Some call it a JHA; others call it a JSA. It is a Job Hazard Analysis or Job Safety Analysis, respectively. Often maligned and dismissed by some, this simple tool can be integral to your success at keeping employees safe on the job.
What is it?
In its basic format, JHA/JSA lists the attributes of a task: 1) What the task is; 2) Hazard: what can hurt us; 3) Controls: what we do to prevent injury or exposure to the hazard. This is a tool that is used to train new operators and remind experienced operators of the best practices that have been learned over time.
It is simple and it is easy. It is also never fully complete. But that is okay. In some ways the fact that a JHA is never really finished is actually a strength in itself.
Important OSHA rules that a JHA can help you comply with:
1)hazard communication standard
2)PPE hazard assessment
3)periodic safety inspections where behaviors and conditions are observed
5)fulfilling the general duty requirement of taking the necessary steps to furnish employment that is safe.
If you are not using JHAs, you may need to implement other techniques to assure safety compliance. In my opinion, the JHA helps you cover so many different elements, it has always seemed like a natural first choice for achieving compliance and excellence.
Advantages of the JHA
1)Workers, supervisors and managers alike can help update JHAs when they review them periodically.
2)SOPs must always be up-to date. JHAs seldom are. For this reason, a JHA can be updated more often without the need to be comprehensive.
3)A JHA can help identify different approaches and help your organization identify the best practices and standardize as a team.
4)The JHA can easily reference current standard operating procedures.
5)The JHA can be an integral part of continuous improvement at your company.
6)The JHA can be a great tool for training new employees and a great way to maintain concepts learned by experience.
I remember one time during an OSHA inspection when one of the inspectors asked a machine operator about the safety rules for his machine. The operator instantly pulled out a Job Hazard Analysis and began walking him through the basic safety elements. I was so proud of all our efforts to keep using the simple but mighty JHA!