How To Conduct A Job Safety Analysis: The Complete Guide

how to conduct a job safety analysis secure work

Every 7 seconds that pass by, an employee gets injured on the job. That amounts to 4,600,000 workplace injuries a year. In turn, businesses lost 104,000,000 production days due to injuries in 2017. 

Injuries affect both employee and business. So it’s in the best interest of both parties to make the workplace as safe as possible. 

A good way to do this is to have a job safety analysis. Here, you identify potential hazards. You focus on the job’s tasks, machines, employees, and the environment. 

Keep on reading to learn how to do a safety analysis. 

Choose Jobs For Analysis 

If you're wondering what jobs to do first, consider the jobs with: 

• The highest number of incidents 

• The most severe injuries 

• The highest potential for injuries 

These should go first. You may have to review your accident history. 

Look for recorded damages to equipment, occupational illnesses, injuries in the workplace, or near misses. These may indicate what you have to pay attention to first. 

Jobs with changes in process, equipment, raw material, and work environment should follow. Complex jobs that require written instructions should also have priority. 

Then, proceed with any remaining jobs. Eventually, all jobs should have a safety analysis.

However, with limited time and resources, employers may not be able to do a JSA of all jobs. In this case, the considerations above should be your priority. This way, you get to analyze the most critical jobs. 

Break Down Each Job Into Tasks 

You should then break down each job into defined sequences. Each sequence pertains to an individual task that’s necessary to complete the job. Each task is also specific to the work area. 

Keep in mind it shouldn’t be too narrow or too broad. If it’s too detailed, the JSA will be too difficult to follow. If it’s too broad, you may miss some potential hazards. 

In general, a job should have no more than 10 tasks. If your analysis exceeds this number, you should split up the job into two or more phases. 

For the safety task analysis, perform the job according to the correct sequence. An experienced worker should be doing this. 

Meanwhile, a manager or supervisor who’s familiar with the process observes and records the individual tasks. It helps to have a job safety analysis worksheet at this part. 

This way, you ensure that the employee will do the tasks with precaution. After all, it’s the worker who knows best about the job. 

This minimizes oversight, which is important for identifying each step. This is then important for identifying risks. Furthermore, involving employees makes them more accepting of your safety solutions. 

After the worker finishes the job, all participants should then review the findings. They should all agree that all tasks are properly identified. 

Identify the Potential Hazards of Each Task 

This is important because you’re then going to assess the potential hazards of each step. This should follow right after identifying the steps so that they’re still fresh in the participants' minds. 

Everyone should still be participating here, especially the worker. They have to provide insight into each task and each possible outcome. Ask them about any hazards they have encountered while performing a task. 

See where a worker or a machine might encounter a hazard. Is there a risk of falling or slipping? Is there a possible exposure to hazardous substances? 

Such questions are only examples. Since hazards can be unique to your workplace, it’s up to you to come up with the right questions to ask for the proper identification of hazards in the task or environment. 

You should consider the machine, employee, materials, process, and the environment. See how they might contribute to a hazard. 

Develop Job Safety Measures 

Your job safety analysis should end with developing preventive measures for the hazards you’ve identified. You have five basic strategies to choose from. 

Elimination 

Elimination is the most effective and longest-term approach to hazards. However, it’s the most expensive and difficult to implement. 

It’s the most straightforward way too. All you have to do is remove the hazard physically. 

Substitution 

Here, you replace the hazard. For example, you may instead buy a new machine without the hazard or modify the environment in a way that the risks will disappear. 

Engineering Controls 

This involves isolating your workers from the hazard. 

Containing the hazard is another valid strategy. If the hazard is a toxic substance, for example, you make sure it doesn’t leak. 

Administrative Controls 

You might be able to revise the whole process to eliminate or reduce the hazards. You can add more steps or change the sequence, for instance. 

You can even create an alternate process wherein the worker doesn’t have to encounter the hazard. 

In any case, administrative control is about changing the way people work. 

PPE 

PPE is the fastest way to protect a worker. You give them proper personal protective equipment to lessen their exposure to the hazard. 

Communicate the JSA to Employees 

After you complete the JSA, you should then document it and make it available to all your employees. It’s their right to know the potential hazards they may face while performing their jobs. The documentation also helps them learn the measures they need to take to stay safe. 

Remember that JSAs have a purpose and that’s to identify and contain hazards. As such, it should be understandable with clear descriptions of tasks and hazards. That way, employees would know which hazards correspond to which tasks. 

Also, it should be in a place that’s accessible at all times. Too often, employees file it somewhere then forget about it. When this happens, the JSA is not fulfilling its purpose and you would have only wasted time and resources. 

Do The Job Safety Analysis Properly 

Do the job safety analysis as strictly as possible. Make sure there’s no oversights and no assumptions. Your employees’ safety is at risk here, and their health and safety always come first. 

As such, a JSA is a necessary step for any business. If you want to learn more, check out our other workplace security and safety guides right here, today!

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