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5 Essential Steps to Conducting a Job Safety Analysis

Job Safety Analysis Steps
  • A job safety analysis (JSA) is a critical tool that can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in the Construction and General Industry.

    It is common practice for most job sites and can also help to identify potential hazards and prevent them from causing damage or injuries.

    As occupational safety and health experts in the construction industry, we’ve helped countless clients understand and implement a successful JSA.

    In this blog post, we will outline the 5 essential job safety analysis steps and explain why a JSA is so important for all workers and employers.

    What is a job safety analysis?

    A job safety analysis (JSA) is a process that involves identifying, assessing, and addressing job-related hazards to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.

    Also known as a job hazard analysis (JHA), a job safety analysis is used in a wide range of industries and is an essential tool for improving safety and compliance on job sites.

    This technique is a preventative measure that examines job tasks in order to identify potential hazards.

    By studying the relationship between the worker, task, tools, and environment, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate risks before they cause harm.

    Similar to a Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP), a JSA is more granular and job/task specific, and is a written plan that is used to evaluate a specific job task, rather than the overall job site.

    Why is it important to conduct a job safety analysis?

    A job safety analysis is one of the first steps in improving job site safety. A JSA can help to reduce accidents and injuries in a number of ways by identifying the hazards within specific job tasks in order to reduce the risk of injury to workers.

    For construction and all workers, conducting regular JSA’s pre-shift, before start of work, can help you to identify hazards that may not be apparent at first glance.

    This allows you to take steps to eliminate or mitigate these risks to prevent incidents and accidents from happening.

    It’s all about prevention, every accident is preventable with pro-active management and a zero-injury program.

    In addition, employers can benefit from job safety analysis by improving job site efficiency and reducing compliance costs.

    By identifying potential hazards upfront, employers can minimize the time and resources needed to address them, while ensuring that they are meeting all applicable regulations and requirements.

    A JSA is just a small component in a bigger commitment to workplace safety and can make a big difference in preventing accidents and protecting both workers and employers.

    Is a JSA an OSHA requirement?

    A JSA is technically not a requirement from OSHA, but it is strongly recommended as a best practice. It is most likely a requirement from the contractor or general contractor you are working for in their current Safety Program Manual.

    However, OSHA’s “General Duty Clause” requires an employer to furnish to its employees a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical injury to its employees.

    “Pre-Job Briefings” are an OSHA requirement initiative to recognize, discuss, and mitigate hazards before work begins.

    To achieve compliancy, pro-actively conduct a JSA, JHA, SSSP or PTSA pre-shift for recordkeeping, improvement, and preventive safety measures for all workers.

    This can be accomplished by management to supervisors, foremen/women, trade workers and all site personnel involved for your scope of work.

    OSHA strongly recommends on paper because if it’s not written down in their eyes it never happened!

    In order to maintain compliance, employers should conduct job safety analyses on an ongoing basis and take action to address any unsafe conditions or practices that are identified.

    The 5 Steps to Conducting a Job Safety Analysis

    These are the 5 steps to conducting a successful job safety analysis. You’ll want to create a basic job safety analysis form template, outlining the job location, task description, hazard description, and hazard control methods.

    1. Identify Hazardous Condition

    The first step in conducting a job safety analysis is to identify the potential hazards on your job site. This may involve assessing the individual task, tools, and environment to identify any risks that could potentially cause harm.

    Some common hazardous conditions include:

    • Impact hazards
    • Fall hazards
    • Excavation/Trenches
    • Slips, Trips and Falls hazards
    • Struck By/In-Between hazards
    • Penetration hazards
    • Compression hazards
    • Chemical hazards
    • Heat/cold
    • Material Handling/Loading
    • Environmental hazards
    • Harmful Dust, Silica, Lead, Asbestos
    • Atmospheric, smoke or poisonous gases
    • Optical radiation
    • Biological hazards
    • Noise hazards
    • Electrical hazards
    • Ergonomic
    • Workplace violence

    2. Determine Root Cause

    Once you have identified any potential hazards, the next step is to determine the root cause of these issues. Some potential causes of injury include:

    • Lack of knowledge, competency
    • Lack of physical ability
    • Prior training that included unsafe practices
    • Organizational and personal perception of what is acceptable behavior
    • Previously unidentified hazard
    • A new hazard that results from a change in process or equipment

    3. Eliminate Hazard

    Next, you will want to develop a plan for eliminating the hazards that you have identified. The most effective way to control a hazard is to eliminate it entirely.

    If this is not possible, you will want to substitute the hazard with a safer alternative or utilize the control measures outlined in the next step.

    4. Control Measures

    If a hazard cannot be eliminated, you will need to put controls in place to mitigate the risks posed by that hazard.

    Control measures can include making changes to job tasks or work site conditions, instituting new policies and procedures, and using personal protective equipment.

    The basic types of control measures include:

    • Engineering Controls: These are changes to job tasks or job site conditions that help to reduce the risk of injury. This can include  changing job processes, re-evaluating certain tasks and work site conditions and by modifying equipment per manufacturers recommendations.
    • Administrative Controls: These involve changes to the job tasks themselves, such as job rotation or job task modification, as well as training and supervision to improve worker safety.
    • Work Practice: These controls are changes to workplace rules, procedures, or housekeeping and maintenance activities that help to minimize the risk of injury.
    • Personal Protective Equipment: This can include high-visibility protective clothing and gear, hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, ear protection and hard toed/steel/composite work boots. Remember, PPE is your last line of defense.

    5. Evaluation of Effectiveness

    The final step in conducting a job safety analysis is to evaluate the effectiveness of your control measures and to have the assigned competent person conduct the JSA with your crew pre-shift.

    Remember OSHA requires “Pre-Job Briefings” and strongly encourages JSA’s for competency, record keeping and as an effective tool to eliminate hazards.

    It’s important to assess how well your control measures are working and to make any necessary adjustments to improve them or address any new hazards that may arise.

    This can be done by completing routine self-inspections of equipment and tools before use, examining industrial hygiene reports, and reviewing investigation findings from Incident/Near Miss/Good Catch reports.

    Any new processes that are introduced in the job site should also be evaluated to determine if they have introduced any new hazards and how these can be controlled.

    In addition, you will want to regularly monitor job site conditions and injury trends, and make any changes or modifications as needed.

    This will help ensure that your job safety analysis is always keeping workers safe and reducing risk on your job site.

    Final Thoughts: Job Safety Analysis Steps

    Overall, a job safety analysis is a critical tool for employers and employees in Construction and General Industry.

    This risk assessment process can help to identify potential hazards and develop strategies to eliminate or control those hazards, ultimately reducing the risk of injury for employees on site.

    By following the 5 essential steps to conducting a job safety analysis outlined above, you can identify potential hazards upfront and take steps to eliminate or mitigate those risks and prevent costly accidents and incidents from occurring.

    If you have any questions or need any assistance with creating and implementing a custom JHA for your crew at a job site or facility for safety compliance, feel free to contact us today. We are happy to help!

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