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Job Hazard Analysis Review May Start the Accident Investigation

Site Safety

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is a way to help workers focus on accident prevention by writing down the steps, possible hazards, and controls for any specific job. A job hazard analysis can help workers and their supervisors find hazards before they turn into accidents.

When incidents occur, one of the first questions that will be asked, or should be asked, by the manager, the incident investigator, the OSHA representative (or whoever is asking questions...) is Can I see the JHA? By using this as a starting point for any incident investigation, it can be known if the workers were aware of the specific hazard, had planned how to prevent incidents from occurring on the job site, or if the crew even knew what a job hazard analysis is and why it's important.

A Job Hazard Analysis is sometimes called by different names, depending on the company culture or industry, including:

  • Pre-Task Hazard Analysis
  • Job Task Analysis
  • Pre-Job Plans
  • Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
  • Pre-Task Planning
  • Safety Task Analysis

A job hazard analysis is an exercise in detective work. The goal is to discover the following:

  • What can go wrong?
  • How can injuries happen?
  • What would cause an accident to happen?
  • How likely is it that the hazard will occur?
OSHA Standard Section 5(a)(1) Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.

A specific work task can be separated into a series of simple steps. For each step, hazards should be identified.

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As steps required to complete a job or task are identified, it is important to think about the types of hazards. Consider these common types of hazards and be sure they are included in the JHA:

  • Struck against or Struck By
  • Contact With or Contact By
  • Caught In, Caught On, or Caught Between
  • Fall to Same Level or Fall to Below
  • Overexertion or Exposure
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More examples of tasks or hazards that lead to accidents include:

  • Working at heights
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Exposed moving machinery parts
  • Fires or explosions
  • Noise
  • Electricity
  • Toxic Emissions
  • Corrosive chemicals
  • Low oxygen
  • Repetitive tasks
  • Heavy lifting
  • Overhead work
  • Rigging activities
  • Use of heavy equipment
  • Working with powder actuated tools

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