Your employees have firsthand knowledge about the work, so ask them how the work is performed. They can help you capture the critical steps and the order of operations. Be prepared, because the way that work gets done is often different—sometimes very much so—from the way that work is envisioned or planned. Closing that gap is essential for positive safety outcomes (and can be a positive outcome in and of itself).
Now look for potential hazards associated with each of the steps you listed. These are often potential sources of injury, but could also be a chance for property/equipment damage or environmental exposures. Your employees know where the risk of injury is, so ask them what parts of the work could harm them. Review injury/illness records or incident reports to help identify tasks with a history of exposures.
Look for ways to eliminate or reduce the risks posed by the hazards you just identified. Make sure your employees are engaged in this step, as they are certain to have suggestions. Start by auditing the controls and policies/procedures you already have in place. Ask whether those controls are sufficient to prevent injury or losses when (not if) something goes awry. If there haven’t been adverse incidents, try to figure out if that’s because the existing controls are effective, or if you have just been lucky. Letting your employees take the lead on identifying and implementing any solutions is a great way to get their buy-in and support for those changes.
Training is a critical component of any workplace safety program but is rarely the best or most effective solution for controlling workplace hazards. Use the information you gather during the JHA to help shape the training you provide employees about your workplace. The JHA itself could be used as a training tool for new employees. It could also guide your more seasoned employees to safely conduct non-routine tasks. Maintain the completed JHA in your records and review it periodically to identify any changes to the work or new hazard control solutions.