Five Steps to Successful Job Safety Analysis

By Chip Phillips on October 26, 2020
Tags: Business Operations, Data Collection, Safety

Step One: Choose a Job to Analyze

Every effective safety program starts with identifying and addressing hazards before incidents occur. Ideally, you will want to perform a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) for every task performed at your worksite. But safety managers and employees have limited time to analyze all of the various jobs associated with their operations. So it’s important to prioritize the jobs to be analyzed, to ensure the most critical are examined first.

OSHA recommends the following criteria when deciding job analysis priority:

  • Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates
  • Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness, even if there is no history of previous accidents
  • Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury
  • Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures
  • Jobs complex enough to require written instructions

Step Two: Identify Job Site Needs and Task Breakdown

Once you have decided on a specific job to analyze, you should break down the entire job into a list of tasks to be performed. You will want to list every necessary step from start to finish. 

For example, operating a piece of equipment may include:

  • Preparing for the job
  • Turning on the device
  • Performing the task
  • Shutting down the machine
  • Completing any necessary clean-up

Doing this sort of breakdown and analysis may seem time-consuming, but each of these steps require different safety measures and personal protective equipment (PPE). So it is vital to analyze every step for an overall picture of what hazards could occur during a job.

Step Three: Determine Hazards and Risks

Now we come to the focus of any JSA – identifying the potential hazards associated with a job. Once you’ve broken down a job into individual steps, you can more easily see the risk present in each task. Many safety managers will even identify hazards in tandem with the task breakdown, as they will be more aware of the environment and potential risks of every step.

As you proceed through the sequence of tasks for a job, it is important to address the following questions:

  • What type of hazard is present?
  • What is the risk level of this hazard?
  • How probable is this hazard?

The answers to these questions can vary depending on the specific potential hazards and work environments associated with each job. Consulting with employees who regularly complete a job is a solid tool to properly identify hazards, as well as using established checklists and resources from digital safety solutions.

Step Four: Develop Preventative Controls

Reducing risk and preventing incidents on a job comes down to taking proper preventative measures. The types of prevention available depend on the potential hazards, and can be generally broken down into five categories:

  • Elimination – Physically remove the hazard from the environment
  • Substitution – Replace the hazard with a safer option
  • Engineering controls – Isolate your team from the hazard
  • Administration controls – Change the way people work to avoid the hazard
  • PPE – Protect your team with personal protective equipment

Step Five: Document and Share Job Hazard Analysis Reports

Once a JSA has been completed, the related reports should be documented and made available to your employees. Every worker who performs a job needs to be aware of the associated hazards and what preventive measures will help keep them safe. 

This also means making sure that the reports are easy to access and understand. When a worker is training for a particular job, the related JSAs should be provided to them and confirmed that they were read. This helps keep your team safe and ensures accountability if an incident were to occur on a job.


Looking for a safety solution that covers every step of an effective Job Safety Analysis? GoCanvas Safety includes pre-built digital forms so you can collect accurate and complete information for every job. Established PPE checklists, environment photo capture, and hazard analysis tables means that you get the vital details every time, so you can focus on taking the appropriate actions to keep your team safe. Learn more here.