Job Hazard Analysis

August 27, 2021

A Job Hazard Analysis is a proactive technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before your employees are exposed to them during their daily work activities.

By definition, a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is associated with any work-related activity that, if left uncontrolled or uncorrected, may cause injury or illness to an employee.  The JHA should be one part of the larger overall safety initiative to eliminate and reduce workplace injuries.

The OSHA Job Hazard Analysis publication recommends focusing on work-related activities and locations for conducting a JHA including:

  • Jobs that have a high degree of injury or illness probability
  • Jobs with potential to cause severe or disabling injuries, even if there is no history of previous accidents
  • Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to severe accident or injury
  • New operations or operations that have recently changed
  • Complex processes or require written instructions

When performing a JHA, you are attempting to identify any potential unsafe work-related exposure with the goal being to recommend corrective actions prior to an employee being injured.

Check MMA’s sample form and development guide for assistance getting the process started.

What’s the process?
Conducting JHA and developing corrective actions are great activities for safety committees or maintenance departments.

Corrective actions may be as simple as placing warning signs to alert the employees of the hazard, or as detailed as redesigning the process to eliminate the hazard. A JHA is looking at how the employee conducts a task, what tools are involved and how the work environment affects the employee job safety.

There are four basic actions when conducting a JHA:

Action #1 Select the job(s) to be reviewed during the JHA
Action #2 Break the job down by tasks or steps
Action #3 Identify any potential hazards at each task or step
Action #4 Develop possible control measures or corrective actions to eliminate or reduce employee exposures

The process sounds easy and the recommendations may be obvious, but a formal documented approach ensures that each step is thoroughly discussed, and suggested corrective actions do not create new hazards to the employee(s).

The secret to success
The secret with JHAs is that the corrective measures must be effective and easy for employees to follow. It is recommended that your JHAs are reviewed annually to determine if the recommendations are being followed, and to see if there have been any changes to the process that may need to be addressed or additional control measures need to be evaluated and implemented.

JHAs are meant to be a collaborative effort.  As with many safety initiatives, the more “buy in” you have from the employees involved, the more effective the results. Involve your employees in the process, allow them to come up with ideas for hazard control.    

JHAs are only one part of the overall effort to create a safe and healthy workplace.  Employee involvement and communication is essential. 

For assistance with your JHAs or if you need help getting them started please reach out to your local MMA Safety Consultant or email us at: consulting.safety@marshmma.com