4. The importance of a JSA

Before developing a JSA it is essential to understand the value of a JSA. The success of a JSA is dependent on the knowledge of those performing it and their attitude and commitment to it.

It is important to note that a JSA is not a 'personal prestart check' or 'permit to work'. A JSA is also not a compliance activity but it is a key step in workers protecting themselves. Keeping the JSA relevant is a challenge and all involved in the process of conducting a JSA need to have a clear understanding of its purpose.

The role of the supervisor is essential in creating an effective JSA. Supervisors should have the skills and knowledge to put together a JSA or be able to oversee its development. This includes assessing how well it has been completed and how effective the chosen controls are.

When the JSA has been done, it can be used to tell the worker how to do the job, and is ideal for training, since it shows a worker how to do the job in the best and safest way. It also sets the standard for the job so that everyone learns to do the job in the same safe way.

The JSA can help managers and supervisors learn about the jobs to be supervised, even if they have not actually done all the jobs themselves. The JSA should be used as a checklist when doing safety inspections or audits, as it tells the auditor what should be happening on any job.

The JSA provides a “measure” during any incident investigation, as it sets out how the job should be done.

The obvious use of a job safety analysis is to insure that safety issues are identified and resolved prior to beginning work on a project. The job safety analysis can also support other activities, including:

  • Cost projections;
  • Employee orientation;
  • Training needs determination;
  • Performance evaluation;
  • Accident investigation;

Job safety analysis has immediate and effective value additions to the system where the safety analysis has been done as illustrated by the figure above.


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