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Making Safety Programs Work Through Job Hazard Analysis

The job hazard\r\nanalysis (JHA) process is an effective way to improve safety\r\nbehavior, said a speaker at the Voluntary Protection\r\nPrograms Participants' Association (VPPPA) Conference.

Looking for a way to push safety to the front line? The job hazard analysis (JHA) process is an effective way to improve safety behavior, Curt Shaw, CIH, CSP, president of Succeed Safety and Health Services, Salem, Ore., told attendees at the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants'' Association (VPPPA) Conference.

According to Shaw, the goals of JHA are to increase awareness, adherence to controls and responsibility. To meet these goals, it is important to train, focus actions, evaluate behaviors, modify approaches and evaluate new tasks prior to exposure.

"JHAs focus on continual improvement and gives detailed information as to what the needs are within an organization," said Shaw. "It also can be used as tool to evaluate employees and management and gets true accountability into your safety and health program."

Shaw said the three steps to a successful JHA process are identify, train and communicate.

1) Identify the hazard. Conduct a hazard assessment referring to guidelines from such sources as OSHA''s PPE standard and VPP program rules. Look at the loss level and specific tasks causing the incidents. Determine if the unsafe condition can be corrected now. If not, decide what interim controls can be used.

2) Train. Make sure employees understand the hazard. Use JHA as a behavioral assessment tool with employees. For prospective employees, refer to it during interviews as a way to gauge that person''s awareness of safety hazards. For new employees, use JHA as a solid orientation tool and demonstration of person''s skill. For already existing employees, use it in refresher sessions and toolbox training.

3) Communicate. Through a JHA evaluation ensure that employees are following job requirements. Make sure managers and front-line leaders conduct department evaluations to keep safety steps in place.

Why is it important to use a JHA approach? Shaw said it is a process that yields results.

"The JHA process gives employees what they need to know in a simple format," said Shaw. "You will see less injuries, indirect costs, higher productivity and quality and a better work environment."

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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