Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)

These documents are offered to ASCC members for their use in developing task-specific Job Hazard Analysis. This will assist you with the step-by-step process of identifying and eliminating the hazards associated with the project-specific tasks your workers perform. 

Pre-Planning Your JHA

Pre-planning a task is the first step towards doing that task safely.  Planning the task (writing a JHA) should involve your project team.  This might include superintendents, foremen, project managers, safety managers, competent people and laborers.  Most importantly, you need to involve the people who are competent, experienced, and able to recognize the hazards associated with the task, as well as recognizing the appropriate solutions to remove the hazards and protect the workers.

When necessary, the pre-planning process should take place at the job site.  Once safety hazards and danger zones are identified you can develop your Job Hazard Analysis.  First, list step-by-step the components of the work that you must perform to complete the task.  In the next column, list the hazard associated with each step.  Finally, in the third column describe how you will eliminate or control each hazard.  Once the written JHA is completed, reviewed, and approved, the foreman should review it with the crew.  It's important to revise the JHA whenever conditions change, including, but not limited to crew, operational, or weather changes.  To ensure that controls and safe practices are implemented, Supervisors and/or Foremen should observe the working methods and practices of their crew during the JHA operation.  Recommendations for improvement should be communicated to the crew to maintain the highest level of safety.

How Do I Use a JHA?

The Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is a tool many contractors use regularly.  What is a JHA?  It is simply an analysis of a job task for anticipated hazards and identification of controls to help prevent an incident that may cause injury, illness, property damage or work interruption.

The JHA is a valuable tool for education and training, accountability, project documentation, and even process improvement.  In July, 2018 we polled the ASCC Safety and Risk Management Council on the most frequent ways they see the JHA used.  Here is the Council’s consensus:

New Hire Orientation - This is done to ensure people don’t “fall through the cracks”. Too often when you have a field new hire, everyone focuses on the orientation. When you incorporate the JHA review as part of the process, it gives time to ensure the new hire is first and foremost trained for the tasks they will be performing, as well as providing another opportunity for the foreman or superintendent to “vet” skill level and identify any training a new hire may be lacking, i.e. fall protection awareness, forklift, scissor lift, etc.

Task / Process Pre-Planning – Often contractors have to submit project specific JHAs to the GC prior to mobilizing. JHAs are included as part of Site Specific Safety Plans to help communicate the hazards of the scope of work to the customer and other trades. The JHA has been a great way to incorporate key players like the superintendent, general foreman, foreman (crew leader for a specific task), as well as the project manager into the process. This provides input from all levels so that the safe working process is identified and incorporated, allowing the work sequence and schedule to jive properly. This lends itself to minimizing both the hurry up and wait logistic challenge, as well as stemming the inevitable "safety as the last thought." Having the PM involved also keeps them abreast of the time/schedule for the task, along with any costs that may not have been accounted for. Once these individuals have completed the JHA process, the proper supervisor can then review the JHA with all the crew involved in the task.  This process is documented and may be reviewed daily or weekly depending on the severity risk, as well as on an as needed basis should the process or hazards change.

Hazard Recognition / Process Improvement – The JHA can serve as an ongoing evaluation of current practices and products, to determine if there is a better way to reduce or eliminate hazards for that particular task.  Breaking the job into specific tasks allows employees to get involved in discussing the task and identifying the hazards. In many cases the crew fills them out together. We want them to assist with identifying ways to eliminate or minimize hazards.

Ongoing Project or Tool Box Communication – The JHA is a great opportunity for follow up, raising jobsite awareness and reinforcing safe practices. Especially when it is a task that’s new to a crew, or something particularly dangerous, you can review and have everyone sign-off. It is used to improve project team communications; for example to share with subcontractors, especially smaller ones, unfamiliar with JHAs.  It is also a great opportunity to update everyone on changes or revisions to the document as it is a “living” document and should be updated to include new hazards or exposures.  One SRMC member says, “We use them daily on nearly every project. Each crew foreman has one that reflects the tasks for the day. He includes a focused safety reminder with the morning stretch and flex that corresponds with the work for the day. The crew leader may customize the message based upon the tools or techniques that will be employed.”

Are you effectively using JHAs? If not and you want to get started, a detailed “how to” guide can be found here.

The ASCC has a growing number of JHA templates to help you get a head start. Feedback to the SRMC is that the JHA tool is a favorite of members.

To access JHAs, click here to visit our members only site.

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