Job Hazard Analysis Part 2

What jobs are appropriate for a job hazard analysis?

A job hazard analysis can be conducted on many jobs in your workplace. Priority should go to the following types of jobs:
• Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates;
• Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness, even if there is no history of previous
• Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury;
• Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures; and
• Jobs complex enough to require written instructions.

Where do I begin?

1. Involve your employees. It is very important to involve your employees in the hazard analysis process.
They have a unique understanding of the job, and this knowledge is invaluable for finding hazards. Involving
employees will help minimize oversights, ensure a quality analysis, and get workers to “buy in” to the solutions because they will share ownership in their safety and health program.
2. Review your accident history. Review with your employees your worksite’s history of accidents and
occupational illnesses that needed treatment, losses that required repair or replacement, and any “near
misses” —events in which an accident or loss did not occur, but could have. These events are indicators that the existing hazard controls (if any) may not be adequate and deserve more scrutiny.
3. Conduct a preliminary job review. Discuss with your employees the hazards they know exist in their
current work and surroundings. Brainstorm with them for ideas to eliminate or control those hazards. If any hazards exist that pose an immediate danger to an employee’s life or health, take immediate action to protect the worker. Any problems that can be corrected easily should be corrected as soon as possible. Do not wait to complete your job hazard analysis. This will demonstrate your commitment to safety and health and enable you to focus on the hazards and jobs that need more study because of their complexity. For those hazards determined to present unacceptable risks, evaluate types of hazard controls. More information about hazard controls is found in Appendix 1.
4. List, rank, and set priorities for hazardous jobs. List jobs with hazards that present unacceptable risks, based on those most likely to occur and with the most severe consequences. These jobs should be your first priority for analysis.
5. Outline the steps or tasks. Nearly every job can be broken down into job tasks or steps. When beginning a job hazard analysis, watch the employee perform the job and list each step as the worker takes it. Be sure to record enough information to describe each job action without getting overly detailed. Avoid making the breakdown of steps so detailed that it becomes unnecessarily long or so broad that it does not include basic steps. You may find it valuable to get input from other workers who have performed the same job. Later, review the job steps with the employee to make sure you have not omitted something. Point out that you are evaluating the job itself, not the employee’s job performance. Include the employee in all phases of the analysis—from reviewing the job steps and procedures to discussing uncontrolled hazards and recommended solutions. Sometimes, in conducting a job hazard analysis, it may be helpful to photograph or videotape the worker performing the job. These visual records can be handy references when doing a more detailed analysis of the work.

Job Hazard Analysis Part 1

Who is this for?

This booklet is for employers, foremen, and supervisors, but we encourage employees to use the information as well to analyze their own jobs and recognize workplace hazards so they can report them to you. It explains what a job hazard analysis is and offers guidelines to help you conduct your own step-by-step analysis.

What is a hazard?

A hazard is the potential for harm. In practical terms, a hazard often is associated with a condition or activity that, if left uncontrolled, can result in an injury or illness. See Appendix 2 for a list of common hazards and descriptions. Identifying hazards and eliminating or controlling them as early as possible will help prevent injuries and illnesses.

What is a job hazard analysis?

A job hazard analysis is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur.
It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you will take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.

Why is job hazard analysis important?

Many workers are injured and killed at the workplace every day in the United States. Safety and health can add value to your business, your job, and your life. You can help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses by looking at your workplace operations, establishing proper job procedures, and ensuring that all employees are trained properly. One of the best ways to determine and establish proper work procedures is to conduct a job hazard analysis. A job hazard analysis is one component of the larger commitment of a safety and health management system.

What is the value of a job hazard analysis?

Supervisors can use the findings of a job hazard analysis to eliminate and prevent hazards in their workplaces. This is likely to result in fewer worker injuries and illnesses; safer, more effective work methods; reduced workers’ compensation costs; and increased worker productivity. The analysis also can be a valuable tool for training new employees in the steps required to perform their jobs safely. For a job hazard analysis to be effective, management must demonstrate its commitment to safety and health and follow through to correct any uncontrolled hazards identified. Otherwise, management will lose credibility and employees may hesitate to go to management when dangerous conditions threaten them.

