How to Conduct a Job Hazard Analysis: JHA Checklist
Blog » How to conduct a job hazard analysis to keep workers safe
A job hazard analysis (JHA)—sometimes called a job safety analysis (JSA)—is an important tool for identifying and reducing hazards in any industry. It is a technique that identifies the dangers associated with specific job tasks and provides solutions to reduce the risk of an injury to workers.
Why it matters
According to the Liberty Mutual 2019 Workplace Safety Index, workplace injuries costs U.S. companies more than $1 million every week. The Liberty Mutual report documents the top causes of the most serious injuries—those resulting in five or more days of workdays lost, which is based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Many assume that these injuries occurred in high-hazard job environments, but injury rates in retail were higher than in manufacturing and construction. These injuries included overexertion and falls from the same level, as reported by the BLS.
So, why does conducting a JHA matter? Because, if you know what potential hazards exist for a particular job task, you can reduce or eliminate them before any of your workers gets hurt. The JHA should also be used to train workers to do their jobs safely. That, also, translates into saving your organization any costs associated with an injury.
Conducting a JHA
1. Involve your workers: Your workers have a hands-on understanding of the job, which is invaluable in finding potential hazards. Involving your workers in the entire process ensures a quality assessment and will help workers take ownership of their own safety.
2. Review your organization’s accident history: These events help you identify existing hazards that may not have had adequate protections and require further analysis.
3. OSHA: Identify Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards that apply to the job and include the requirements in your JHA.
4. List, rank, and set priorities: Jobs with high injury or illness rates should be your first priority.
Where to start
Break the job task into steps. Include enough information to describe each job task without getting overly detailed. Review the steps with your worker to make sure you did not miss something.
- Getting input for the worker who performs the job is most valuable.
- Identify the hazards of each step by asking yourself:
- What can go wrong?
- What are the consequences?
- How could it happen?
- What are other contributing factors?
- How likely is it that the hazard would occur?
Review the list with workers who do the job and seek their input on ways to eliminate or reduce the hazards.
- Identify ways to eliminate or reduce hazards.
- Are there safer ways to do the job?
- Be specific. Do not simply state “Be careful.”
- Changes in the work process.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): e.g. gloves, steel-toed shoes, head protection, hearing protection.
Example JHA form
We’ll use an OSHA example to show how a JHA can be used to identify existing or potential hazards for each step involved in grinding iron castings.
Now that you have the list of potential hazards, you have to consider control measures to reduce or eliminate those hazards. You should select controls that are most feasible, effective, and permanent.
You accomplish this by involving your workers and using OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls:
1. Elimination: This is always where you should start. Is it possible to physically eliminate the hazard entirely? Is grinding of iron castings needed?
2. Substitution: Is it possible to replace the hazard, for example changing the equipment or tools used to perform a hazardous task? Can a safer grinding wheel and safer iron castings be used?
3. Engineering Controls: Is it possible to create a physical barrier between your workers and the hazard? If your workers are not directly exposed to the hazard, the likelihood of injury is reduced. Do workers have to do the grinding? Can you install larger machine guards?
4. Administrative Controls: Is it possible to change the process or the way that your workers are performing a hazardous job? Does a safer grinding method exist?
5. PPE: If none of the above are realistic, is it possible to provide PPE that will protect your workers from the hazard? Workers are required to use cut-resistant and easy-grip safety gloves, steel-toe shoes, and safety goggles.
Remember: PPE is always your last line of defense!
Once you have implemented your control measures:
- Train all workers that do the job on the steps of the job, the potential hazards, and measures to control them.
- As with any training, make certain the workers understand the training. Consider language limitations and literacy levels. Use visuals if need be.
If OSHA ever showed up at your facility, they will ask workers if they understand their job task and its requirements.
Finally, you should review your JHAs periodically. This can help you find any hazards you may have missed. JHAs should also be reviewed when:
- There is a change in the task or process.
- New equipment arrives.
- An injury or near-miss occurs when a worker is doing the job task.
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