Are you looking for a tool that will help involve your employees in the safety process? Job Safety Analysis (JSA) may be exactly what you are looking for.
JSA is a process that provides a proactive approach to identifying, eliminating, and reducing workplace hazards. JSA also provides a valuable tool for analyzing the relationship between the worker, his or her tasks, tools, and the work environment. Even more importantly, the JSA process engages employees at all levels to work to gether toward the goal of creating an injury-free workplace. Let’s begin to explore the JSA process.
Select the Job
The first step in the JSA process involves selecting the job to be analyzed. It’s helpful to focus efforts on those jobs that have contributed to multiple injuries or near misses. Once these jobs have been analyzed, begin focusing efforts on those activities employees feel have the greatest risk or potential for severe injuries. This can be accomplished through engaging employees during safety meetings, informal discussions, or by conducting surveys.
Assemble the Team
Once a job has been selected, it’s time to select the team of employees who will analyze the job. This team should have representation from both management and operations. Employees who perform the job being analyzed must be involved. They are the experts. One person will need to take on the role of team leader. The team leader should have training in the process to ensure success. The remaining participants should have basic knowledge of the JSA process.
After the team has been assembled, it’s time to observe the job being done in the workplace. It’s important that those employees being observed are aware of the purpose of the observation. The purpose is to observe the job, not the person performing it. The job should be observed during normal work conditions such as the time of day, number of employees typically assigned, etc. Videotaping the job is highly recommended. This allows the team to view the job multiple times providing a greater depth of analysis.
Break into Steps
Once the job has been observed, the team needs to break the job into steps. The JSA should be limited to no more than 15 steps. If there are more than 15 steps, consider breaking the job into several separate tasks. After completing the sequence of job steps, they can be entered into the “Job Step” section of the JSA form.
After the job steps have been identified, the hazards associated with each step need to be identified. The team should analyze each step asking the following question: “Can this step increase exposure leading to an injury or accident?” Common types of hazards may include falls, being struck by an object, contact with electrical equipment, becoming caught in machinery, overexertion, chemical exposure, engulfment, etc. Once the hazards of the step have been identified, they can be entered in the “Hazards” column on the JSA form.
Controls/Safe Work Practices
Now that the hazards have been identified, the team needs to work to eliminate, reduce, or control the hazards. For those instances where the hazard cannot be eliminated completely, safe work practices can be developed. For example, if an employee were entering a confined space, the safe work practice may be: “Fill out confined space entry permit to include atmospheric monitoring and lockout/ tagout prior to entry.” Once the safe work practice has been developed, enter it into the “Safe Work Practice” section of the JSA form.
Once the JSA is completed, it is important that a program be implemented to promote its use on a consistent basis. JSA documents can be reviewed during safety training, daily pre-shift safety meetings, or any instance where safety should be reinforced. JSAs need to be reviewed with employees on a regular basis to promote safety and to ensure that the document remains accurate.
Job Safety Analysis is a powerful tool for identifying, eliminating, and reducing hazards in the workplace. Even more importantly, it allows employees to work together to identify and address exposure in the workplace. JSA is a useful tool for increasing employee involvement in the safety process.
Written by: Joe Mlynek CSP, OHST – Progressive Safety Services LLC