Job Safety Analysis

Job Safety Analysis

Some jobs in various industries are inherently more dangerous than others. In particular, construction sites, heavy machine operation, meatpacking plants, etc. To help identify the risks specific to each job, a job safety analysis (JSA), also known as job hazard analysis (JHA) is performed to identify and determine the best way to eradicate the potential dangers. More precisely it is a safety management tool of systematically evaluating certain jobs, tasks, processes, or procedures and eliminating or reducing the risks or hazards to as low as reasonably practical (ALARP) in order to protect workers from injury or illness. The document produced from the JSA is kept at the workplace as a manual, or at the job site, to help the employees follow best practices for keeping everyone safe. The JSA document is adjusted as conditions warrant.

The JSA process begins with risk analysis identifying the potential hazards associated with a particular task or job. Once the hazards are understood and documented, the consequences of those hazards are then identified, followed by implementing control measures to eliminate or minimize the hazards. For jobs with a lot of moving parts throughout the process, a step-by-step detailed JSA should be performed. Breaking down each step and identifying specific hazards and control measures for each job step can provide the worker with a documented set of safe job procedures or checklists. The JSA can be taken two steps further by listing the probability of each hazard occurring, along with the consequences and effectiveness of the control measures that have been put in place.

The JSA is only as good as the person or people utilizing it. It does no good to be put on the shelf and only reviewed after an accident has occurred. The end result of a JSA shared with workers as part of pre-job and safety meetings, and/or included as part of worker job descriptions. The JSA process should be reviewed and refined regularly and then it can serve as a useful tool in training new employees and giving existing employees a refresher.

The most important thing is that workers and management alike need to understand is that documentation alone will not make the job safe. Rather, workers and management must understand the risks and hazards associated with the job and know how to use the chosen controls in such a way as to eliminate or mitigate those risks.

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