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Course 706 - Conducting a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Develop Preventive Measures


Hey, even dogs need PPE :-).

After reviewing your list of hazards with the employee, next consider using hazard control methods that will eliminate or reduce them.

There are two primary strategies to reduce the risk of injury:

  1. control the hazard, and
  2. control exposure to the hazard.

Each of these strategies uses a number of prioritized methods within a "hierarchy of controls". The rest of this module will discuss the various hazard control methods within the hierarchy.

1. Which of the following are the two primary strategies to reduce the risk of injury in a task?

a. Eliminate or revise the JHA step
b. Wear PPE and protective clothing
c. Control the hazard and control exposure
d. Eliminate and mitigate hazards

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Hazard Control Strategies

The Hierarchy of Controls
Click to enlarge.

Information obtained from a job hazard analysis are most useful when hazard control measures are developed and incorporated into the job. Everyone needs to recognize that not all hazard control strategies are equal. Some are more effective than others at reducing the risk in the job.

Remember, a very basic hazard control principle is that we must either (1) eliminate the hazard or (2) control exposure to the hazard. The second principle is that it's more effective to eliminate the hazard, if you can, than to control exposure to the hazard. After all, if you can get rid of the hazard, you don't have to manage the exposure. These two important principles guide safety and health professionals in constructing a "hierarchy" of hazard control strategies.

Hierarchy of Controls

In our training, we encourage the use of the "Hierarchy of Controls" (HOC) described within the ANSI/ASSP Z10-2012, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. The six strategies in this model include:

  1. Elimination
  2. Substitution
  3. Engineering controls
  4. Warnings
  5. Administrative and work practice controls
  6. Personal protective equipment

The idea behind this hierarchy is that the control methods at the top of the list are potentially more effective and protective than those at the bottom. Following the hierarchy normally leads to the implementation of inherently safer systems, ones where the risk of illness or injury has been substantially reduced. Let's take a closer look at the hierarchy of control strategies.

2. In the hierarchy of controls, _____ is the control method that is potentially most effective.

a. substitution
b. administrative controls
c. elimination
d. engineering controls

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Elimination and Substitution

What can eliminate the need for the ladder?

Elimination and substitution, while most effective at reducing hazards, also tend to be the most difficult to implement in an existing process. If the process is still at the design or development stage, elimination and substitution of hazards may be inexpensive and simple to implement. For an existing process, major changes in equipment and procedures may be required to eliminate or substitute a hazard.

These strategies are considered first because they have the potential of completely eliminating the hazard, thus greatly reducing the probability of an accident. Redesigning or replacing equipment or machinery may be expensive, but remember the average direct and indirect cost of a lost-work injury can be more than $50,000 and easily more than $1 million to close a fatality claim.

Some examples of these two strategies include:

  • Removing the source of excessive temperatures, noise, or pressure
  • Substituting a toxic chemical with a less toxic or non-toxic chemical

3. Which of the following is an example of controlling hazards through substitution?

a. Placing a GHS label on a toxic chemical container
b. Wearing PPE when using toxic chemicals
c. Replacing a toxic chemical with a less toxic chemical
d. Removing the requirement to use a toxic chemical

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Good design is necessary to prevent injuries.

Engineering Controls

If you cannot eliminate or substitute a hazard, the next best strategy is to "engineer the hazard out" by using control methods that physically change a machine or work environment. Engineering controls are built into the design of a facility, equipment or process to minimize the hazard. Engineering controls are a very reliable way to control worker exposures as long as the controls are properly designed, used and maintained.

If, during the JHA, you discover a hazard that can be engineered out, do it. Turn the dangerous step into a safe step that doesn't require safety precautions. Engineering controls may include:

  • Enclosing the hazard using enclosed cabs, enclosures for noisy equipment, or other means;

  • Isolating the hazard with interlocks, machine guards, blast shields, welding curtains, or other means; and

  • Removing or redirecting the hazard such as with local and exhaust ventilation.

Read more about engineering controls.

