One of the cornerstones of a successful safety and health program is the inclusion of a process called job hazard analysis (JHA) or job safety analysis (JSA). These are fancy terms for figuring out the potential risks associated with a particular job and devising ways to control or eliminate them before an injury or accident occurs. The JHA technique focuses on the individual tasks associated with a job or specific mission and the identification of controls for the anticipated hazards in each job step. JHA is like performing occupational detective work where you solve the mystery before something goes wrong. This is done by proactively examining what can go wrong, how it can happen, what will be the result if it happens, how likely is it to occur, and how it can be prevented.
OUTLINE THE STEPS OR TASKS
Most work activities can be broken down into job tasks or steps. Watch the job process and list each step as the worker takes it. Take enough time to get the feel for the work and that you are seeing representative actions.
After you have recorded the job steps, examine each step to determine the hazards that exist or that might occur.
RECOMMENDING SAFE PROCEDURES AND PROTECTION
After you have listed each hazard or potential hazard, review them with the employee performing the job. Determine whether the job could be performed in another way to eliminate the hazards. For example, make physical changes to the environment, alter the procedure, or use additional or different safety equipment to control the hazards.
REVISING THE JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS
A job hazard analysis can do much toward preventing injuries in the workplace, but it is only effective if it is reviewed and updated periodically. This is true in the lab as well as the field. In field situations, it is never a bad idea to do an after action review to improve the process and take note and incorporate any lessons learned.