Over one million Americans suffer a trip, slip, or fall in the workplace each year. Thirty percent of those employees suffer moderate to severe injuries.
Workplace safety doesn’t only apply to construction sites and warehouses.
Offices and retail environments can also have health and safety hazards. Every workplace is vulnerable to injuries, accidents, and even death. As an employer, how are you going to make your workplace a safe place?
The Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is a crucial tool in every workplace. It can effectively reduce the amount of work-related injuries. Keep reading to learn how to perform a JHA.
1. Meet with Employees
The JHA isn’t only the employer’s job. It takes the entire staff to contribute and join in. Hold a meeting with all your employees.
In this meeting, state what a JHA is. Explain that you will be observing different job duties and tasks. By observing, you can notice potential workplace hazards.
Ask for their health and safety concerns. Do they feel safe doing all the tasks of their job? Are they scared of getting injured at work?
This needs to be an honest and open conversation. Allow your employees to communicate freely. Consider creating a box for anonymous contributions to the conversation.
2. Review Workplace Incident Reports
Before you start observing, pull out all the incident reports from the past five years. You should be storing past records for review and analysis.
Study these reports to see which accidents happen most. What equipment or tools get mentioned most in these reports?
For workplace’s with big machinery or tools, it’s even more important to analyze the reports. An accident with a forklift could be the difference between life and death.
Also, review any personal injury lawsuits filed by employees or past employees. These are serious situations that affect your business. Take the extra steps to learn more about each case.
3. Start Ranking
Rank the tasks that have the most frequent accidents or most severe. This is where your employees’ input comes in handy.
How many of them have experienced “close-calls” with some of the equipment? There might not be incident reports from a certain task yet, but it could be a matter of time. If there’s a job your employees are nervous about, that needs to be a high priority.
If new equipment entered your workplace, there might be some apprehension around it. Employees will feel safer once you establish precautions.
4. Observe the Tasks
From the list of top priorities, pick your first task. Observe an employee performing this task and watch every moment.
Make a list on your clipboard of each broken-down action. Consider filming the task for further review, with the employee’s permission.
The employee reached for the lever and pulled. They had to use two hands to pull. Then they locked the machine in place.
Every action the employee took could be a potential hazard. Make these detailed lists on all the top priority workplace tasks. By the end, you should have a chart breaking down each job into specific actions.
5. Identify the Hazards
What hazard does pulling down the lever with two hands cause? It could cause back strain or a pulled muscle if the proper posture isn’t used. Or, the employee’s fingers could get stuck under the lever.
Delve into the hazards of each action. Before you know it, you’ll see how dangerous the workplace is.
Of course, the likelihood of some of these hazards occurring could be slim. That’s where the incident reports and employee concerns come in.
Your chart should include the task, actions, and potential risks. Review your findings with the employees who do each job. Ask for their input on the risks to ensure you didn’t miss anything.
6. Remove the Hazards
Now’s the most important part. How are you going to prevent accidents and remove the hazards? Some workplaces are more dangerous than others.
Warning your employees to “be careful” isn’t enough.
Consider changes to the equipment. Some machinery might need replacing or fixing. Don’t put it off any longer; show your employees that you care about their safety.
How can you change the process of doing certain tasks? Perhaps add an extra step of caution between actions. Before pulling out the forklift, pause and check all blind spots.
Add personal protective gear to certain roles. If there’s a risk of burning or vibration injury in a task, add the necessary gear.
7. Train Employees on New Procedures
Every employee needs new training on the updated procedures. It must be more than a company-wide email. You need to confirm that each employee understands the protocols.
One way to do this is by creating a health and safety training program. There are many companies that offer this service. Make sure the program gets customized to your unique workplace.
Start doing monthly quizzes on health and safety. Annual training is normal, but a monthly quiz motivates employees to remember information.
8. Review the JHA
The JHA is not a one and done project. It needs editing and revision on a regular basis.
Anytime a new piece of equipment gets installed or a new procedure, conduct a JHA. If accidents keep happening and incident reports keep getting filed, conduct a JHA.
Be open to suggestions from employees on ways to improve the workplace. They do the tasks more than the employer in most cases. Trust when they bring up a risk or hazard.
Consider making one employee a Health and Safety Officer for the department. It could be their job to stay on top of hazards and report any changes to you.
Ready to Perform Your First Job Hazard Analysis?
The JHA is a crucial tool to keep your employees safe at work. Accidents happen; some of them result in death. You must do everything you can to ensure that doesn’t happen in your workplace.
Follow the steps above to conduct a job hazard analysis. Communicate with your employees and trust their input.
Making your workplace safer isn’t the only way to improve your business. Stay up to date on the latest business tips and guides. Employees are the key to your business’s success, keep them safe.