Understanding Job Hazard Analysis Software (Why You Need It and What It Should Include)

WORKPLACE SAFETY IS CRITICAL. Injuries and illnesses caused by unsafe acts, behaviors or conditions can impact employees and their families, sometimes irreparably. Injuries and illnesses can also impact a company’s bottom line. Lost productivity, organizational distractions, investigations, regulatory actions, workers comp claims, and legal actions can be costly.

To avoid injuries and illnesses, it is thus essential that effective safety and health practice are integrated into the daily work routine. The most effective way to accomplish this is to develop a process to evaluate the potential safety hazards associated with an employee’s work activities and identify controls to minimize or eliminate the hazard. To do this effectively, a job hazards analysis is a recognized and OSHA recommended practice; and, the most efficient way to implement this is to use job hazard analysis software.

The primary purpose of job hazard analysis software should be to provide safety professionals, operation managers, supervisors, foremen and employees with a tool to determine, categorize, and rank potential hazards in the work environment. This enables companies to plan and install preventative measures to ensure workers operate in a hazard-free space.

To learn more about how job hazard analysis software works, why you need it, and what it should include; keep reading.

What Is JHA Software?

Before getting into the software, it's essential to understand what hazard/safety analysis is. So what is job hazard analysis (JHA/JSA)?

According to OSHA guidelines, a JHA is the process of analyzing the hazards involved in every aspect of a job. The analysis involves evaluating a worker, the job, the tools, and the work environment. The process seeks to connect all these factors to potential hazards in the workplace.

The aim of the process is to identify where, when and how potential injuries could occur. Then put in place control measures to eliminate or prevent hazardous scenarios. Control measure may include engineering controls (e.g., installing additional ventilation to remove vapors), administrative controls (procedures), PPE or training.

JHA software, using computer algorithms, should simplify the process, and provide a systematic and standardized approach to performing job hazard analysis.

How Should JHA Software Work?

Job hazard analysis software should enable companies to plan, schedule and carry out safety and risk assessment on their work activities, and make it easy to identify hazards and controls. The software should also be able to maintain accurate record of past, present and potential hazards and record the viable solutions to each hazard.

For a better understanding of the underlying analysis involved, here is a breakdown of what a job hazard analysis software functions should include:

1. Assessing and Identifying Hazards
The JHA program should include lists of prepopulated hazards separated into physical, chemical, biological and radiological hazards. With these hazards, the system can identify the consequences.

2. Probability and Severity
Probability and severity should be provided for each selected hazard to help produce a hazard score. This step is classifying all the hazards based on their level of probability of happening and the severity of the consequence of that hazard. The probability and severity of a hazard should allow for the it to be ranked - e.g., low, medium, or high - to generate a hazard score.

3. Identifying Controls
Prepopulated controls are also included in the JHA software. These controls are broken down into administrative controls, engineering controls, training, personal protective equipment and permits. These controls are implemented to provide a safer workplace.

4. Mapping Out and Grouping Job Steps
Software functionality should allow for breaking down a job into smaller tasks. This involves mapping out the small tasks into systematic steps that lead to a complete job. Additionally, the software should be able to assign hazards to each individual step listed and allows images to be uploaded. By adding images, a visual image along with the written steps minimizes confusion in the safe completion of by employees performing the job.
Finally, the JHA software conducts an intuitive assessment of the probability and severity to generate the total hazard score. This hazard score assists in comparing different jobs to each other to assess the level of hazards.

5. Information Sharing
With an integrated cloud-based data sharing platform, you should have access to other companies’ top hazards and controls to compare your company’s to. Statistics should be generated for use, allowing companies to sort through and analyze hazards and controls.

Why Do You Need JHA Software?

a. Meet OSHA Guidelines
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 , which was meant to prevent on the job injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, requires employers provide a safe work environment. Engaging employees through a JHA process helps ensure that this requirement is achieved. Hence, it is up to an employer or business owner to comply with this act by ensuring that the workplace is hazard free. Job hazard analysis is a proven method to comply. And job hazard analysis software is the best way an employer can maintain compliance. Manual hazard analysis works but it is prone to human error and does not take advantage of stored knowledge.

b. Employee safety
Not only is it required that companies provide a safe work environment, but it is also the responsible action to take. Employee safety improves productivity, engagement and helps lessen the fear that unaddressed hazards could cause harm to the employee or co-workers. Employees thus are able to focus on their duties and perform optimally.

c. Reduce Downtime
The ultimate goal for OSHA compliance and having a JHA is to ensure employees are safe from harm. Preventing harm to your staff also benefits your business. When an employee is injured, there is downtime and loss of productivity. Other employees may have to serve as first responders or replace the employee, doubling the work load and potentially leading to more injuries due to lack of familiarity wi the job or fatigue.

Additionally, severe injuries may lead to extended recovery time. It may take some time to find a qualified replacement for your injured staff member.

d. Ease Compensation Payments and Premiums
When taking up workman’s compensation, insurance providers consider if you have job hazard analysis software. Having a JHA indicates you are actively checking for potential hazards in the workplace. This indicates your business has a reduced chance of claiming compensation for an injured individual. Hence, the insurance company may allocate a decent premium discount.

Additionally, if your staff has a tendency of getting injured at work, JHA is the way to go. A JHA will analyze the past incidences in your business and assist in providing preventative measures. This will ensure no injuries take place and hence there is no need for injury compensation.

e. Safety Education Templates
When hiring a new staff member, it can take a lot of time to educate them on the safety practices of the workplace. However, JHA software allows employers to keep printable copies of safety measures.

You can print or send an email of the detailed templates to them. This saves time and allows new workers to learn the safety ethics of the workplace quickly.

Conclusion on Job Hazard Analysis Software

Implementing job hazard analysis software is essential to the safety of your employees. It is effective, efficient and vital to the running of your business.

Are you in need of job hazard analysis software for your workplace? Get in touch with us for a demo of state-of-the-art JHA software for your line of work.