Do you know what jobs in your facility are hazardous?
Job hazard analyses are an effective way to identify where hazards exist in your facility and establish safe work practices. But how do you get started with a job hazard analysis (JHA)? Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll be making your processes and facility safer and more productive.
Before You Start a JHA
Before you begin the JHA for a specific job, do the following:
Get your employees involved
Safety works best when management and employees are both involved. That’s true of the JHA process as well. Remember, it’s their job, and they probably know it better than you do. This will also help you get their buy-in for this process and for safety in general. Plus, two sets of eyes (or more) are always better than one.
Review your history of injuries, illnesses, near misses and machine/tool damage
Go over your written records of injuries, illnesses, near misses and incidents that have required machine/tool replacement or repair. Then, get feedback from your employees, asking if there are things that have occurred but are not in the records. (Make it clear you’re trying to make work conditions safer, not punish anyone because something hasn’t been reported.)
Ask your employees which hazards exist in their work area
Ask your employees if they’re aware of hazards in their work area. Write them down — you can use this list later when you’re performing the JHA.
Note: If a serious hazard comes to light at this point, stop what you’re doing and correct the problem before you continue with the JHA process.
Create a list that prioritizes the jobs for which you’ll perform a JHA
It’s great if you do a JHA for every job, but you should do JHAs for the jobs with the highest risks first. Take the information you’ve already gathered and prioritize the order in which you’ll perform the JHAs.
With these steps down, you’re now ready to complete the formal JHA process, described below.
Steps of the JHA Process
Once you’ve completed the introductory steps above, it’s time to begin the formal JHA process for a given job. Here’s how to do a job hazard analysis:
Step 1: Begin the JHA for a specific job by breaking the job down into the steps or tasks performed while doing the job
Here are some ways to do this:
- Watch an employee performing the job
- Ask the employee what the various steps are — the employee may have some good insight here, but remember that the employee may leave out some steps because they’re “automatic” to him or her
- Ask other employees who have performed the job to list or review the steps
- Film the employee while he or she performs the job — this will help you identify the steps
Write these steps down anyway you want. It’s common to create a JHA form that represents each task of a given job, plus a description of the task, the hazards and potential hazard controls.
Step 2: Identify and list the hazards associated with each task (do one task first, then another, etc.)
Consider every possible thing that could go wrong. How could the worker be injured or be made ill? How could machines or equipment be damaged? Ask yourself the following questions:
- What could go wrong?
- What could cause that thing/those things to go wrong?
- What other factors could contribute to that thing/those things going wrong?
- What would happen if that thing/those things did go wrong?
- How likely is it that that thing/those things will go wrong?
Step 3: Write a hazard description (also called a hazard scenario)
Write a description of each hazard in a consistent, orderly manner that will help ensure you will later put in steps to control the hazard and create the best possible controls.
A good hazard description should include the following items:
- Environment: Where does this hazard exist?
- Exposure: Who might be injured or made ill by this hazard?
- Trigger: What event might cause the hazard to lead to an injury or illness?
- Contributing factors: Are there other factors that might contribute to cause the hazard to lead to an injury or illness?
- Outcome/consequence: What would be the result if the hazard were to occur?
Here’s a sample from our PIG Job Hazard Analysis Training course that explains the hazard description and gives an example.