What is job hazard analysis?
Job hazard analysis is a safety procedure involving the close and careful review of risks on the jobsite.
The purpose of job hazard analysis is to proactively identify potential risks and correct them before they lead to accidents.
Why is job hazard analysis important?
Construction is the deadliest industry for workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Frequent analysis reduces the chance of injury onsite and encourages field crews to keep safety top of mind.
What are the most common hazards in construction?
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) identifies the four most common causes for injury in construction:
Other frequent injuries include slips, trips, burns, strain from heavy lifting, hearing loss, and respiratory damage.
The purpose of proactive risk analysis
Some accidents are unavoidable and can’t be predicted or prevented. Contractors work with heavy and dangerous equipment, often in small spaces or at great heights.
However, careful observation of safety protocols significantly reduces risks. Contractors should make job hazard analysis a regular practice to reinforce guidelines and ensure their teams are working as safely as possible.
Job hazard examples
These and other job hazards can be identified through regular jobsite inspections:
Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE)
Improperly worn PPE
Improper use of tools and equipment
Improper storage of tools and equipment
Mishandling of dangerous chemicals or materials
The 5 steps of job hazard analysis:
OSHA recommends construction companies prioritize job hazard analysis when performing tasks with high injury rates.
To conduct a thorough job hazard analysis, follow these steps.
1. Review work history.
Have you completed similar work in the past? Review any historical data related to similar projects.
Make note of previous safety concerns or accidents and their causes.
2. Outline the tasks.
Define the steps it will take to complete the job in detail.
3. Determine the risks.
Review your list of tasks and think critically about the associated risks of each one. Identify potential environmental factors, construction errors, or safety violations that could severely impact safety.
For example, if your team is working on scaffolding in an area affected by winter weather, ice is a possible risk. Or, your team may be installing electrical wiring. In this case, not wearing the right safety equipment puts them at risk for electrocution.
4. Identify safety procedures.
Referencing your list of risks, identify strategies for mitigating them. This can include a description of the PPE workers should be using, a set of guidelines for proper use of equipment, or instructions for inspecting the worksite before work begins.
5. Monitor progress.
Inspect the jobsite as tasks are completed. Ensure field crews are following the outlined safety procedures and initiate corrections when a violation occurs.
Be sure to document your job hazard analysis for future reference.