JHA (Job Hazard Analysis) – 5 Things You Should Know

Overall Review of JHA (Job Hazard Analysis)

JHACompleting a job hazard analysis, or JHA, is one of the most important things you can do to help improve the overall safety of your facility. The JHA will help identify potential risks associated with each job, which will put you in a good position for finding ways to mitigate or even eliminate the hazards.

In order to get the best results, however, you need to make sure you know how to properly complete the JHA so you can get accurate results. Once the analysis is completed, you can then begin working on finding solutions to potential problems.

The following five points are essential for a good JHA. Each concept will give you a good idea on how the analysis should be done, so you can complete it successfully. Of course, you will also want to customize the JHA to our facility so it will yield custom results.

5 Things that are Important to Understand about JHA (Job Hazard Analysis)

1. Create a Detailed List of Steps

One of the biggest mistakes that are made when creating a JHA is that people will look at a specific job as one large activity. This can cause you do overlook some of the things that are done each day, which really need to be analyzed.

To do this, work with the people who actually do the job each day and create a very detailed list of steps that must be followed. Every movement or action that is taken by the people working, or the machines they are working with, should be documented as part of the preparation for a JHA.

Once this list is created, it will be possible to analyze each step very carefully to see what types of hazards exist within the job. It will also position the facility well to make changes or improvements that can reduce the risks associated with that job.

2. Keeping the Job Updated

There are many times when the steps that are required to complete a job are changed. When this occurs, you must update the documentation for the JHA in order to ensure everyone is on the same page. This is often overlooked, which can lead to unsafe working conditions.

Once the JHA documentation is completed, it is likely going to be a good time to review the steps again to ensure there aren’t any new risks that are present. It may even be smart to attempt to analyze the new job steps before they are implemented, to the extent possible.

This can help you to identify risks before they are put in place, and adjust the processes ahead of time. Once done and the changes are implemented, you can go through again and make sure that everything is working as expected.

3. Write it Down

JHA Write DownWhen performing a job hazard analysis, many people don’t carry with them anything to take notes. Instead, they think they can just rely on memory to complete the analysis. The fact is, failing to write things down and take notes will cause two primary problems:

  • First, if you don’t take notes of any type you will be much more likely to forget things. Even if you have an excellent memory, it only takes one small thing to slip through the cracks to expose people to significant danger.
  • Second, taking notes is an important part of the process because it will allow you to store them away to be reviewed in the future. This is also important in the event that a new safety manager takes over, and they will want to be able to review notes from previous JHAs.

You don’t need to take a pen and paper with you to write everything down, however. You can use a tablet computer, if you prefer. Some people even just use tablets or other devices to record verbal notes. With the right software, these notes can automatically be transcribed into text if necessary.

The important thing here is that you are taking good, accurate notes that are easy to understand. This will help you to ensure you have the right data for any changes that will need to be made.

4. Use Visual Documentation

In addition to writing things down while doing a JHA, consider making visual documentation as well. If you’re using a tablet computer to take notes, you can also use the built in camera to take pictures of potential problems. You can even take a video that will accurately show exactly what the risk will be.

If, for example, you notice that the floor marking tape (similar to this) in the area is peeled up or otherwise damaged, you can take a picture of it for documentation. You can then use this picture to show the maintenance crew exactly where they need to be replacing the floor marking tape.

This same strategy can be used for things like safety signs (which can be purchased here), light bulbs, loose handles and much more. Having the ability to quickly snap a picture or video during a JHA can make the process go much more quickly and also help to get problems addressed faster.

5. Act on Findings

JHA Changing Light BulbsA job hazard analysis does no good if you don’t quickly act on the results. If you find something to be hazardous, you need to have it fixed right away. Sometimes it is simple. If you notice a safety sign is damaged and unreadable, you can have someone use the industrial label printer to make a new one.

Other times, however, it may take some extra work to figure out a way to minimize a specific hazard. It is important that you invest the time and other resources to get these hazards addressed. If you’re not making the necessary changes, you’re essentially just wasting time.

When done properly, a JHA can really help to quickly identify risks within a specific job so that you can improve safety. This is often much more beneficial than trying to find hazards within the entire facility. It is a more focused approach that can typically give you excellent results that will help benefit the facility for years to come. 

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