How to Fill Out a JHA: Step by Step
With your list of jobs and a workforce ready to run, it’s time to dive into the JHA process. You may have an internal form that walks you through the completion of these steps. Make sure your form leads you through the following steps. Need a JHA template? Download a free one here. (No email required, but you’ll need your Google login.)
A rough step-by-step process for filling out a JHA looks like this:
Step 1: Choose a job from your list (according to priority) and break it down into tasks or steps.
In the first step, pull apart each job into all the individual segments of the job. The simplest way to do it is to watch the worker do the job and list steps to get a full sense of the true order of events. It’s helpful to photograph the steps or take a video. You can then keep it for your records and review it to record any hazards that you may have missed.
Step 2: Identify all hazards for each task.
With all the steps outlined, begin to identify every hazard associated with each step. Some hazards will be obvious (risk of laceration, etc.) and others may hide under the surface (ergonomic, repetitive use, etc.) As you think about each hazard ask and answer the following questions:
- What could go wrong?
- What could cause things to go wrong?
- What factors could create injury?
- What factors could cause equipment damage
Step 3: Create hazard descriptions.
With your hazards identified, you need to describe them in detail. So, it’s time to name them and:
- Describe the hazard type (biological, chemical, ergonomic, etc.)
- Identify the route of exposure
- Outline the frequency and severity of the exposure
- Select a risk probability (could occur, not likely to occur, etc.)
- Identify a risk consequence (first aid, medical treatment, fatality, etc.)
Step 4: Create a plan for hazard control.
The core purpose of a JHA is to control the hazards you identified. You’ll use the hierarchy of controls to eliminate or mitigate each hazard with corrective or preventive actions.
Step 5: Control hazards and repeat.
With your list of corrective actions, it’s time to go back to the task and take action. Be sure you run through the JHA again after control to evaluate the efficacy.
Step 6: Review JHAs periodically.
All JHAs expire eventually. A JHA becomes obsolete when:
- the job changes
- an employee suggests a change to their job design
- when an incident or near-miss occurs despite employees following JHA procedures
You should also have a plan to review and update JHAs regularly, so you confirm or update them even when no incident or injury prompts you to do so.
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