A job hazard analysis is an important tool for identifying hazards in the workplace.
This is not a one and done process, a quality Job-Hazard-Analysis, or JHA, is conducted annually, in addition to whenever job processes or equipment change.
Besides identifying workplace hazards and forming the foundation of mitigating those hazards, a JHA serves as a base point during workplace incident/accident investigations.
Basics of a job hazard analysis
The initial purpose of a JHA is to identify all workplace hazards, this includes looking at work processes, machines around the workplace, and even overhead.
Once you’ve identified workplace hazards, it is time to mitigate them, this is done in 1 of 3 ways:
- Engineering Controls: This means reworking the workplace layout, build, or adding physical barriers so no matter what, the hazard is completely removed from the work area. This can also be adding machines to do jobs in place of people, like adding an automated box cutting machine so employees can’t cut themselves.
- Administrative and Workplace Controls: This controls the way people work, through policies, procedures, and workplace safety rules. This is done through requiring safety knives, and teaching employees to cut away from themselves.
- Personal Protective Equipment: This should be your last choice, because the hazard is still in the workplace, you’re just protecting employees from it. This could be ANSI cut rated gloves for employees that must handle sharp objects.
A workplace hazard sometimes isn’t simply addressed with 1 control, but may require a 3 tiered approach.
Example: Implementing an automatic box cutting machine, with a lock-out tag-out policy for maintenance on the machine, and requiring employees to wear PPE when the machine isn’t functioning properly.
How to use a job hazard analysis in an investigation
- When using the JHA for incident/accident investigations, the first thing to check for is, “was the hazard identified”, if it wasn’t, the failure is an insufficiently conducted job hazard analysis.
- If the hazard was identified, ensure that the safeguards provided were adequate and followed.
The Job Hazard Analysis will help guide your investigation, and help provide solutions to your root cause.
This training, “How to Conduct a Job Hazard Analysis”, will teach you, and your designated employees how to properly conduct a JHA, and mitigate all the identified risks.
I also provide a Job Safety Analysis Form
If you are considering PPE as part of your safety analysis, check out our PPE Guide.