Why Your Work Site Needs a Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

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A job safety analysis (JSA) is a technique that helps supervisors, employees, and safety professionals identify job hazards before they occur. If jobs at your work site pose hazards or potential safety hazards, having a JSA can prevent or reduce the risk of serious accidents.

Conducting JSAs not only helps ensure employee safety but also keeps small-, mid-, or family-owned businesses like yours successfully operating, providing employment, and supporting their communities.

How to Create a Job Safety Analysis

Creating a JSA is a three-step process. Anyone who is involved in implementing a job or task should be involved in its creation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends the following process:

  • Break down the steps. Break a particular job into a sequence. Each step in the sequence should involve a major task. You can then break the task into a series of movements.
  • Identify potential hazards associated with each step. Look at every possible source of energy and examine the entire environment to determine every imaginable hazard.
  • Use the job steps and potential hazards to determine what workers should do to minimize hazards that can lead to accidents and injuries.

A job safety analysis is particularly important in the oil and gas industry, construction, manufacturing, and other high-risk jobs. While any job that involves potential hazards can benefit from a JSA, some are higher priority. OSHA recommends that employers focus on:

  • Jobs with high injury rates
  • Jobs that could cause severe or disabling injuries even if there have been no previous accidents
  • Jobs that could cause a severe injury from just one simple human error
  • Complicated jobs, jobs that have changed, and jobs that are new

A JSA is an important part of a larger safety plan that includes daily safety assessments, toolbox/tailgate meetings, and other compliance measures.

Why Is Doing a Job Safety Analysis Important?

As a firm that practices OSHA defense and business law, we all too often counsel businesses dealing with the devastating aftermath of a serious injury or fatality on the job site. The consequences go beyond the loss or injury of life and the financial hit of a citation: Personal injury lawsuits, reputational damage, insurance coverage issues, and more can derail a business that supports the livelihood of yourself and many other individuals and families in your community.

Conducting a JSA is one of the best preventive measures to determine job hazards in advance and establish proper safety procedures. It also part of a larger commitment to health and safety. Consider these advantages:

A JSA Helps Your Business Adhere to OSHA Standards

OSHA standards may seem complicated and difficult or expensive to adhere to, but they are effective. The following statistics provide ample evidence:

  • On average, worker deaths are down. In 1970, the United States lost nearly 38 workers every day. In 2019, the country lost 15 people each day due to worksite accidents.
  • Worker injuries and illnesses are down, too – from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.9 incidents per 100 workers in 2019. In addition to preventing needless suffering, reducing workplace injuries and occupational illnesses saves employers money on workers’ compensation insurance.

Having a JSA is just one tool for staying OSHA compliant. Without a JSA, you could risk workplace fatalities, OSHA violations, and more.

JSAs Help Prevent Workplace Accidents and Fatalities

The consequences of a workplace accident or fatality can be devastating – not just for the employee and their family but also for the company that employs them.

Every employer must alert OSHA within 8 hours of a work-related fatality. OSHA investigates all work-related fatalities, and if an employee died at your workplace, you will likely be issued a citation. OSHA investigations can last for up to 6 months, and every aspect of your business will be scrutinized.

In addition, a death at the worksite exposes your business to personal injury litigation, negative media coverage, reputational damage, and insurance coverage disputes.

A JSA Can Mitigate the Consequences of an OSHA Violation

The true cost of not having a JSA can be severe. If an accident occurs at your site without a JSA in place, OSHA inspectors will most likely cite you. Many times, OSHA will use the general duty clause to find a violation in these circumstances.

Violations can cost you anywhere from $13,494 to $134,937 per violation – enough to bankrupt many small businesses. Having an OSHA violation can also ruin your company’s reputation and open you up to a regulatory investigation or enforcement action (EPA). Severe violations can even result in litigation, civil liability, punitive damages, potential criminal charges, and imprisonment.

If an accident happens and you have a JSA and other measures in place, however, you will be in a better position to defend your organization against OSHA citations.

Let Hendershot Cowart P.C. Help Protect Your Business from OSHA Violations

Our law firm defends employers of all sizes and industries against OSHA citations. Often, our work begins as soon as an accident happens, and JSAs can be an important component of your defense. If a JSA has been effectively created and implemented, we often use that information as we work to negotiate or reduce OSHA citations.

At Hendershot Cowart P.C., we fight for small business. We will use every tool at our disposal to help protect your business from OSHA violations, civil liability, and business litigation. Collectively, we have been helping employers like you for more than 100 years with a strong record of results.

For practical advice on OSHA compliance and defense, follow Hendershot Cowart P.C. on social media. Or request a consultation by calling (713) 909-7323 or contacting us online today.

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