Injury & Illness Prevention Program - FAQs

Why does OSHA want employers to have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program? What will this initiative do?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 12 workers are killed every day on the job and more than 3.3 million suffer a serious work related injury or illness each year. The direct cost of the most serious injuries and fatalities is about $1 billion per week. These injuries and illnesses are preventable.
OSHA believes that workers will be better protected if each employer develops a proactive program to help them find hazards in their workplaces and develop a process to fix those hazards so that employees don't get hurt. This would not be a one-size-fits-all requirement. Employers would tailor the program to the size and nature of their workplace.
OSHA has learned much from the variety of approaches taken by 15 states that have required such programs of some or all of their employers. OSHA is basing its proposal on the real world experience of employers and the substantial data on reductions in injuries and illnesses from employers who have implemented similar programs - including the companies in our Voluntary Protection Programs. OSHA will develop a flexible proposal that is appropriate to large and small businesses.

What is the status of the proposal?

OSHA's proposal is in its very early stages. We have conducted 5 stakeholder meetings all across the country. The next step is for us to gather comments from small businesses during the small business review process. That process will be followed by the publication of a proposal, a notice and comment period and extensive public hearings. We encourage anyone who has questions, concerns or experience to participate actively in this process.

Is this rule really an ergonomics standard or other new hazard regulation?

No. This standard is not an ergonomics standard and is not a new hazard regulation.
The Injury and Illness Prevention Program standard will simply require employers to develop a program to help them find and fix hazards in their workplaces.
This initiative does not allow OSHA to cite employers for not addressing any hazards that are not now covered by OSHA standards. OSHA's General Duty Clause (Section 5(a)(1)) already covers recognized hazards for which OSHA does not have standards. Since its creation 40 years ago, OSHA has cited employers under the General Duty Clause when workers are exposed to serious recognized hazards that have a feasible means of abatement. The Injury and Illness Prevention Program standard will not change that in any way.

Will a violation of an OSHA standard also be cited as a violation of the Injury and Illness Prevention program or vice versa?

No. A citation for violating an existing OSHA standard or for violating the General Duty Clause does not mean that an employer will also be cited for violating the Injury and Illness Prevention Program standard.

What if I already have a manageable, common sense injury and illness prevention program in place?

We are aware that many small and large businesses already have effective injury and illness prevention programs. Our primary goal in our proposal is to reach those employers that do not have an effective program. Fifteen states already have requirements for such programs—and OSHA has learned much from the variety of approaches taken by these 15 states.
It is not the agency's intention to require that employers who have previously implemented effective programs that share the basic elements of OSHA's rule to make unnecessary changes. We plan to issue a proposal that is sufficiently flexible to allow those programs to continue uninterrupted. OSHA has not written this proposal yet, and we are still engaging with stakeholders and listening to their concerns.

I understand that OSHA has held stakeholder meetings on this rule. Is that accurate?

OSHA has held five stakeholder meetings: in New Jersey, Texas, California, and two in the District of Columbia. In total, 217 participants registered for these meetings and 263 observers were present. Participants included large and small employers, professional and trade associations, labor representatives and individual workers. Summaries of these stakeholder meetings can be found here.

Protecting Workers from the Effects of Heat

At times, workers may be required to work in hot environments for long periods. When the human body's unable to maintain a normal temperature, heat-related illnesses can occur and may result in death. This fact sheet provides information to employers on measures they should take to prevent worker illnesses and death caused by heat stress.

Factors that May Cause Heat-related Illness

  • High temperature and humidity
  • Low fluid consumption
  • Direct sun exposure (with no shade) or extreme heat
  • Limited air movement (no breeze or wind)
  • Physical exertion
  • Use of bulky protective clothing and equipment
  • Poor physical condition or ongoing health problems
  • Some medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Lack of previous exposure to hot workplaces
  • Previous heat-related illness

Health Problems Caused by Hot Work Environments

Heat Stroke is the most serious heat-related health problem. Heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature regulating system fails and body temperature rises to critical levels (greater than 104°F).This is a medical emergency that may result in death! The signs of heat stroke are confusion, loss of consciousness and seizures. Workers experiencing heat stroke have a very high body temperature and may stop sweating. If a worker shows signs of possible heat stroke, get medical help immediately, and call 911. Until medical help arrives, move the worker to a shady, cool area and remove as much clothing as possible. Wet the worker with cool water and circulate the air to speed cooling. Place cold wet cloths, wet towels or ice all over the body or soak the worker’s clothing with cold water.

