Why Your Work Site Needs a Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

A job safety analysis (JSA) is a technique that helps supervisors,employees and safety professionals identify job hazards before they occur. If jobs at your work site pose hazards or potential safety hazards, they can benefit from a JSA. Having a JSA can prevent or reduce the risk of serious accidents in jobs that feature hazards or potential safety hazards.

Creating a JSA is a three-step process. Anyone who is involved in implementing a job or task should be involved in its creation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends the following process:

  • Break down the steps. Break a particular job into a sequence. Each step in the sequence should involve a major task. You can then break the task into a series of movements.
  • Identify potential hazards associated with each step. Look at every possible source of energy and examine the entire environment to determine every imaginable hazard.
  • Use the job steps and potential hazards to determine what workers should do to minimize hazards that can lead to accidents and injuries.

A job safety analysis is particularly important in the oil and gas industry, construction, manufacturing and other high-risk jobs. While any job that involves potential hazards can benefit from a JSA, some are higher priority. OSHA recommends that employers focus on:

  • Jobs with high injury rates
  • Jobs that could cause severe or disabling injuries even if there have been no previous accidents
  • Jobs that could cause a severe injury from just one simple human error
  • Complicated jobs, jobs that have changed and jobs that are new

A JSA is an important part of a larger safety plan that includes daily safety assessments, toolbox/tailgate meetings and other compliance measures.

The consequences of not having JSAs can be severe. If an accident occurs at your site without a JSA in place, OSHA inspectors will most likely cite you. Many times OSHA will use the general duty clause to find a violation in these circumstances. If an accident happens and you have a JSA and other measures in place, you will be in a better position to defend your organization against OSHA citations.

Our law firm defends employers of all sizes and industries against OSHA citations. Often, our work begins as soon as an accident happens, and JSAs can be an important component of your defense. If a JSA has been effectively created and implemented, we often use that information as we work to mitigate or defeat OSHA citations.