A Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is a tool used by an employer to predetermine jobsite hazards that may exist. This information is then explained to employees that will be working on the site so that a joint effort to prevent accidents occurs. OSHA has spent much time developing criteria even publishing a brochure on use and its really no wonder because if used properly it satisfies the three criteria that OSHA uses for employers- Plan, Provide, Train.
The JHA definitely satisfies the planning stages. As mentioned above the employer has predetermined the hazards associated with the jobsite. However, it goes further than that. Not only are the hazards predetermined but thought is given to how the hazards will be dealt with using a hierarchy of control measures. Most applicable for service companies that are mobile are elimination or minimization. It is always best when considering a hazard to eliminate the hazard if possible, but with the types of work window cleaners do sometimes it is not possible, so we would move to minimize the risk. An example of this would be a second story window that needs cleaned. If we normally work with a ladder, it has automatic hazards associated with it. Could we eliminate the hazard that is not use it at all? Possibly, maybe the work would allow for a water fed pole? If not or user chooses not to utilize that tool a person would have to look at the hazards associated with a ladder and try and minimize the risks. One such hazard is an unstable base, so we would minimize that hazard by using a ladder that had leg levelers on it. So, where we can we eliminate and when we can’t we minimize.
This is second step in OSHA process and once again the JHA covers this for us. It simply means that the employer provides the necessary equipment set out in the JHA. With the above example, if employer deemed that a ladder was going to be utilized and the hazard was an unstable base the employer would provide a ladder with the leg levelers mentioned above.
You might wonder how would a JHA train someone? Well it won’t. However, it will expose training needs. Let’s say the JHA identified the ladder as the hazard, again mentioned above, and then you as employer provided the ladder with leg levelers. The last phase is you would look and see who was going to perform the task. What if the one assigned has never set a ladder before or know how to work leg levelers? That’s where the training would need to take place before the work would begin.
One of the main issues with the process is that in order to properly fill out a JHA one has to be familiar with the hazards and specifically with any OSHA regulations that might exist. After teaching many safety classes we became aware that this was a challenge to the average company. That is why the JHA Safety App was developed and released on in the app stores of both Apple and Android users. The app was designed for window cleaners and pressure washers and has identified the main hazards that exist on most mobile contractor jobsites. There is even a place to write additional hazards in if something unexpected comes up. The App was written based on criteria given by OSHA 1910 General Industry Standard. A person can create a professional looking JHA in about a minute and it’s a wonderful sales tool to include with your estimate showing that your company takes safety very serious for both your sake and the customers. Once created it can be emailed, printed, texted, or even sent to your CRM program for future use.
At the end of the day whether you write out a JHA or use the JHA Safety App the JHA process provides such a protection for employers. One example of such was a contractor in Texas where an employee fell from a ladder and was hospitalized. During the OSHA investigation the JHA that was used showed that the employee was given direction on how to properly set the ladder and how the ladder was to be secured at the top. The employee decided not to heed the JHA instructions. Now other things were involved as well but the employer was not fined by OSHA as it was deemed that the employer had gone through the process of Plan, Provide, Train and that today the employee failed to follow that guidance. What a protection to the employer!
For more information on JHA’s please visit WindowCleanerSafety.com or download the JHA Safety App in your app store.