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How to Conduct a Job Safety Analysis: Free Template & Guide

Posted by Miranda Cheatham

Worker on jobsite performing a job safety analysis

Even the most experienced worker has the potential to end up in a dangerous situation or accident. In order to minimize risk for everyone on your site, it’s important to complete a job safety analysis. Here’s a quick guide on the process (along with a free template) that should make completing your safety analysis easy.

What is a Job Safety Analysis?

As an employer, your main goal should always be the safety and wellbeing of your employees. Whether you work in construction, retail, or logistics, you need a plan in place to ensure everyone stays safe at work. This is where a job safety analysis (JSA) comes in. This detailed process identifies and analyzes the risks associated with a specific job in order to reduce accidents. Each JSA you complete should outline the hazards of the job being performed, as well as what steps will be taken to prevent injury to the people completing the task.

Completing a job safety analysis helps you to avoid potential accidents. It will also keep you from ending up with OSHA fines or investigations, which could bring your project to a halt.

Free Template

This free Device Magic mobile form template lets you easily complete a job safety analysis on site and send your forms to the office instantly, saving time and ensuring accuracy. Create your free account here and upload your template by navigating the Dashboard to “Forms” > “+ New Form” > “Tools” (top right) > “Import JSON” and voila!

How to Perform a Job Safety Analysis

A job safety analysis (JSA) can be broken down into five simple steps:

  • Identify the Position to Be Analyzed
  • Break Down the Responsibilities of the Position
  • Identify Risks Associated with Specific Responsibilities
  • Develop a Precautionary Plan and Discuss Preventive Measures
  • Keep Organized Documentation

Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps below.

1. Identify the Position to Be Analyzed

Most businesses have multiple positions, all working as moving parts to keep the business running smoothly. It is not usually possible to perform a JSA on all of the departments and positions at once, since each analysis requires careful attention to detail, research, observation, and planning. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask yourself:

  • Which position has the most extensive history of accident or injury on the job?
  • Which position has seen the most severe accidents/injuries on the job?
  • What positions are new and/or have the highest number of inexperienced employees?
  • Which positions involve contact with hazardous materials or put employees in unsafe environments?
  • Which jobs are performed less frequently than others? Tasks that employees aren’t used to performing could be risky because workers aren’t used to the task or can’t anticipate the hazards.

If you are in the construction industry, you may want to start your JSA with heavy equipment operators or those who work in high-rise, sewer, duct work, or demolition jobs, as these are some of the most dangerous jobs in the industry.

2. Break Down the Responsibilities of the Position

One you choose the position to analyze first, you need to put together a complete summary of the roles and responsibilities for the job. Here, you will break the job down into individual tasks.

What is this person responsible for every month, week, and day? If a worker is responsible for setting up machinery each day, for instance, part of the JSA is to break down each step of this task and identify where there are potential risks. Setting up the machine may be relatively safe, but what about cleaning it? Or moving it? Or breaking it down? A thorough JSA will consider every step of the process and analyze the risks involved.

For workers who wear multiple hats and are responsible for many tasks, this could seem like a lengthy process. And it might be. But your employee’s safety and well-being at work is worth the time it takes to examine what they do every day so you can take action to decrease the chances of an accident.

3. Identify Risks Associated with Specific Responsibilities

Once you’ve uncovered every task and responsibility for a specific position, it’s time to assess the risk. Out of all the tasks this person completes in a single day, week, month, or year, where is the highest risk for accidents and injuries? It is recommended to look beyond just the task and look closely at the space where work is completed as well. The job itself may not be dangerous, but the location or environment where the work performed could be a high-risk location.

Industry-specific software and risk matrix guides can help you calculate the risk associated with each job and task. But if you’ve been in the business for a while, history can paint a pretty clear picture of the future. You probably know a lot about what your employees do and which jobs are more dangerous than others. This job safety analysis helps to dive deeper into these situations so you can come up with a plan.

Device Magic’s photo feature allows you to take pictures of a work area and annotate it to better identify workspace risks and hazards. This is a handy tool when completing your job safety analysis. Learn more.

4. Develop a Precautionary Plan and Discuss Preventive Measures

When you know which job produces the most risk and which tasks of that job are the most dangerous, you have the information you need to come up with a safety plan. Using the information you’ve gathered, you can have a productive conversation about potential preventative measures and solutions to reduce risk of an accident.

In many cases, the risk can’t be completely eliminated. However, a JSA helps to limit the risk, reduce accidents, and make everyone on the worksite more aware of hazards. This is an excellent time to talk to employees that perform this job regularly and get their feedback on how to make the job safer as well. You can also discuss different procedures, equipment, and controls you have in place that will change how the job is done.

5. Keep Organized Documentation

Knowing and understanding the risks associated with your company is a great step toward a safer and more productive workspace—but to be effective, it requires proper documentation. Workers in the field need convenient ways to document their observations from the field, and employers need forms that are tailored to their industry and specific company to get all the information they need for a complete JSA.

Device Magic Mobile Form Builder allows you to use an easy drag-and-drop feature to create a custom job safety analysis report, which can be completed on any mobile device and accessed even when you’re offline. Having the ability to create a job safety analysis template, save it as a PDF, and send it to the necessary groups keeps everyone organized and informed. Mobile Forms allow you to develop smart, comprehensive checklists so you can carefully review each responsibility and analyze it for risk. You can also use the tool to create custom accident reports and hazard assessments for your organization.

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