Job Hazard Analysis

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A job hazard analysis (JHA) is a simple yet effective tool for improving the safety of your workplace. It also provides a great opportunity for engaging employees in your workplace safety efforts. The procedures are straightforward and follow the same three steps whether you are analyzing a work function, a specific job or a particular task. Your employees are a valuable source of information for all three steps.


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.

Types of hazards might include:

  • Physical hazards such as those that could cause slips/falls, burns or cuts
  • Chemical hazards associated with cleaning products
  • Biological hazards from bloodborne pathogens, bacteria or viruses
  • Ergonomic hazards associated with lifting, prolonged standing or poor workplace designs

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You can use our job hazard analysis worksheet to document the sequence of tasks for each job, identify workplace hazards, pinpoint when and where they occur, and implement preventive measures to avoid them.

When using the JHA worksheet, look for the following:

  • Hazards associated with job-specific tasks
  • Proper guards for each piece of equipment
  • Proper personal protective equipment (PPE)


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.

Use the Hierarchy of Controls to help you determine the most effective ways of controlling the hazards you identified. Note that solutions that eliminate or reduce exposures are going to be the most effective.

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.