Job Hazard Analysis

Job-related injuries occur every day in the workplace. Often these injuries occur because employees have not been trained, or over time, have gotten lax in following safe job procedures. One way to prevent workplace injuries is to establish proper job procedures and train all employees in safer and more efficient work methods.
Establishing proper job procedures is one of the benefits of conducting a job hazard analysis.
  • Carefully studying and recording each step of a job.
  • Identifying existing or potential job hazards (both safety and health).
  • Determining the best way to perform the job to reduce or eliminate these hazards.
Improved job methods can reduce costs resulting from employee absenteeism and workers' compensation, and can lead to increased productivity.
The job procedures are for illustration only and do not necessarily include all steps, hazards or protections for similar jobs in industry. In addition, standards issued by OSHA should be referred to as part of your overall job hazard analysis. There are OSHA standards that apply to most job operations, and compliance with these standards is mandatory.
Although this section is designed for use by managers and supervisors, employees also are encouraged to use the information contained here to analyze their own jobs, be aware of workplace hazards, and report any hazardous conditions to their supervisors.

What is a Job Hazard Analysis?

The hazard of a job creates the potential for harm. In practical terms, a hazard often is associated with a condition or activity that, if left uncontrolled, can result in an injury or illness. Identifying job hazards and eliminating or controlling them as early as possible will help prevent injuries and illnesses.
A job hazard analysis is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you will take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.

Job Hazard Analysis is a Valuable Safety Tool

Every day, workers are injured or killed in U.S. workplaces. You can help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses by looking at your workplace operations, establishing proper job procedures, and ensuring that all employees are trained properly. One of the best ways to determine and establish proper work procedures is to conduct a job hazard analysis. A job hazard analysis is one component of the larger commitment of a safety and health management system.

Value Seen through Results

Employers can use the findings of a job hazard analysis to eliminate and prevent hazards in their workplaces. This is likely to result in:
  • Fewer worker injuries and illnesses;
  • Safer, more effective work methods;
  • Reduced workers' compensation costs; and
  • Increased worker productivity.
The analysis also can be a valuable tool for training new employees in the steps required to perform their jobs safely. For a job hazard analysis to be effective, management must demonstrate its commitment to safety and health and follow through to correct any uncontrolled hazards identified. Otherwise, management will lose credibility and employees may hesitate to report dangerous conditions that threaten their safety.

Selecting Jobs for Analysis

A job hazard analysis can be performed for all jobs in the workplace, whether the job is "special" (non-routine) or routine. Even one-step jobs, such as those in which only a button is pressed, can and perhaps should be analyzed by evaluating surrounding work conditions.
To determine which jobs should be analyzed first, review your job injury and illness reports. Obviously, a job hazard analysis should be conducted first for jobs with the highest rates of accidents and disabling injuries. Priority should go to the following types of jobs:
  1. Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates;
  2. Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness, even if there is no history of previous accidents;
  3. Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury;
  4. Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures; and
  5. Jobs complex enough to require written instructions.
Also, jobs where "close calls" have occurred should be given priority. Analyses of new jobs and jobs where changes have been made in processes and procedures should follow. Eventually, a job hazard analysis should be conducted and made available to employees for all jobs in the workplace.

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