What Is a JSA and Why Is It Important?

Are you struggling with integrating safety into daily work routines?  Are you looking for ways to incorporate safety and health principles into key performance indicators?  If so, or you need a way to improve safety accountability in your work environment, then Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is your answer. 

JSAs are a proven process for effectively improving workplace safety and production efficiency.

A Job Safety Analysis, also referred to as Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), is defined by OSHA as a process that examines individual job tasks by breaking the job apart into specific tasks with an eye towards hazards and controls.  The evaluation process observes the connections between the worker, task, tools, and environment.  After identifying the hazards, the user can take the appropriate steps to prevent injuries by controlling those hazards.  The JSA offers an excellent method for clearly outlining safe and efficient work processes while developing effective expectations.

Completing a JSA is simple, but it is important to “know the job.”  The more clearly a worker understands the job, the more useful the JSA will be.  Here are six steps to consider when completing a JSA:

  1. Select the job to be analyzed. It is best to prioritize the jobs based upon operational relevancy and hazard level.
  2. Break down the job into a sequence of steps. Consider recording video or taking pictures of the process.  This can be useful for training.
  3. Document each job task in the process, beginning each step with an action verb.
  4. With each step in the process, ask the 5 Ws: “Who, What, Where, When, Why.”
  5. Discuss all steps with the worker(s) performing the job task. The best way to develop the JSA is by actually observing the worker(s) performing the task as they would ordinarily be instructed.
  6. Collaborate with the worker(s) to review the job steps and confirm if the steps continue to be the safest and most effective methods. Reviewing the JSA with the worker helps to uncover useful details regarding how the task is performed, but also why it is done in a certain manner.  This process also helps to grow employee satisfaction, loyalty, and validation.

JSAs not only help prevent injuries through safe/efficient work practices, they offer many other benefits including:

  1. Better defines job descriptions and identifies physical tasks required.
  2. Improves new hire orientation, job performance and safety training priorities.
  3. Enhances safety performance and employee morale.
  4. Improves OSHA compliance.
  5. May increase productivity and efficiency.

Better processes make a safer workplaces, and that means improved production, better morale, and higher profits.  For more information, MEMIC customers can click here to enroll in our April 27, 2017 webinar entitled, “JSAs: What are they and why are they important?”