Monthly Archives: April 2016

Job Hazard Analysis

As an employer, you have duty to provide for a safe and healthy workplace. However, an uncontrolled hazard may cause injury and/or illness.  A Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) – sometimes called a JSA (Job Safety Analysis) – is of critical importance in identifying occupational safety and health hazards in the workplace and then implementing hazard controls. The JHA process should be documented. Typically, an assessment form is used. The results of JHA’s are used to develop job and task-specific guidance and training, identify safety measures to be taken, identify the need for PPE (personal protective equipment), and also equipment-specific safety protocols that can be coupled with your LO/TO (lock-out/tag-out) program.

Sample JHA Steps:

1) Conduct a baseline assessment;

2) identify potential hazards and affected population;

3) identify likelihood and potential severity of risks and rank accordingly;

4) address highest risks and exposures first;

5) develop and initiate controls;

6) conduct periodic surveys to assess effectiveness of controls and identify new hazards;

7) update data and analysis process as conditions and findings dictate.

In brief, a JHA should identify the task(s)/procedure(s) involved); hazard type; hazard description; potential consequence(s); hazard controls; effectiveness of controls and the like. Rank hazards based on potential, severity and size of at-risk population. Use the information gathered during your JHA surveys to help you devise effective hazard controls. The preferred control method is to remove hazard. If hazard remains and is not an acceptable risk, follow these steps in order:

1) substitute with a lower hazard process;

2) use administrative and engineered controls to prevent exposure;

3) use engineering and PPE to limit potential for harm to the employee.

OSHA expects you to have implemented a JHA program in the workplace and to keep assessments current. An effective JHA program can help to reduce workplace injury and illness. Besides having great utility value, it is also best practice. Ask us how we can assist you with job hazard analysis.

Be Prepared

Your work location should include access to basic medical assistance. If the worksite is remote, then OSHA generally requires on-site medical professional(s). Refer to OSHA particulars for your business and work locations. For most of us however, we work in in or near populated areas with ready access to emergency medical assistance. Provisions by the employer typically include the selection of a preferred medical provider for assessing and treating occupational injuries and illnesses. On site first aid supplies are a must and the resource should be maintained and ready. Having site employees trained in basic first aid and CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) is a beneficial. Also, the installation of workplace AEDs (automatic electronic defibrillators) to treat certain kinds of heart attacks is becoming more common. These devices are user friend and foolproof. Assess your work environment and determine what sorts of workplace safety assets you should have in place.

Driver Safety and Vehicle Operation

Many businesses operate commercial and/or non-commercial vehicles for business. Some employers rely on employees to operate personal vehicles for company business (such as sales staff, and others). What sort of driver and vehicle requirements do you have in place and do they adequately protect your company from risk? From driver screening and training, to vehicle inspections and service, to accident preparedness and investigation, to vehicle operator rules and more, there are broad and far-reaching aspects that can affect the performance of your workplace safety program and operational exposures. Ask us how we can assist you by auditing your current practices and to help you implement proven means to improve operational safety and efficiency.

Communication is Key

EHS Management system success depends on effective communication. As we have discussed in prior posts, how you convey information is an important factor in how information is received and utilized. A recent headline made this issue all the more important.  AMTRAK personnel recently died because they were stationed on a live track to make repairs. How they got there remains to be identified. Meanwhile, the lesson is that where and when you are can become a lifer or death decision. Ensure that your organization has appropriate checks and balances when it comes to communication. Because carrying out orders really does matter, especially where the outcome can be disaster.   We previously discussed  how poor decisions at NASA – usually driven by administrative goals rather than engineering and/or safety goals – have killed 17 astronauts to date. That is a world record no one would like to claim as their own.

Your organization should have precise methods to impart instructions to employees and also have in place a formal disciplinary program to deal with personnel who shortcut safety and/or environmental compliance. Of course, it matters greatly just what the organization’s mindset is on occupational health and safety as well as meeting environmental regulations. Routinely take a close and hard look at your management systems, your goals and objectives, and trajectory – and see how that matches intended performance.

So in conclusion, better to identify if you have a train wreck in the making and identify and sort out problematic organizational issues before disaster strikes.

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