A hazard is the potential for harm often associated with a condition or activity that, if left uncontrolled, can result in an injury or illness. Conversely, identifying hazards and eliminating or controlling them as early as possible will help prevent injuries and illnesses.
A Job Safety Analysis determines what the employee needs to know in order to perform the job safely. This focuses on the job tasks to be performed in order to identify hazards before they occur. The job safety analysis recognizes the relationship between worker, task, tools, and work environment.
Job Safety Analysis is a procedure that:
- Studies and records each step of a job
- Identifies existing or potential hazards
- Determines the best way of reducing or eliminating the risks of performing the job
After identifying uncontrolled hazards, steps need to be taken to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.
Information obtained from the Job Safety Analysis can be used to develop the training program for that operation and to investigate accidents where the employee’s performance may have been deficient.
The Job Safety Analysis can be developed by examining engineering data on new equipment, the safety data sheets on unfamiliar substances, specific Federal or State OSHA standards applicable to the process, and the company’s accident and injury records.
Another method for developing a Job Safety Analysis is requesting employees to write a description of their jobs in their own words. These descriptions should include the tasks performed and the tools, materials and equipment used.
Observing employees as they perform tasks, asking about the work, and recording their answers can also provide valuable insights to be included in the Job Safety Analysis.
Hazards can also be identified by asking employees if anything about their jobs frightens them, if they have had any near-miss incidents, if they feel they are taking risks, or if they believe that their jobs involve hazardous operations or substances.