4. Which of the following is an effective method to eliminate or reduce a hazard?

a. Place warning signs
b. Enclose the hazard
c. Tell employees about the hazard
d. Discipline anyone exposed to the hazard

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Warnings can be either visual, audible, or both. They may also be tactile. Warnings do not prevent exposure to a hazard, but they do provide a visual or audible indicator to warn people of potential danger. OSHA's 1910.145, Specifications for accident prevention signs and tags details the following types of signs:

  • Danger Signs - Signs that alert people to specific and immediate dangers (including radiation hazards).
  • Warning Signs - Signs that warn people of potential hazards that can lead to death.
  • Caution Signs - Signs used to alert people to potential hazards. This class can also be used to caution people against certain unsafe practices. This class is for hazards that can result in minor (non-life threatening) accident or injury.
  • Safety Instruction Signs - These signs offer instructions for how someone should act or perform to avoid possible hazards.

Administrative Controls

Administrative controls work as long as employees behave.

This is the "next best" strategy, if engineering control methods are insufficient. Since we can't get rid of the hazard in a JHA step, we'll need to manage exposure to it with safety precautions. Why are administrative controls lower on the hierarchy of controls? To work, administrative controls must rely on appropriate human behavior. According to Arthur Bloch's Murphy's Law - Book Two, "any system relying on human behavior is inherently unreliable." That's the problem. Humans can be rather unpredictable. Methods to eliminate or reduce employee exposure to hazards include:

  • Developing new policies, procedures, and practices to reduce frequency/duration of exposure
  • Revising work schedules to reduce the frequency/duration of exposure
  • Monitoring the use of highly hazardous materials
  • Alarms, signs, and warnings
  • Buddy system
  • Training

Note: Administrative controls may also be referred to as "work practice" controls in safety-related literature.

In a best case scenario, you might be able to eliminate the need for administrative controls if hazards can be eliminated through the use of engineering controls. The more reliable or less likely a hazard control method can be circumvented, the better. Bottom line: If you can get rid of the hazard, you don't have to manage exposure!

5. If you can eliminate the _____, you don't have to manage _____.

a. exposure, hazard
b. problem, accidents
c. hazard, exposure
d. accidents, exposure

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Personal Protective Equipment

Napo and PPE

Many procedures developed with a JHA will include the need to use PPE. Examples of PPE include respirators, hearing protection, protective clothing, safety glasses, and hardhats. The use of PPE is acceptable as a control method in the following circumstances:

  • When engineering controls are not feasible or do not totally eliminate the hazard

  • While engineering controls are being developed

  • When safe work practices do not provide sufficient additional protection

  • During emergencies when engineering controls may not be feasible

Interim Measures

Using a lower priority hazard control method over another higher priority control strategy may be appropriate for providing interim (temporary) protection until the hazard is abated permanently. If you can't eliminate the hazard entirely, the interim control measures will likely be a combination of control methods used together. OSHA believes that feasible interim measures are always available if higher-level control methods are not possible.

6. Using a lower priority hazard control method over a higher priority method may be appropriate as a _____.

a. permanent solution
b. temporary interim measure
c. cost effective solution
d. suitable substitution

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Involve Employees

However you decide to correct the hazards you've identified during the JHA, be sure to discuss your ideas with all employees who perform the job and consider their responses carefully. If you plan to introduce new or modified job procedures, be sure they understand what they are required to do and the reasons for the changes. The number one reason employees do not follow procedures is because they just don't know why the procedures are important.

Sample JHA Worksheet

Now let's take a look at what our sample JHA looks like now that we've identified some hazards and their related preventive measures in each step.


1. Spotter: Spot position of trailer as it nears loading dock. Spotter could be caught between trailer and dock. Stay clear of the rear of the trailer as it is being backed into position.
Keep others away from the area.
2. When trailer is in position, turn engine off, set parking brake, and notify forklift operator. Driver could be injured if he/she jumps off the truck. Never jump off the cab or back of the trailer.
3. Set chocks. Driver could strike head on trailer.
Driver could trip, slip, fall while in the dock well.
Avoid striking the trailer when setting the wheel chocks.
Use handrails and use care when walking on slippery surfaces.

7. What is the number one reason employees do not follow procedures?

a. They don't care
b. It isn't required
c. They don't know why it's important
d. Management doesn't provide specifics

Check your Work

Read the material in each section to find the correct answer to each quiz question. After answering all the questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and check your answers again.

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