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Action Over Reaction: More Info On JHA and How to Eliminate Hazards

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Mon, Dec 23, 2013 @ 01:30 PM

Hazard Control Measures

The information obtained from a job hazard analysis is not worth anything unless hazard control measures recommended in the analysis are incorporated into the tasks. Not all hazard control measures are equal; some are more effective than others. Here is the order of effectiveness of hazard controls:

1.) Engineering Controls

  • Elimination/minimization of the hazard
    • By substituting processes, materials, or equipment
    • Changing facility design, processes, or equipment
  • Enclosure of the hazard
    • Enclosed cabs, enclosures over loud equipment
  • Isolation of the hazard
    • Interlocks, machine guards, blast shields, welding curtains
  • Removal or redirection of the hazard
    • Local and exhaust ventilation
2.) Administrative Controls

  • JHA, job hazard analysis, job hazard analysis training, job hazard analysis examplesWritten operating procedures, work permits, and safe work practices
  • Exposure time limitations
    • (These are used most commonly to control temperature extremes and ergonomic hazards)
  • Monitoring use of the more hazardous materials
  • Alarms, signs, warnings
  • Buddy system
  • Training!

3.) Personal Protective Equipmentproper ppe, personal protective equipment, jha, job hazard analysis example

  • Respirators, hearing protection, protective clothing, safety glasses, and hardhats
  • The LAST line of defense in hazard control measures (not the first or only)
  • PPE is acceptable as a control measure:
    • When engineering controls are not feasible or do not completely eliminate the hazard
    • If engineering controls are still being developed
    • When safe work practices don't provide sufficient additional protection
    • During emergencies when engineering controls may not be feasible
There may be times where you must choose to use a hazard control measure over another higher in effectiveness. An example of this may be if you needed interim protection while the hazard is abated permanently. Also, some hazards cannot be eliminated entirely, and therefore the hazard control measures may be a combination or all three types of controls.

Common Hazards and Descriptions


A chemical that exposes a person by absorption through the skin, inhalation, or through the blood stream that causes illness, disease, or  death. The amount of chemical exposure is critical in determining  hazardous effects. Check Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and/or OSHA  1910.1000 for chemical hazard information. 


A chemical that, when exposed to a heat ignition source, results incombustion. Typically, the lower a chemical's flash point and boiling point, the more flammable the chemical. Check SDS for flammability information.


A chemical that, when it comes into contact with skin, metal, or other materials, damages the materials. Acids and bases are examples of  corrosives.

(Chemical Reaction) 

Self Explanatory.

(Over Pressurization)

Sudden and violent release of a large amount of gas/energy due to a significant pressure difference such as rupture in a boiler or compressed gas cylinder.

(Shock/Short Circuit) 

Contact with exposed conductors or a device that is incorrectly or inadvertently grounded, such as when a metal ladder comes into contact with power lines. 60Hz alternating current (common house current) is very dangerous because it can stop the heart.


Use of electrical power that results in electrical overheating or arcing to the point of combustion or ignition of flammables, or electrical  component damage.


The moving or rubbing of wool, nylon, other synthetic fibers, and even flowing liquids can generate static electricity. This creates an excess  or deficiency of electrons on the surface of material that discharges  (spark) to the ground resulting in the ignition of flammables or damage  to electronics or the body's nervous system.

(Loss of Power) 

Safety-critical equipment failure as a result of loss of power.


Damage of tissue due to overexertion (strains and sprains) or repetitive motion.

(Human Error)

A system design, procedure, or equipment that is error-provocative. (A switch goes up to turn something off).


Soil collapse in a trench or excavation as a result of improper orinadequate shoring. Soil type is critical in determining the hazard likelihood.

(Slip, Trip)

Conditions that result in falls (impacts) from height or traditional walking surfaces (such as slippery floors, poor housekeeping, uneven  walking surfaces, exposed ledges, etc.)


Temperatures that can cause burns to the skin or damage to other organs. Fires require a heat source, fuel, and oxygen.


Vibration that can cause damage to nerve endings, or material fatigue that results in a safety-critical failure. (Examples are abraded slings  and ropes, weakened hoses and belts.)

Mechanical Failure

Self explanatory; typically occurs when devices exceed capacity or are inadequately maintained.


Skin, muscle, or body part exposed to crushing, caught-between, cutting, tearing, shearing items or equipment.


Noise levels (>85 dBA 8 hr TWA) that result in hearing damage or inability to communicate safety-critical information.


Alpha, Beta, Gamma, neutral particles, and X-rays that cause injury (tissue damage) by ionization of cellular components.


Ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, and microwaves that cause injury to tissue by thermal or protochemical means. 

Struck By
(Mass Acceleration) 

Accelerated mass that strikes the body causing injury or death. (Examples are falling objects and projectiles.) 

Struck Against

Injury to a body part as a result of coming into contact of a surface in which action was initiated by the person. (An example is when a screwdriver slips.) 

Temperature Extreme

Temperatures that result in heat stress, exhaustion, or metabolic slow down such as hypothermia. 


Lack of lighting or obstructed vision that results in an error or other hazard. 

Weather Phenomena

Self explanatory.


'Sample' Job Hazard Analysis

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Job Hazard Analysis: 5 Steps to Avoid Fatal Missteps

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

What is a hazard?

A hazard, very simply put, is the potential for harm.

