Job Safety Analyses (JSAs) may be the most dreaded paperwork among safety managers, but you can't afford to let them slide. Many managers will have their employees fill them out once, file them away for years and fail to address changes in safety policies or job procedures. JSAs are meant to help your job performance, however, and making them a priority can make a big difference in your workers' safety.
Here are a few of the reasons you should consider revisiting your JSAs more often.
Job Site Safety
JSAs need to be written any time there's a new, high-risk job site, an old task with a history of injury or a job that's unfamiliar or unusually complicated. However, it's not good enough to write a one-time JSA.
Jobs and employees can change or be replaced, and lack of JSA updates can lead to unnecessary accidents. On the other hand, up-to-date JSAs can help prevent injuries, reduce workers' compensation costs and provide for greater productivity.
For companies that prioritize workplace safety and OSHA compliance, no set of safety policies is set in stone. Certain principles may remain the same throughout several job sites, but policies regarding specific tasks must change according to new information – accident histories in particular. Occupational illnesses, severe injuries and “near misses” in an isolated area often call for another look at the relevant JSA.
Aside from changes to safety policies, new methods of accomplishing old tasks usually call for another look at your JSAs. New tools, materials and operating procedures present dangers of their own, and employees educated on the hazards of old methods may not understand the risks they now face.
The entire process of writing and administering JSAs can be helpful to the employees who fill them out. Ideally, safety managers incorporate feedback from employees as they write JSAs in the first place, learning more about what they already know and don't know. Revisiting these same JSAs from time to time – and obtaining further feedback from those same employees – can help everyone stay up to speed on new hazards and dangerous gaps in safety knowledge.
Involving employees in the JSA process also helps them understand the overall importance of safety policies and the safety manager's job. While filling out paperwork and attending safety-related seminars aren't most employees' favorite tasks, a thorough understanding of ever-changing dangers at their job sites can convince many workers to work more safely and watch out for the safety of others.
Updating your JSAs is much easier when you can have a digital system to store and manage them. BasicSafe’s JSA module allows you to upload existing JSAs or JHAs and create new ones, linking them to other safety programs.
For more tips on how to write more useful JSAs – and a template to get you started – download our free guide, “Quick Tips for Managing Your JSAs.”