In any type of workplace where there is the potential for injury or harm, otherwise known as a hazard, proactive determination of the hazard and how to reduce the likelihood of it happening is a positive thing.
A job hazard analysis or JHA is just this type of activity. It allows the business, safety manager, or the leadership team to look closely at the day to day activities that are done throughout the job to identify workers, specific tasks, the use of tools, and the general environment to determine where hazards might potentially occur. After this, the next step is to create procedures, safety policies, or modified environments to reduce the risk of any harm or injury to workers in the future.
The Benefits to Your Business
The most obvious benefit to a JHA for each worker is the ability to reduce the potential risk for both minor as well as serious injuries on the job. This, in turn, creates an overall safer workplace, which means fewer job-related injuries and the potential for lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance and potential liability issues. In addition, it improves the company’s safety record, which is always a plus in the hiring process.
A secondary benefit to a JHA is the ability to proactively train new employees, or retrain existing workers, to eliminate the methods, practices, and processes used in the past that were riskier or had a higher potential hazard.
Fewer injuries and more effective, safe practices on the job helps to boost productivity and prevent downtime due to worker absenteeism due to injury-related issues.
Candidates for a JHA
Not all positions in a company will require a formal JHA. In many settings, such as in the office, general safety practices may be all that is required. However, in specific types of jobs, workers and team leaders see the company’s commitment to their workplace safety when a JHA is performed.
Good candidates for a JHA are jobs where there is a history of injury. This could be working on a specific type of equipment or where chronic illness is a factor due to exposure to chemicals or processes.
Another category of jobs that should have a JHA is those where mistakes or errors, or the use of heavy equipment or dangerous materials pose a risk to workers. In these types of jobs, doing the JHA before the first injury occurs is essential to save lives and limit the risk of debilitating injuries.
Complex jobs with multiple steps or the use of multiple tools and equipment should also have a JHA. In this case, simplification of the process could lead to less of a risk of an injury if workers are tired or not completely focused on the job at hand.
Ideally, the JHA is a team effort. Employees should be encouraged to share their thoughts on the hazards of their jobs, and managers, supervisors, and team leaders should also identify areas of current problems or that have the potential for problems. Once the JHA is completed, immediately taking corrective action shows workers that you are making the necessary strides, which sends a positive message about workplace safety.
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