A huge percentage of occupational injuries can be prevented, and a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is a terrific way to ensure worker safety. A JSA is a step-by-step procedure that allows businesses to analyze any potential hazards associated with particular job tasks and implement controls to reduce those risks. This blog post will cover everything you need to know about conducting a JSA for your business.
A job safety analysis is an important part of any business, big or small. Being able to identify risks and plan a way in which they can be effectively avoided will ultimately save lives if a worst case scenario does occur.
As such, you need to know how to conduct a job safety analysis so you are informed enough to begin the process. Come along as we discuss the critical steps to conducting an effective JSA, and proffer the best approach to make the entire process seamless.
Step 1: Decide which job task to analyze
The first step in conducting a job safety analysis (JSA) is that you have to decide what job task to analyze. It’s important to think about which job tasks are the most dangerous and which ones are the most repetitive. This is especially true when it comes to safety in the workplace where time is of the essence and resources limited – it can be difficult to know where to start.
In prioritizing a task to be analyzed, the employer must consider jobs with the following characteristics:
- high injury or illness rates
- potential for injury or illness is high
- High likelihood of severe incident occurring from a human error
- Newly introduced processes, methods, or equipment
- Modified processes or procedures
Jobs with the above characteristics should be top of your list – and they should be considered first for analysis.
Step 2: Breakdown the job into its component tasks
Next step when completing a JSA – you need to list all the tasks associated with a job. A task is any action that is performed when performing a job. You should also note the tools and equipment that are used in performing the task. Know this: It is only when you have all of the tasks listed that you can easily identify the hazards associated with each task.
There are various tools you can use to accomplish this step:
- Direct observation of the worker while on the job
- Photo and/or video recording of the work process
- Review of the job task with workers
The goal is to observe the sequence a particular job is carried out and if it is in line with the approved method. Keep an eye out for hazards associated with each step from set up to clean up. Lastly, always discuss the entire process and findings with the workers involved – this would see to it that no step is overlooked.
Step 3: Hazard Identification
Hazards are any processes, equipment, tools, or activities that have the potential to cause harm. When identifying hazards, you need to consider both the potential for injury and the potential for property damage as a result of the hazard.
When completing JSA, ensure you identify hazards immediately after the job breakdown. Use a risk matrix to evaluate the potential of each hazard – judging its likelihood, severity, and consequences one job task after the other.
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Step 4: Develop and Implement Control Measures
Control measures are just what the name says, measures or policies that you put into place to minimise the potential impact of hazard risk on your workplace. These are practical actions you would take to reduce the likelihood of risk on your business occurring.
According to the WHS Act, controls can be grouped into:
- Elimination – Removal or total avoidance of the hazard
- Substitution – Hazard is been replaced with one with lesser consequence
- Engineering – Use practical modifications to separate workers from hazard
- Administration controls – Alter the work process so workers are less at risk
- PPE – The use of personal protective equipment to protect workers
Using a Workplace Health and Safety Management system would allow you to develop and implement proactive control measures seamlessly from start to finish. The advantage here includes: cost savings, timeliness, and transparency. Workers are on the same page – and are able to see, monitor, and take control measures that can be tracked thus improving participation, compliance and effectiveness of your JSA. Learn more about WHS management System here
Step 5: Document and Communicate JSA results
Upon the completion, document all findings in a secure format that is easily retrievable and updated. The results of your analysis should be made expressly available to workers so they can learn from the findings and take precautions against hazards associated with their respective job tasks. Make JSA findings easy to read, understand and share so the aim of the entire process won’t be defeated.
Performing a job safety analysis (JSA) is an important aspect of effective workplace safety. However, note that JSA is not a one-off – rather it is a continuous process that requires constant reviews, updates, and monitoring. A good approach is to leverage a WHS management system and avoid all these hassles and ensure accurate capture of risks associated with job tasks, as-it-happens reporting, and automatic documentation and updates.