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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

Write the Safe Job Procedure (SJP)

Safety requires personal discipline.


The safe job procedure is the final result or product of the JHA process. The safe job procedure is an excellent document to use as a training lesson plan. In fact, you might include the safe job procedures you've developed as part of the safety training plan.

If the safe job procedure is poorly written and hard to understand (doesn't pass the "dummy test"), the JHA may not be effective as an on-the-job training tool. It's important to write a clear, concise, and concrete safe job procedure. So, let's take a look at some of the best strategies in writing safe job procedures.

1. The JHA Safe Job Procedure (SJP) _____.

a. must include all elements required by OSHA
b. can be an effective training lesson plan
c. must be no more than one paragraph in length
d. is not required unless the job is complex

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Points to Remember

A good SJP paints a word picture.

Write in a step-by-step format. Usually, this means writing a number of paragraphs. Each paragraph should attempt to :

    1. Describe the step. Remember each step is describing one action. For example, you might say, "Grasp the breaker switch and move it from the on to the off position (down)."

    2. Point out the hazard. If a step includes exposure to a hazard, there are four parts to the step:

      1. describe the action
      2. identify the hazard
      3. describe the possible injury the hazard could cause
      4. identify the safety precaution to prevent the injury

For instance, you would continue the warning by saying, "Grasp the breaker switch and move it from the on to the off position (down). To prevent a possible serious burn injury if an arc flash occurs, be sure you turn your head and look away as you flip the breaker switch."

2. If a step includes exposure to a hazard, then there must be four parts to the written step. Which one of the following is one of those parts?

a. Find the witnesses
b. Describe the action
c. Place blame
d. Fix the problem

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More Points to Remember

Shipboard JHA.
  • Paint a word picture - concrete vs. abstract. The idea is to write the procedure in such a way that someone who is not familiar with the task can actually "see" each step occur. When writing safe job procedures, we tend to write in a technical style because it seems to be more "efficient." However, if you are going to use the safe job procedure as a lesson plan for conducting safety training, it's probably a good idea to write in a more interesting conversational style.

  • Write in the second person. For example, say "Be sure you...". Try to avoid writing in the third person such as, "Be sure the worker...". In most steps you won't have to worry about this because the person you are writing to is implied.

  • Write in the present tense. Say "take" rather than "should be taken." This helps to create the word picture and streamline the safe job procedure.

  • Write as clearly as possible. Say "use" rather than "utilize." Replacing more complex words with simple words helps to make sure your employees comprehend the material.

  • If you use acronyms or jargon, make sure the meaning of the acronym is spelled out when first used. Make sure jargon is explained on first use.

3. Which of the following statements most closely follows the recommendations for writing JHA safety job procedures (SJPs).

a. The worker should spot the trailer when it moves to the loading dock.
b. Be sure to use proper hand signals to spot the position of the trailer.
c. Proper hand signals should be utilized when spotting the trailer.
d. Using hand signals, the trailer should be spotted by the spotter at the appropriate time.

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Still More Points to Remember

Include notes, cautions and warnings in the SJP.
  • Remind the worker why it is important to do the step safely. Unfortunately, OSHA rules do not emphasize this important part of the training. Nevertheless, you should always discuss the natural and system consequences of the employee's personal behavior. Remember, there is no successful safety management system without effective accountability.

  • Include notes, cautions, warnings. Tell the employee about the dangers and safety precautions to reduce the dangers in each step. Doing this also helps to emphasize the costs (injury, illness) and benefits (health) of using safety precautions.

  • Keep sentences short. Grammar checker software can help you do this. Usually, a sentence of 7-15 words is adequate.

4. When writing the JHA Safety Job Procedure (SJP), be sure to _____.

a. Keep sentences about 7-15 words long
b. Write in the past plural tense
c. Write only short phrases under 10 words
d. Include employee names and positions

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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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 and written the safe job procedure.


1. Spotter: Spot position of trailer as it nears loading dock. Spotter could be caught between trailer and dock. Caution: Stay clear of the rear of the trailer as it is being backed into position.
Note: Keep others away from the area.
2. Driver: 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. Warning: Never jump off the cab or back of the trailer.
3. Driver: Set chocks. Driver could strike head on trailer.
Driver could trip, slip, fall while in the dock well.
Warning: Avoid striking the trailer when setting the wheel chocks.
Caution: Use handrails and use care when walking on slippery surfaces.

Step 1. Spotter: Position the vehicle. Spot the position of the trailer as it nears the loading dock. Make sure the trailer is correctly positioned in the dock well. Warning: It's important to follow these procedures so you don't get caught between the trailer and dock when the trailer is backing up to the dock. Note: Be sure to keep others away from the area. Remove the awareness chain or bar from the front of the dock door once the trailer is properly positioned.

Step 2. Driver: When the trailer is in position, verify the vehicle has been turned off, set the parking brake set, and notify the forklift operator. Warning: When exiting the truck, never jump. Many drivers are injured jumping from the cab of the truck or back of the trailer.

Step 3. Driver: Set the chocks. After exiting the truck, chock the wheels. Warning: Be sure not to strike your head against the truck with setting the chocks. Caution: Be careful when walking on slippery surfaces and use handrails when using ramps or stairs.

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