazard Analysis / Job Safety Analysis Prioritization
What Is a Job Hazard Analysis?
OSHA defines Job Hazard Analysis in the following way:
“A job hazard analysis is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you will take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.”
Many people use JHA and JSA interchangeability, but there are slight differences between the two. Terry Penney, quoted in a Safety+Health magazine article, says that JSAs consider only the following three elements: steps necessary to do the job, hazards associated with each step, and safety measures for avoiding the hazards. But JHAs add risk assessment to JSAs with an evaluation of risk for each step and determination of probability and severity.
It Takes a Lot of Time to Develop JHAs/JSAs
A Job Hazard Analysis/Job Safety Analysis is not needed systematically for all jobs, especially jobs that are too general. But jobs that require a JHA/JSA should be prioritized, because the development of JHAs/JSAs can be a very time-consuming exercise. The Maine Department of Labor suggests giving priority to:
- Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates.
- Jobs where there have been “close calls” – where an incident occurred but no one got hurt.
- Jobs where you have identified violations of OSHA standards.
- Jobs with the potential to cause serious injuries or illness, even if there is no history of such problems.
- Jobs in which one simple human mistake could lead to severe injury.
- Jobs that are new to your operation of have been changed.
- Jobs complex enough to require written instructions.
Experts also recommend conducting a JHA/JSA for infrequently performed jobs, according to the Safety+Health magazine article.
Once you have established the priority of jobs that require a JHA/JSA, you can save even more time by automating the development of JHAs/JSAs through Job Hazard Analysis/Job Safety Analysis software. This is especially important for following up the implementation of any missing controls with auditable action plans.
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