The JHA: Analyze This!
Performing a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is an effective tool to minimize or eliminate hazards and reduce accidents. Make sure your employees don’t look at just the obvious dangers; train them to look for simple, everyday things that can go wrong, too. Each job in the workplace should be examined in detail so that risks can be found in the job process step-by-step.
Instruct your workers to ask specific questions about the jobs they do. For example:
- Are any hazardous materials involved, and do I know the proper precautions for protecting myself and co-workers?
- Do I always wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE)?
- Is machinery adequately guarded to protect me from injury?
- Are the guards in place and in good working order?
- Are there factors that could cause ergonomic injuries, such as heavy lifting, excessive reaching and twisting, or awkward postures?
- Are there environmental factors, such as hot or cold temperatures or inadequate lighting or ventilation, which could cause injuries or illnesses?
- Are floors clean and dry?
- Is my work area kept tidy to prevent falls?
- Is my work area dangerously noisy? Have sound-level measurements been taken to prevent hearing loss? Do I need hearing protection?
- Have there been any changes in methods, materials, or equipment for which I need more training?
- Am I aware of and following all the safety rules?
Once the hazards have been revealed, the next step is to see what can be done to reduce or eliminate them. Advise your workers to think about these types of solutions:
- Can I do a risky part of the operation in a safer way? Or find a way to avoid doing it at all?
- Can a safer material be used? If not, would better PPE or additional training reduce the risk?
- Could different and safer machinery be used? If not, is there a way that guarding can be made more foolproof?
- What about ergonomic risk factors? Could simple changes, such as putting materials at waist height or using carts or conveyers, reduce heavy lifting, excessive reaching and twisting, or awkward positions?
- Would better lighting make the job safer?
- Am I taking risks by ignoring a safety rule or by not taking adequate precautions?
- Do I ask questions when I don’t understand?
- Do I ask for help when I need it?
Remind your workers that good job hazard analysis can be a giant step toward a safe work area and that taking the time to study risks and find ways to reduce them will benefit everyone. Also reassure workers that the purpose of a job analysis is not to evaluate job performance, but to find hazards and determine ways to reduce or eliminate them.
- The Essentials of Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) (ehssafetynews.com)
- First Rule of Safety: Knowing Your Job (safetygator.wordpress.com)
- Employee – Driven Safety: Essential to a Safer Workplace (safetygator.wordpress.com)