JSA – Job Safety Analysis Explained

Keeping everyone in a facility safe is extremely important for all workplaces. In many cases, the responsibility of workplace safety falls on one person, or a group of people. This is a great way of allowing the individual or group to focus specifically on safety improvement, rather than just having that as a secondary responsibility of other people such as area managers. One of the most important, and useful tools that a safety manager has is the job safety analysis, or JSA.

What is a Job Safety Analysis?

JSA-ToolA job safety analysis is a common risk assessment tool that is used to identify and measure workplace hazards. The goal of a JSA is to help prevent injury to employees, or anyone in the area where a specific job is done. It is also an important way to reduce the risk of damage to machines, inventory or other items in the vicinity of where a specific job takes place.

Specifically, JSAs should always analyze the workplace of the job, as well as the areas directly above, below and to the sides of it. This helps to identify risks that are often overlooked in more casual safety inspections.

When should a Job Safety Analysis be done?

Job safety analysis’ can be done at just about any time. There are, however, a few different times that most commonly trigger this activity.  They include:

  • When a New Job is created – When a new job is just starting, or even just being developed, a job safety analysis can help to ensure it is set up for success and safety from the very beginning. Identifying risks associated with a new job can help to prevent injuries or other problems before they occur.
  • After an Injury or Accident – If an accident of any type has occurred, it is a good idea to run a job safety analysis to see what happened, and whether something can be done to minimize the risk of it happening again.
  • During & After Changes – If there is a change being made to a job, it is a good idea to run a JSA to identify any new risks associated with that job. If changes are made to any area around a specific job, however, it can also be wise to run a JSA. If, for example, a new storage area is built near an area where a job is normally done, running a JSA might catch something like a steam release being vented toward a new work area that was created by the change.
  • Randomly – While not technically a trigger, random JSAs are a good idea, and can help prevent accidents and injuries by making sure all jobs are running as they should.


Hazards to Identify

JSA-GroupsWhen running a JSA, it is important to try to identify all the different hazards and potential hazards that exist for a specific job. Workplace hazards are normally divided into three categories, which are:

  • Types
  • Groups
  • Families

They are then further broken down into sub-groups. Sub-groups for types are ‘hazards to safety’ and ‘hazards to health.’ Workplace Groups hazards are broken down into, ‘physical object hazard,’ ‘hazardous work type’ and ‘duty of care breaches’. Finally, the hazard families are a much broader term. There are many different families, but the following area a few common ones. Physical, electrical, hydraulic, biological, thermal, psychological, and developing.

What to do with the Results

Each of these things can be used to identify specific risks associated with a given job. When the JSA is done properly, it will result in the safety manager having a list of any risk of the job. They will then have to go through them with the people who do the job, and figure out where improvements can be made. Unfortunately, it is impossible to eliminate every single risk of every single job. The JSA, however, can identify the risks and eliminate them when possible, and when not possible, it can minimize the impact that they can cause.

Additional Resources