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A breakdown of the 4 steps of a Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

Posted by admin on April 26, 2017

A  job safety analysis (JSA), is a process to identify the dangers of specific tasks within jobs in order to reduce the risk of injury to workers.  A JSA is also often referred to as a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) When you complete a JSA, you're taking important steps to protect your employees and ensure that your workplace is compliant with standard safety regulations.

The process of creating a job safety analysis report is generally broken down into four steps, which makes it easier to ensure you complete every portion of the requirements a reap the benefits a JSA offers

1. Choose a job to analyze

At some point you would ideally do a JSA for every job performed in your workplace. But the reality is that you can't take care of them all at once, so you'll need to prioritize which tasks you'll look at first. For example in the construction industry, jobs involving fall protection can really benefit from a job safety analysis due to the high rate of fatalities from falls.  To decide where to begin, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recommends considering the following factors:

  • Accident frequency and severity: The frequency - or severity - of past injuries can suggest where to begin your JSAs.  
  • Newly established jobs: Tasks that are new may present more risk because your workers are not yet accustomed to these jobs.
  • Potential for severe injuries or illnesses: Jobs that involve hazardous materials or dangerous conditions may have greater potential for accidents.
  • Infrequently performed jobs: Like new tasks, jobs that are performed infrequently may present greater risk because staff members don't know which hazards to anticipate.
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2. Break the job down into specific tasks

Once you've determined which job you want to look at, break that operation into the specific tasks that go into completing it. List the steps from start to finish. For example, operating a piece of machinery may include preparing for the job, turning on the piece of equipment, performing the task, shutting down the machine and completing any necessary clean-up.


"Identify hazards that may be present at each individual step."

3. Determine hazards present in the steps

Looking at each individual step, identify hazards that may be present at any give time. The Department of Labor emphasized that it's important to examine the entire environment to find any possible hazards. So the hazard may not necessarily be found in the task itself, but the area where the activity is performed.

When determining hazards its also important to prioritize and assess the risk of each hazard.  Most safety professionals utilize risk matrix calculations to assess and prioritize these hazards risks.  We've put together a guide on risk matrix calculations and hazard assessment.  Download our guide below:

Download our Risk Matrix Guide


4. Identify potential preventative steps to implement

After determining potential hazards, you need to identify steps you can take to prevent these potential accidents from becoming a reality. If you can't eliminate the hazard, find ways to change the job procedure or limit the risk.

Job safety analysis software can make this important process easier for everyone involved. For example, the IndustrySafe Job Safety Analysis (JSA) Module helps you to track potential hazards in the workplace, evaluate the risks and distribute JSAs for review, comments and approval. To learn more, contact IndustrySafe today.

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