Injuries occur every day in the workplace. Sometimes they happen because employees are not trained in the proper job procedure or health and safety procedures. Sometimes hazards are hidden in the job itself. You can help prevent injuries in your workplace by doing a job hazard analysis (JHA). It will assist you in identifying those “hidden” hazards and enable you to write safe and efficient job procedures. To perform a JHA, follow our workplace safety experts’ four-step process as outlined below.
Step 1: Select Jobs to Analyze.
Complete a job hazard analysis for each position.
Step 2: Involve the Employee.
Involve the employee in the risk assessment process by reviewing their tasks with them, discussing potential hazards, and asking for recommended solutions. After all, who has better knowledge than the one performing the job?
Step 3. Thoroughly Analyze Potential Job Hazards.
If the job is repetitive, observe each step as the employee cycles through the different tasks. If the job is not repetitive, you may want to consider videotaping the job so you can review each task while doing the analysis.
- First, look at general conditions in the area for occupational safety hazards such as inadequate lighting, noise, tripping hazards, forklift traffic, etc. While these conditions may not be a direct element of the job, they may create a hazard during some particular step of the job. For example, a tripping hazard on the floor may be a hazard while walking to and from a job site.
- Most jobs can be broken down into tasks. List each task in order as an employee performs them. Record adequate information to describe the task. Break the job down into the number of tasks that are useful for identifying hazards and training employees. For example: “go get blank stock and return to machine” is better than three separate steps of “go”, “get”, and “return”. With practice, you will get a sense of how far to break each job down. Go over the tasks with the employee. There may be variations in the job or infrequent tasks that the employee can describe further.
- As you observe each task, look for workplace safety hazards or potential hazards and list them. Assume that no personal protective equipment is being worn at the time of the observation. Repeat this process until you are satisfied that all hazards have been identified. Keep in mind that some tasks will not have hazards, while others may have several.
- Eliminating identified hazards may be accomplished by combining tasks, changing the sequence, choosing a different tool for the job, changes in the workstation, improving ventilation, performing substitutions, and so forth. Continue involving the employee as they may have some ideas or recommendations for better safety in the workplace. If administrative changes are not possible when eliminating the hazard, then determine what personal protective equipment (PPE) would be required. Record this solution.
Step 4: Make Changes.
Use your analysis to initiate the physical changes required to eliminate any hazards to the workplace, including changes to tools, equipment, or procedures. Job procedures may need to be re-written and training requirements updated for the involved employees.
Review and update the JHA whenever the job changes, new equipment is purchased, or when there has been an injury or “near miss”. When completing an incident/accident investigation, use the job hazard analysis to determine whether further changes are needed or if the employee failed to follow job procedures.
For complex jobs or repeated issues with hazards, call one of our safety consultants for help. We can analyze your situation, conduct professional safety audits, and build a custom plan for occupational health and safety in each job. Let us answer your questions and decrease your workplace safety hazards – call us at 763-417-9599.
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