Heat Exhaustion is the next most serious heat-related health problem. The signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, confusion, thirst, heavy sweating and a body temperature greater than 100.4°F. Workers with heat exhaustion should be removed from the hot area and given liquids to drink. Remove unnecessary clothing including shoes and socks.
Cool the worker with cold compresses to the head, neck, and face or have the worker wash his or her head, face and neck with cold water. Encourage frequent sips of cool water. Workers with signs or symptoms of heat exhaustion should be taken to a clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation and treatment. Make sure that someone stays with the worker until help arrives. If symptoms worsen, call 911 and get help immediately.

Heat Cramps are muscle pains usually caused by physical labor in a hot work environment. Heat cramps are caused by the loss of body salts and fluid during sweating. Workers with heat cramps should replace fluid loss by drinking water and/or carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement liquids (e.g., sports drinks) every 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat Rash is the most common problem in hot work environments. Heat rash is caused by sweating and looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. Heat rash usually appears on the neck, upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts and in elbow creases. The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid work environment. The rash area should be kept dry. Powder may be applied to increase comfort. Ointments and creams should not be used on a heat rash. Anything that makes the skin warm or moist may make the rash worse.

Engineering Controls to Prevent Heat-related Health Effects

The best way to prevent heat illness is to make the work environment cooler. In outdoor situations, this may be done by scheduling activities during the cooler times of the day. However, very early starting times may result in increased fatigue. Also, humidity tends to be higher in the early morning hours. Provide air conditioned or shaded areas close to the work area and allow frequent rest breaks.
Indoor workplaces may be cooled by using air conditioning or increased ventilation, assuming that cooler air is available from the outside. Other methods to reduce indoor temperature include: providing reflective shields to redirect radiant heat, insulating hot surfaces, and decreasing water vapor pressure, e.g., by sealing steam leaks and keeping floors dry. The use of fans to increase the air speed over the worker will improve heat exchange between the skin surface and the air, unless the air temperature is higher than the skin temperature. However, increasing air speeds above 300 ft. per min. may actually have a warming effect. Industrial hygiene personnel can assess the degree of heat stress caused by the work environment and make recommendations for reducing heat exposure.

Work Practices to Prevent Heat-related Health Effects

  • Train workers and supervisors about the hazards leading to heat stress and ways to prevent them.
  • Allow workers to get used to hot environments by gradually increasing exposure over a 5-day work period. Begin with 50% of the normal workload and time spent in the hot environment and then gradually build up to 100% by the fifth day. New workers and those returning from an absence of two weeks or more should have a 5-day adjustment period.
  • Provide workers with plenty of cool water in convenient, visible locations close to the work area. Water should have a palatable (pleasant and odorfree) taste and water temperature should be 50- 60°F if possible.
  • Remind workers to frequently drink small amounts of water before they become thirsty to maintain good hydration. Simply telling them to drink plenty of fluids is not sufficient. During moderate activity, in moderately hot conditions, at least one pint of water per hour is needed. Workers should drink about 6 ounces or a medium-sized glass-full every 15 minutes. Instruct workers that urine should be clear or lightly colored.
  • Be aware that it is harmful to drink extreme amounts of water. Workers should generally not drink more than a total of 12 quarts of fluid in 24 hours.
  • Reduce the physical demands of the job, such as excessive lifting, climbing, or digging with heavy objects. Use mechanical devices or assign extra workers.
  • Monitor weather reports daily and reschedule jobs with high heat exposure to cooler times of the day. When possible, routine maintenance and repair projects should be scheduled for the cooler seasons of the year.
  • Schedule frequent rest periods with water breaks in shaded or air-conditioned recovery areas.
  • Workers are at an increased risk of heat stress from personal protective equipment (PPE), especially from wearing semi-permeable (penetrable) or impermeable clothing (such as Tyvek or rubber), when the outside temperature exceeds 70°F, or while working at high energy levels. These types of clothing materials trap heat close to a worker’s body. Workers should be monitored by establishing a routine to periodically check them for signs and symptoms of overexposure.