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OSHA Job Safety Analysis: Are Your Jobs Safe?

A job safety analysis (JSA) is a procedure which helps integrate accepted safety and health principles and practices into a particular task or job operation.  In a JSA, each basic step of the job is to identify potential hazards and to recommend the safest way to do the job.

One of the methods used in this example is to observe a worker actually perform the job.  The major advantages of this method include that it does not rely on individual memory and that the process prompts recognition of hazards.  For infrequently performed or new jobs, observation may not be practical.

One approach is to have a group of experienced workers and supervisors complete the analysis through discussion.  An advantage of this method is that more people are involved in a wider base of experience and promoting a more ready acceptance of the resulting work procedure.  Members of the joint occupational safety and health committee must participate in this process.

A JSA, or better still, a written work procedure based on it, can form the basis for regular contact between supervisors and workers.  It can serve as a teaching aid for initial job training and as a briefing guide for infrequent jobs.  It may be used as a standard for health and safety inspections or observations.  In particular, a JSA will assist in completing comprehensive accident investigations.

Four basic stages in conducting a JSA are:

  • selecting the job to be analyzed
  • breaking the job down into a sequence of steps
  • identifying potential hazards
  • determining preventive measures to overcome these hazards



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