What is a Job Safety Analysis

A job safety analysis (JSA) is a procedure where observers carry out a safety evaluation of the required actions to perform a specific job with the aim of improving safety for workers. A JSA differs from a risk assessment. The JSA procedures detect hazardous aspects of the job and then the employer undertakes to remove or mitigate the risks and hazards associated with it. The JSA procedure should be performed by experienced employees and/or specialists who are trained in specific job safety analysis techniques. While JSAs may not always be easy to perform, they are an essential part of an effective health and safety program.

Synopsis of the Job Safety Analysis procedure

  1. Select or determine a job and use a standard format for JSAs.
  2. Evaluate the job by breaking it down into a sequence of steps; there should be no more than ten steps (tasks) in the process. If there are more than ten, divide the job into two separate JSA procedures. The evaluators should be required to have a good working knowledge of the job being analyzed in order to break the job into appropriate tasks.
  3. Analyze each task being performed in the correct sequence of steps. Special methods are employed to identify and evaluate the risks and hazards.
    • The 'Change Analysis' method may be used to establish causes of accidents. 'What if?' questions are asked to ascertain how various changes affect the outcome of a sequence of actions used to carry out a job. The questions are asked to determine what actions may result in injury to workers and damage to equipment etc.
    • The 'Energy Barrier' method investigates how uncontrolled forms and various sources of energy impact the outcome of a sequence of tasks that may result in injury to workers and damage to equipment etc.
  4. Determine preventive measures to reduce risks and hazards associated with the job. This can be done by:
    • Eliminating the hazard
    • Controlling or reducing the risks and hazards to employees
    • Minimizing the risks and hazards by protecting employees with PPE or machine guards etc.
  5. Communicate the preventive measures to the employees who will perform the job that has been analyzed. Train the employees in the safer techniques and seek feedback from them to determine whether new hazards have been introduced by the changes.

Consider which jobs should be the subject of a JSA

  • Prioritize jobs according to the rate and severity of the accident, injury or illness. The order should be:
    1. Jobs with a high accident, injury and illness incidence and/or severity
    2. Jobs where there is a high potential for severe injuries or illness
    3. Jobs where there are signs of (or the potential for) harmful exposure to substances
    4. Modified or new jobs
    5. Infrequently performed jobs, especially those with complex actions
  • Repeat JSAs when a job is changed or when the equipment or a work process is changed.
  • Use JSAs to train employees in the safest way to perform a job.
  • JSAs can be used for accident or incident investigation.

Preventive measures

Preventive measures to reduce risks and hazards can be carried out without doing a formal JSA. However, without using the formal methodology to analyze a job, some consequences of implementing preventive measures might not be immediately evident (e.g., they may inadvertently create new hazards). While the ideal ways to reduce risks and hazards are listed below, it is always very important to use and wear PPE. Due to the locations and nature of mineral exploration work, it is often impossible to eliminate risks and hazards.

1. Eliminate the hazard.

  • Use a different process or use different equipment for the job.
  • Modify the process or the equipment. Modifications to equipment must meet both the manufacturer's and jurisdictional standards.
  • Lock out the energy source to remove the hazard.

2. Replace the hazard with less hazardous alternatives

  • This approach is recommended when using hazardous materials.
  • Use up-to-date tools and equipment with better safety features.

3. Minimize the risks, depending on the hazard

  • Train employees in safer work practices.
  • Reduce exposure to the hazard. Examples include:
    • Improve ventilation; block out noise.
    • Use a safer transportation method (e.g., use snowmobiles in winter rather than ATVs).

4. Use administrative controls

  • Use job rotation (e.g., share core cutting duties to reduce exposure to silica dust and noise).
  • Designate that two employees should lift very heavy core boxes

5. Provide and require the use of appropriate PPE. For example:

  • Almost every job should require the use of safety glasses.
  • Respirators: Do not rely on dusk masks that are not designed for the job.
  • Appropriate gloves: Use the right type for the job.
  • Appropriate clothing: High visibility vests, coveralls for certain work
  • Fall protection, as required

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