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Workplace Safety Improved By Job Site Analysis

We all take safety for granted at times. We get comfortable with the work we're doing and we don't really look for potential problems. In fact many workers believe their safety is the responsibility of supervisors. Those supervisors do have a responsibility to provide training and the implementation of safety procedures to keep workers safe, but they're not able to watch all employees in every situation 24 hours a day. So, the responsibility for your own safety really falls on your shoulders. What can you do to improve your own safety?

A JOB SITE ANALYSIS

One of the first things you can do to help keep your job site safe is to identify hazards. OSHA defines a hazard as a condition, or a set of circumstances, that present a potential for harm. A hazard is often associated with a condition or activity that will cause illness (health hazard) or physical harm or injury (safety hazards).

Hazards are the main cause of occupational health and safety problems. The single most effective way to assess safety management on your job site or facility is to perform a Job Site Analysis, or JSA.  A JSA focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. It allows workers to identify hazards before they occur. Once a hazard is identified it's much easier to determine how to control it or eliminate it completely.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR DURING A JOB SITE ANALYSIS

First, you want to identify the types of jobs or activities that you or your co-workers perform that could be considered higher risk. Some considerations include:

-Jobs with the highest injury rates

-Jobs with the potential to cause the most severe or disabling injuries

-Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury

-Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in process and procedure

-Jobs complex enough to require written work instructions

Once you’ve identified potentially risky jobs or activities, apply each of the questions below and document your answers:

-What are the consequences?

-How could it arise?

-What are other contributing factors?

-How likely is it that the hazard will occur?

What's Next?

You should now have a comprehensive list of hazards, or potential hazards, specific to the jobs and actions performed at your job site or facility. Your next step is to meet with your co-workers and put an action plan together that will help control or eliminate hazards.

-Get Everyone Involved: The more people get involved the better your analysis will be. Get co-workers to share in the ownership of your safety.

-Review Accident History: Analyze the reports and determine the frequency of accidents that needed treatment. Make sure you include reports of near misses as well. This will help to determine if your existing systems are effective or not.

-Conduct a Preliminary Job Review: Find out what hazards exist that your employees already know about. Brainstorm ways to control or eliminate those hazards and determine if you can take immediate action to protect your employees.

-Rank and Prioritize Hazardous Jobs and Activities: Determine which hazards present unacceptable risks based on those most likely to occur and those that would have the most severe consequences. Develop an action plan to control or eliminate these hazards.

-Break Down Each Job into Tasks or Steps: Watch and record each step an employee takes when performing a job or activity—recording video or taking pictures of each step would be even better! Next, talk with other workers who may have performed the job in the past to get their feedback. Finally, review the steps with the employee to make sure that nothing was left out and consider what methods can be used to control or eliminate any hazards.