Safety is a top priority in any workplace. Employers have a legal and moral obligation to protect their employees from hazards and ensure that they can work in a safe environment. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by performing a job hazard analysis (JHA) and reducing residual risk to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) levels. In this article, we will explore what a job hazard analysis is, how it helps to reduce residual risk, and the value of computer-based software for controlling residual risk.
What is a Job Hazard Analysis?
A job hazard analysis (JHA) is a process of identifying potential hazards in the workplace, assessing the risk associated with those hazards, and developing controls to eliminate or reduce the risk. The JHA process typically involves the following steps:
- Select the job or task to be analysed
- Break down the job into its component tasks or steps
- Identify potential hazards associated with each task or step
- Determine the likelihood and severity of harm that may result from the identified hazard
- Identify appropriate controls to eliminate or mitigate the hazard
- Implement and communicate the controls to workers
- Monitor the effectiveness of the controls and adjust as necessary
By identifying potential hazards and implementing controls, the JHA process helps to reduce the risk of workplace accidents and injuries.
Levels of Job Hazard Analysis
The complexity and variability of job tasks and work environments may require different levels of expertise and involvement for a comprehensive JHA.
For example, a JHA for a simple routine job may only require the involvement of the employee and their supervisor, while a JHA for non-routine work on a complex industrial process may require input from a team of engineers, safety specialists, and other experts.
The level of expertise required will depend on the nature of the job, the potential hazards, and the level of risk involved. A comprehensive JHA may involve multiple levels of analysis, with each level focusing on specific aspects of the job and hazards.
This approach ensures that all potential hazards are identified and appropriate controls are implemented to reduce risk to an acceptable level.
Reducing Residual Risk to ALARP Levels
Residual risk is the risk that remains after all reasonably practicable controls have been implemented.
The goal of risk reduction is to reduce residual risk to ALARP levels.
ALARP is a term used in occupational health and safety to describe the level of risk that is considered acceptable, given the cost and effort required to reduce the risk further.
Residual risk can be reduced by implementing appropriate controls, such as administrative controls, engineering controls, or personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Administrative controls involve changes to work procedures, such as training or permit to work.
- Engineering controls involve physical changes to the workplace, such as installing machine guards or ventilation systems.
- PPE involves the use of equipment, such as gloves or safety glasses, to protect workers from hazards.
The JHA process helps to identify appropriate controls that can be implemented to reduce residual risk to ALARP levels.
The Value of Computer-Based Software for Controlling Residual Risk
One of the most challenging aspects of JHA is identifying and assessing all potential hazards. This is where computer-based software can be extremely valuable. Software can help to:
- Streamline the JHA process by providing a consistent and structured approach to hazard identification and risk assessment
- Provide a database of known hazards and controls that can be used as a reference
- Improve accuracy and consistency in identifying hazards and assessing risk
- Provide real-time reporting and analytics on safety performance
Mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, can be particularly valuable for performing a JHA at the actual work site. Mobile devices can be used to capture photos and videos of hazards and provide real-time access to the JHA software. This can help to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of the JHA process and ensure that hazards are identified and controlled before work begins.
The use of mobile device for a JHA should be carefully weighed up if the job is very complex. In certain situations, it might be more effective to perform the JHA in an office environment where all the relevant experts can participate easily without distractions.
In conclusion, performing a job hazard analysis and reducing residual risk to ALARP levels is essential for ensuring workplace safety. The JHA process helps to identify potential hazards, assess risk, and develop controls to mitigate or eliminate hazards. By implementing appropriate controls, residual risk can be reduced to ALARP levels. Computer-based software can help to streamline the JHA process, improve accuracy and consistency, and provide real-time reporting and analytics. Mobile devices can be particularly valuable for performing a JHA at the work site to ensure that no potential hazards are overlooked.
For more information
Adapt IT Manufacturing provides digital solutions that enhance safety performance and operational excellence to help industrial companies achieve more.
For more information on how to implement digital risk assessment solutions and permit to work, please get in touch with the team at Adapt IT Manufacturing.
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