An effective job hazard analysis is a useful risk management technique that focuses on identifying hazards before they occur. It looks to protect both the worker and the employer.
Many workers, including third party contractors and suppliers, are injured and killed at worksites every day. One of the best ways to reduce these incidents, identify risks, and establish proper work procedures is through a job hazard analysis.
There are 5 critical steps to completing an effective analysis that will help ensure safer and more efficient worksites:
- Involve Employees
It is critical to include full-time employees, contractors, and suppliers in all phases the job hazard analysis process. Involving employees can help minimize oversights, ensure quality results, and get workers to share ownership in their safety and health program. Although employees may have some good insight here, companies should also consider that workers may leave out some of their daily tasks in the report because they’re “automatic” to the worker.
- Identify and Prioritize Jobs to Analyze
Before companies can dive into potential worksite hazards, they should first segment the jobs or tasks by highest priority, or rather, by the areas with the most risk.
List jobs that present severe risks, based on those most likely to occur and with the most severe consequences. Prioritizing which jobs to be analyzed is a good way to ensure that the most critical jobs are examined first and given the resources they need. Employers should look at the following:
- jobs with the highest number of injuries or illness
- jobs with the highest potential for injury or illness
- jobs in which a simple human error could lead to severe damages
- newly implemented jobs and processes, or ones that have undergone multiple changes
- complex jobs
- Break down Job Tasks
If tasks aren’t identified, risks cannot be identified either. To perform an accurate analysis, selected jobs should be broken down into defined, individual tasks. It’s important to maintain the proper sequence tasks are performed to ensure hazards are addressed in the order they are encountered.
A general rule is to assign no more than 10 individual tasks for each job. Task breakdowns are typically accomplished through direct observation with a direct supervisor and employee familiar with the job who records the series of individual tasks as they are performed.
Observations help ensure that tasks are performed in the proper sequence with a high level of precaution, helping to identify unforeseen hazards more easily.
- List and Set Priorities for Potential Hazards
Consider every possible thing that could go wrong. Hazards should be identified immediately after observing jobs and the job task breakdown. Examine potential areas where injuries, errors, falls, or trips could occur.
Check all the equipment and identify any potential risks of hazards. Note if workers have any exposure to toxic/hazardous substances, harmful radiation, electrical hazards, extreme temperatures, etc.
Compare your risks against Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) top 10 most cited violations: 1-5 and 6-10.
- Develop Preventative Measures
OSHA issued a hierarchy of controls used for developing preventive measures for hazards associated with job tasks. The five controls include:
- Elimination – remove the hazard entirely
- Substitution – replace the hazard immediately
- Engineering controls – re-design the work area so that the hazard is eliminated or reduced
- Administration controls – modify how employees work around a hazard to reduce the risk
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – protect employees who work in hazardous areas
Start your Job Hazard Analysis Today
With Avetta’s risk assessment tool, it’s easy to identify unmanaged hazards in your workplace. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete and at the end you’ll get a personalized report for your company.
Ultimately, if you’ve identified a severe hazard and/or one with a great chance of causing illness or injury, address it immediately. There are management solutions that can assist with risk analysis so that preventative measures can be properly applied to all areas of work.