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Structure of a JSA

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The JSA or JHA is usually created by the work group who will perform the task. The more minds and experience applied to analysing the hazards in a job, the more successful the work group is likely to be in controlling them. Sometimes it is expedient to review a JSA that was prepared when the same task was performed on a previous occasion, but care should be taken to ensure that all of the hazards for the job are controlled for the new occasion. The JSA is usually recorded in a standardised tabular format with three to as many as five or six columns. The headings of the three basic columns are: Job step, Hazard and Controls. A Hazard is any factor that can cause damage to personnel, property or the environment (some companies include loss of production or downtime in the definition as well). A Control is any process for controlling a hazard. The job is broken down into its component steps. Then, for each step, hazards are identified.

Assessing risk levels
Some organisations add columns for risk levels. The risk rating of the hazard prior to applying the control is known as the 'inherent risk rating'. The risk rating of the hazard with the control in place is known as the 'residual' risk rating.

Risk, within the occupational health and safety sphere, is defined as the 'effect of uncertainties on objectives[4]'. In the context of rating a risk, it is the correlation of 'likelihood' and 'consequence', where likelihood is a quantitative evaluation of frequency of occurrences over time, and consequence is a qualitative evaluation of both the "Mechanism of Injury" and the reasonable and realistic estimate of "Severity of Injury".


There is historical precedent to reasonably and realistically evaluate that the likelihood of an adverse event occurring while operating a hot particle producing tool, (grinder), is "possible", therefore the activity of grinding meets the workplace hazard criteria.
It would also be reasonable and realistic to assume that the mechanism of injury of an eye being struck at high speed with hot metal particles may result in a permanent disability, whether it be the eye of the grinder operator, a crew member or any person passing or working adjacent to, above or below the grinding operation.
The severity of reasonably and realistically expected injury may be blindness. Therefore, grinding warrants a high severity rating.
Wearing eye protection while in the vicinity of grinding operations reduces the likelihood of this adverse event occurring.
If the eye protection was momentarily not used, not fitted correctly or failed and hot high speed particles struck an eye, the expected mechanism of injury (adverse event) has still occurred, hence the consequence rating remains the same for both the inherent and residual consequence rating.
It is accepted that the control may affect the severity of injury, however, the rated consequence remains the same as the effect is not predictable.
One of the known risk rating anomalies is that likelihood and the severity of injury can be scaled, but mechanism of injury cannot be scaled. This is the reason why the mechanism of injury is bundled with severity, to allow a rating to be given. The MoI is an important factor as it suggests the obvious controls.

Identifying responsibilities
Another column that is often added to a JSA form or worksheet is the Responsible column. The Responsible column is for the name of the individual who will put the particular control in place. Defining who is responsible for actually putting the controls in place that have been identified on the JSA worksheet ensures that an individual is accountable for doing so.

Application of the JSA
After the JSA worksheet is completed, the work group that is about to perform the task would have a toolbox talk, to discuss the hazards and controls, delegate responsibilities, ensure that all equipment and personal protective equipment described in the JSA are available, that contingencies such as fire fighting are understood, communication channels and hand signals are agreed etc. Then, if everybody in the work group agrees that it is safe to proceed with the task, work can commence.

If at any time during the task circumstances change, then work should be stopped (sometimes called a "time-out for safety"), and the hazards and controls described in the JSA should be reassessed and additional controls used or alternative methods devised. Again, work should only continue when every member of the work group agrees it is safe to do so.

When the task is complete it is often of benefit to have a close-out or "tailgate" meeting, to discuss any lessons learned so that they may be incorporated into the JSA the next time the task is undertaken.

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