Set Priorities for the JHAs/JSAs to Conduct - Safetip #204

Safety Tip and Best Practice
March 25, 2020

Our latest Safetip is about assigning priorities to Job Hazard Analyses (JHAs) / Job Safety Analyses (JSAs) in order to determine which ones to conduct first.

A JHA/JSA Evaluates Risks

A JHA/JSA is a procedure that identifies hazards and risks for each specific task or operation of a job selected to be analyzed.

Follow these three stages to conduct a JHA/JSA:

1) Break down a job into a sequence of steps. Ideally you should not have more than 10 steps. Also, avoid making each step either too general or too detailed.

2) Identify potential hazards for each job step. Assess also potential risks based on exposure to the hazards. Assess the likelihood and potential severity of an injury.

3) Based on the risk assessment in stage #2 and feasibility, eliminate the hazards or identify the control measures to mitigate risks. Use the hierarchy of controls to guide you.

Criteria to Prioritize JHAs/JSAs

Ideally you should conduct a JHA/JSA for all jobs. But it takes a lot of time and effort to do a JHA/JSA. This is why JHAs/JSAs should be prioritized to start with the most important ones first.

The Maine Department of Labor and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety have good lists of criteria that you can use to prioritize JHAs/JSAs. Based on both lists, here are job types you may want to give priority to:

  • Jobs with the most frequent accidents or the most severe ones.
  • Jobs where there have been many near misses.
  • Jobs where there have been regulatory violations.
  • Jobs with a potential to cause a serious injury or illness, even if none has occurred yet.
  • Jobs in which one simple human mistake could lead to a severe injury.
  • Jobs that are new. Due to a lack of experience in these jobs, hazards may not be evident yet.
  • Jobs that have been modified. New hazards may be introduced with changes in job steps.
  • Jobs that are performed infrequently. There may be greater risks associated to non-routine jobs.
  • Jobs complex enough to require written instructions.

Use the list above to guide you with the selection of the most important jobs to analyze first.

Also, consider the use of job hazard analysis/job safety analysis software to conduct a JHA/JSA in a more automatic and efficient way.


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