Pretty broad definition, huh? Well to put it into the perspective of an employee/employer, OSHA states it best, "a hazard often is associated with a condition or activity that, if left uncontrolled, can result in an injury or illness." Remember, identifying hazards (better yet, eliminating or controlling them) as early as possible can help prevent injuries or illnesses from happening.

One way this is done is through a 'Job Hazard Analysis' (JHA)jha, job hazard analysis, hazard assessment, job hazard analysis form

You may have heard the phrase job hazard analysis (or JHA), at your work before, or maybe you have seen/heard elsewhere. But some of you may be wondering what exactly a JHA is, what its used for, or who needs one? Well, we will discuss all of these topics but for now, lets take a moment and explain what exactly is a job hazard analysis. 

A job hazard analysis is a procedure that identifies hazards before they occur. It aims to integrate preferred safety principles into the operation of the job or task. Basically, its a risk assessment that includes the safest way to do something. Once you have identified the hazards, the idea is to take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.

Why is it important?

Honestly, because conducting a JHA is one of the best ways to determine and establish proper work procedures. Many workers in the US are injured and even killed at work and proper safety measures and procedures help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. Looking at your workplace operations, establishing proper job procedures, and ensuring that all empoyees are trained properly are ways to eliminate and prevent hazards in the workplace.

jha, job hazard analysis, hazard assessment, job hazard analysis formA job hazard analysis is likely to result in:

  • Fewer worker injuries and illnesses,
  • Safer, more effective work methods,
  • Reduced workers' compensation costs,
  • Increased worker productivity.

A JHA can also be a valuable tool for training new employees in the steps required to perform their jobs safely.

You may wonder who needs a JHA? Or who benefits from them? It could be argued, virtually any company could benefit from a JHA. It is designed to produce nothing but positive results, so virtually any company could implement one. But of course, there are companies that absolutely NEED a JHA (due to high hazards in the very nature of the work), and other specific industries that could implement one to make sure a safe environment stays that way. A job hazard analysis most benefits the following:

  • Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates
  • Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illnesses, even if there is no history of previous accidents
  • Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a sever accident or injury
  • Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures
  • Jobs complex enough to require written instructions

Getting started

Where do you begin? It can seem like a daunting task before you, but luckily OSHA has helped lay out a 5 step outline for creating a JHA.

  1. Involve your employees
  • This is very important. Employees have a unique understanding of the job, and this knowledge is invaluable for finding hazards. It will help minimize oversights, ensure a quality analysis, and increases "buy in" from employees because they share ownership in the safety and health program.
  • Review your accident history
    • Your worksite's history of accidents and occupational illnesses
    • Losses that required repair or replacement
    • Any "near misses" - events in which an accident or loss did not occur, but could have
    • These events are indicators that the existing hazard controls (if any) may not be adequate and deserve more scrutiny.
  • Conduct a preliminary job review
    • Discuss with your employees the hazards they know exist in their current work and surroundings.
    • Brainstorm with them for ideas to eliminate or control those hazards.
    • If any hazards exist that pose an immediate danger to an employee's life or health, take immediate action to protect the worker.
      • Any problems that can be corrected easily should be corrected as soon as possible. (Do not wait to complete your job hazard analysis)
  • List, rank, and set priorities for hazardous job
    • List jobs with hazards that present unacceptable risks (those most likely to occur and with the most severe consequences). These should be your first priority for analysis.
  • Outline the steps or tasks
    • Nearly every job can be broken down into job tasks or steps.
    • When beginning a JHA, watch an employee perform the job and list each step as the worker takes it. (Sometimes it helps to record video of the job task for later reference)
    • Don't get overly detailed; avoid breaking down the steps into so much detail that it becauses unecessarily long, or too broad to not include basic steps.
    • Afterwards, review the job steps with the employee to make sure that you have not omitted something.
    • Remember, you are evaluating the the job itself and not the employee's job performance.

    jha, job hazard analysis, hazard assessment, job hazard analysis formHow to identify hazards

    Your main goals in an JHA are to discover the following:

    • What can go wrong?
    • What are the consequences?
    • How could it arise?
    • What are the other contributing factors?
    • How likely is it that the hazard will occur?

    OSHA has provided us with information on what "good hazard scenarios describe":
    • Where it is happening (environment)
    • Who or what it is happening to (exposure)
    • What precipitates the hazard (trigger)
    • The outcome that would occur should it happen (consequence)
    • Any other contributing factors

    Rarely is a hazard a simple case of one cause to one effect. More often, it consists of many factors lining up a certain way to create the hazard.

    After you have reviewed your list of hazards, you must consider what methods will reduce (control) or eliminate them. Engineering controls that physically change a machine or work environment to prevent exposure to the hazard are the most effective. If this is not feasible, administrative controls (such as changing the way employees do their jobs) may be suitable.

    Make sure to periodically review your JHA, to keep it current and help reduce accidents. In the event that a "close-call" or even an injury/incident occurs, be sure to review the JHA and discuss with your employees to ensure that all are aware of the methods, procedures, and protective measures.


    Be sure to keep an eye for the next article, where we will discuss the second part of this topic and include detailed information on 'common hazards', 'hazard control measures', and a sample JHA!

    In the meantime, remember if you have any JHA-related questions or are interested in more information on implementing a JHA for your company, contact STS's consulting professionals for assistance today!

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