Regularly Review Your Job Hazard Analyses - Safetip #187

Safety Tip and Best Practice
October 09, 2019

Our latest Safetip is about regularly reviewing a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) / Job Safety Analysis (JSA) if specific conditions are met.

What’s the Difference between JHA and JSA?

A JHA/JSA is a method for identifying hazards and risks by focusing on job tasks. There are three stages to conducting a JHA/JSA:

  1. Breaking down a job into a sequence of specific steps (ideally not more than 10 steps).
  2. Identifying potential hazards for each job step.
  3. Determining measures to eliminate the hazards, or controls to reduce risks of incidents from exposure to the hazards.

Many people use “Job Hazard Analysis” and “Job Safety Analysis” interchangeably. And they’re mostly talking about the same thing whether they’re on “Team JHA” or “Team JSA”.

However, according to Terry Penney, who was quoted in a Safety+Health magazine article, a JSA considers only the following three items: job steps, hazards associated with each step, and safety measures for avoiding the hazards.

Penney says that JHAs add risk assessment to JSAs with an evaluation of risk for each step and determination of likelihood and severity.

If you’re covering risks, not just hazards, then you’re talking about a JHA. But many people think that JHA and JSA are the same, so don’t worry about embarrassing yourself if you’re using the wrong term.

Review and Update JHAs

Make sure that your JHAs stay current and updated to reduce risks of incidents, and to continue providing a safe work environment.

Any of the following three conditions should trigger a JHA review:

  • An incident or near miss. The incident investigation may conclude that some job steps or procedures should change, or that some existing protective measures are ineffective. In this case, the JHA would have to be updated.
  • A change to a job, job step or procedure. Changes in processes, people, equipment and materials can lead to changes in specific jobs, job steps or procedures. This can invalidate the JHA and require an update. Sometimes the job may change so much that it may be better to start a completely new JHA, instead of updating an existing one.
  • After a specific time period. Review JHAs systematically, for example every one or two years, even if there have been no incidents, near misses, or changes to jobs. It’s possible that you identify a hazard or risk that you may have missed during the initial JHA.

After reviewing and updating a JHA, be sure that all affected employees are informed or trained.

Finally, consider the use of specialized job safety analysis / job hazard analysis software to better manage JHAs, get notifications when it’s time to review a JHA, automatically trigger a JHA review following an incident, and share JHAs across the organization.

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Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

Content Thought Leader