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Job Hazard Analysis is a Smart Move for Safety and Business

By Avetta Marketing
August 01, 2022
7 minutes
Job Hazard Analysis

On average, more than 100 workers die weekly on U.S. job sites. At the same time, around 2.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses occur annually. Many of these incidents stem from a failure to define, establish, and follow necessary safety procedures at work. In addition to full-time employees, these statistics also include third-party contractors and suppliers.

A job hazard analysis (JHA) can help your organization identify potential job- or task-related risks before they occur and are critical to operating a safe workplace. A company will conduct a JHA to identify potential hazards on job sites and create a plan to mitigate those hazards. Company supervisors, project managers, foremen, and workers can use Job Hazard Analysis to eliminate potential hazards.

What Is a Job Hazard Analysis?

A JHA is critical to operating a safe workplace and a key component of a company’s health and safety program. Companies conduct JHA’s to identify potential hazards on job sites and then create a plan for supervisors, project managers, foremen, and workers to eliminate potential hazards.

Why Conduct a Job Hazard Analysis?

A JHA protects contractors, suppliers, workers, and the company and prevents work-related death, injuries, or illnesses by eliminating or controlling identified hazards. By ensuring workers have the proper training, equipment and supplies to do their jobs safely, a JHA can be used to train employees on the hazards associated with a task and appropriate countermeasures to take. In addition, let’s take a look at why this is a wise business practice.

Keep Incident Rates Down

A JHA helps your team members understand the exact safety protocols to follow any time they perform work. This can lower the number of workplace incidents that can occur on your job site, protecting your reputation and your bottom line.

Reduce Incident-Related Costs

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), workplace accidents can cost an average of $47,000 each, while a workplace fatality costs around $1.2 million. Overall, the direct cost of work injuries totals around $164 billion annually.

It’s more effective and economical to prevent workplace accidents before they occur. A JHA allows you to establish protocols that cater to your specific company-based workflows.

Build Your Reputation & Credibility

A JHA helps you build credibility with current and future clients and suppliers. When evaluating partners, these stakeholders want to know that your company equips its workers with the proper on-site tools required to mitigate potential risks.

Improve Work Methods

During a JHA, you may uncover bottlenecks or other pain points impeding workplace productivity. As you design ways to make these processes more secure, you can eliminate those obstacles and create newer, better methods.

5 Steps to a Successful JHA

 

Five critical steps can help your organization conduct an effective JHA to ensure safer and more effective worksites. Let’s break them down.

1. Involve Your Employees

As you develop a JHA for a particular project or worksite, it’s important to get firsthand insights from the on-site workers who actually perform the task, which can include both employees and contractors.

While supervisors and project managers may have their own inputs, you need to accurately document the work involved at each step. The only way to achieve that level of understanding is to collaborate with the workers directly.

By involving your workforce in this way, you can ensure your strategy includes the appropriate protocols that everyone needs to stay safe. This prevents oversights and improves quality results, but most importantly, it assures employees that they play an active and visible role in your company’s health and safety initiatives.

2. Segment Tasks By Risk Level

Hundreds of individual workflows could occur during a particular project or job. Tackling all of them at once can seem daunting, so start with the highest-risk tasks first.

List all the most dangerous jobs at your worksite, with vulnerabilities that carry the most severe consequences. Look for job and process issues that cause concern:

  • High number of injuries or illnesses
  • Indicators for potential injuries or illnesses
  • Hazards and damage due to human error
  • New contractors, suppliers, and workers coming on site
  • Newly implemented process
  • Areas of change management
  • Overly complex processes and procedures

Using this approach, you can prioritize and ensure critical areas are better protected and supplied with the necessary resources.

3. Break Jobs Into Tasks

Once you’ve completed the initial analysis, break down each selected job into defined, individual tasks. As you do so, keep the basic sequence of the tasks intact. This way, you can address hazards in the order your employees will encounter them.

While it’s essential to be thorough, there is a limit to how far you should break down each job. If possible, try to limit it to 10 individual tasks. Enlist the help of a direct supervisor or an employee very familiar with the job to identify and record these tasks as performed.

4. Consider All Hazards

In each job, there may be easily identifiable hazards. But, then, some are a little harder to find. So, to make sure you identify all the risks, consider every possible problem.

This includes looking for tasks that could cause your employees to fall, trip, perform a dangerous error, or suffer another form of injury. It also means looking at the tools and equipment they’re using, as well as the overall environment they’re working within. Finally, be sure to note any possible instances of:

  • Toxic/hazardous substance exposure
  • Harmful radiation
  • Electrical hazards
  • Extreme temperatures
 

5. Establish Preventative Measures

The final stage in your JHA is setting preventative measures to help control potential dangers. Once you’ve chosen your jobs, broken them into tasks, and identified your hazards, it’s time to set these parameters.

To help with this step, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) offers five options for workplaces to deploy:

  • Option 1: Elimination: Remove the hazard completely
  • Option 2: Substitution: Replace the hazard immediately
  • Option 3: Engineering controls: Redesign the work area to eliminate or reduce the hazard
  • Option 4: Administrative controls: Modify workflows around a hazard to reduce risk
  • Option 5: Personal protective equipment: Use physical protection to safeguard employees
 

The Benefits of a Safety Compliance Platform

Your safety and compliance data must be centralized and easily accessible to confidently manage projects, work orders, safety requirements, suppliers, and workers. Intuitive risk management systems can streamline your JHA efforts and seamlessly integrate with other core business data to drive decision-making and reduce risk.

Avetta One offers end-to-end contractor safety tools, from supplier pre-qualification to worker-level qualifications to worksite safety. Request a demo to learn more and try the tools for yourself!

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