The Essentials of Job Hazard Analysis

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By Pam Hancock, Senior Loss Control Consultant - Public Risk Underwriters of Florida, Inc.

The Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is one of the most effective ways to improve workplace safety by reducing the potential for injury/illness. The goal is to identify the hazards / exposures and recommend the appropriate level of control(s) to make the job safer.

When considering the use of the Job Hazard Analysis, take the time to review and evaluate previous accident history as it relates to the job under review. This may include any losses that involve equipment, and even any “close calls” that have been reported. Building a foundation of previous risks will help to cover the bases and ensure mistakes won’t be overlooked. In addition, you may identify hazards that pose an immediate danger to an employee’s safety & health, which would allow you take immediate action to protect the worker.

It takes time to assess each job and it is highly recommended to get employees involved as they have a more intricate understanding of the job and their input is invaluable. When working with the employee, you should create a detailed list of the job functions / tasks and how they are completed. Discussing the job with employees and breaking the job down into tasks will make it easier in identifying work methods, tool usage, etc., that could contribute to an unsafe behavior and/or unsafe condition.

An effective tool for a Job Hazard Analysis is the use of a Job Hazard Analysis form/template. The form typically includes an area to comment on the task, hazards and what method of control would be recommended to make the job safer. Defining the task consists of defining roles of the job itself, including a step-by-step description of how the job is completed. Identifying the hazard(s) is meant to help outline what could go wrong on the job. This entails critical thinking. Examine what type of accident, injury, or illness the job in question could cause and what the contributing factors are. Note what the likelihood is of that hazard occurring.

Recommending controls seeks to identify ways to reduce and/or eliminate the hazard(s). This would include the use of what is referred to as the “Hierarchy of Controls” which consists of the following:

   • Elimination – Can you eliminate the hazard?

   • Substitution – Can you substitute with a less hazardous material?

   • Engineering – Can you engineer the hazard away, i.e. guarding?

   • Administration – Can programs, policies and procedures be developed with training provided to reduce the potential for injury from the hazard?

   • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Can PPE be used to reduce the potential for injury/illness from the hazard?

The Job Hazard Analysis is also very helpful in the investigation of an accident by reviewing each step and ensuring that the proper procedures were used, or if they need to be changed. Proactively providing Job Hazard Analysis with employees creates a safer workplace and promotes a positive safety culture in the organization.

For more information on JHA, please view the Target Solutions course under OSHA & COMPLIANCE “Risk Assessment Analysis” as well as Training Network Now streaming video service, under Safety Leadership, course #3228, “Job Safety Analysis”. Your Preferred Risk Consultant is also available to assist you.

Pam has worked in the insurance field for the last 23 years of her career. The last 13 years with Public Risk Underwriters of Florida, Inc. Her experience includes working in Program Development, Marketing, Training and Liaison between Members and Underwriting and Claims and of course Risk Management. She is a Certified ADA Coordinator and has completed the 10 hour OSHA Outreach Training course in General Industry Safety and Health. Pam also completed the Fundamentals of Employment Law with State College of Florida. Her educational background is in Business and Computer Programming. She is an active member of Southwest Florida PRIMA, as well as a Professional Member of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). Pamela has a true passion for working with members and helping them to accomplish their goals.