Safety First With a Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
A job may have been done “this way” for 30 years, but that doesn’t mean it’s been done safely. Creating a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) for every job your employees perform can help you identify and rectify injury-causing hazards. It doesn’t have to be complicated; there are just three steps to creating a JSA.
As an example, let’s create a JSA for the simple task of changing a light bulb.
List in sequence the activities of a certain job. Observe your employees doing their jobs. What do you see?
• Retrieve the ladder from storage.
• Place the ladder under the fixture that needs a new bulb.
• Go up on the ladder and replace the bulb.
• Replace the ladder into storage.
Identify any hazards or potential accidents possible at each activity. Ask your employees what they think are hazards in their jobs, but keep in mind they may not notice them because of their routine.
• An employee could suffer a back strain from reaching for a ladder that’s placed too high on a wall.
• A ladder placed on an uneven surface could tip, causing the employee to fall.
• A broken rung could cause the ladder to fail.
• Replacing the bulb could lead to an electrical shock if the power is still on.
• The employee’s hand could be burned if the bulb just went out and is still hot.
Recommend a safer way to complete the activity to minimize each hazard. There are three kinds of controls we have to minimize a hazard: engineering, administrative, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
• Choosing a fiber glass ladder that does not conduct electricity instead of an aluminum one to help prevent electrical shock is an engineering control.
• A policy in place to store the ladder at a height where workers don’t have to reach above their shoulders is an administrative control.
• A procedure for correctly inspecting and setting up the ladder is an administrative control.
• A policy in place to make sure the power is off to the fixture is an administrative control.
• A policy in place to ensure the ladder is not wet and therefore is not a conductor of electricity is an administrative control.
• Wearing gloves to help eliminate hand burns is an example of using a PPE.
Using these three steps, you can create a JSA for any job, be it simple or complex.
Loss Control Representative