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By Duane Craig
April 8, 2019
If worker safety is important to you then conducting a job safety analysis (JSA) on specific tasks is an easy way to improve overall worker health and safety. Besides reducing human suffering, JSAs help decrease worker compensation costs while boosting employee productivity. Developing a JSA is proactive, so you also stand a good chance of preventing injuries and illnesses. So what’s the biggest misconception construction companies have about JSAs?
“One of the most common job safety analysis misconceptions is that JSA procedures, and safety in general, are a separate part of the job. In actuality, job safety analysis exists to integrate safety into every aspect of a job. Enforcing procedures and process compliance via mandatory yet intuitive documentation is critical. No matter your role or title, safety is paramount to a successful construction team,” explains Rob Brewster, GoFormz CEO.
How it Works
An effective JSA works because it makes you think ahead. Let’s face it, we often miss cues about safety because we aren’t focused on them. When using a JSA, you concentrate on a particular task in order to find both obvious and hidden hazards. That activity alone often turns up surprising safety insights. The process itself is pretty straightforward as well.
First, you identify the tasks that pose the greatest risks. These usually include jobs associated with high rates of injury, those that cause disabling injuries, have new methods and materials, or require detailed instructions. You might also check out available safety records showing tasks with high rates of “close calls.”
Once you know the tasks you want to focus on, you brainstorm possible hazards. Decide on preventive actions workers must take when performing the task. In some cases, you’ll discover you can eliminate the hazard by using engineering or administrative controls. That’s a bonus because then you don’t have to worry about making sure people use personal protective equipment. However, there are other advantages that might surprise you.
Greater Safety Awareness
Besides uncovering safety hazards you haven’t realized existed on your jobsite, JSAs help workers know their jobs better. They also raise worker safety consciousness.
This is crucial given today’s labor realities. Construction companies hire many migrant workers whose primary language is other than English. And, with labor shortages, construction companies need to resort to hiring people without extensive construction experience. That makes it more important than ever to get the message on task hazards out.
“JSAs improve worker safety in countless ways, but most importantly, the process reminds onsite teams of the hazards they encounter daily but might otherwise disregard,” Brewster says. “This also applies to the procedures put in place to address these hazards, which field teams might not have understood or even know about prior to the JSA exercise. Documenting these procedures digitally helps promote compliance and job safety awareness.”
To help out, GoFormz mobile forms make it quick and easy to complete JSAs using an app on mobile devices like phones and tablets. Once completed, the JSAs are instantly available to involved parties, and easily accessible whenever necessary. Best of all, GoFormz integrates with Procore.
You also probably wouldn’t expect JSAs to improve communication among your teams. Nevertheless, anytime you get people sharing information, communication improves. If that sharing happens to be about safety, it’s doubly beneficial.
“From interacting with our construction customers, hands down the greatest benefit of a well-designed JSA is communication. Crafting an effective JSA requires not only thorough observation of specific work procedures and the hazards involved, it also encourages supervisors, safety committees, and onsite teams to work together and understand the risks involved in a job that they might not have considered before,” explained Brewster.
Every contractor knows that people will avoid following safety procedures simply because they may perceive them as a waste of their time, or they don’t want the inconvenience. JSAs inspire acceptance of workplace safety requirements because they help show people why the rules exist.
There is caution when setting out to create JSAs. Management must consistently demonstrate the commitment to worker safety and health. That means more than just enforcement. It means emulating the expected behaviors. When you identify hazards, make sure you tell people how to control them. Otherwise, your whole program loses its credibility.
The GoFormz/Procore integration allows Procore admins to dispatch and generate the creation of mobile forms with pre-populated fields based on any Procore Job Type/Record. If you’d like to learn more about the integration, click here.
In recognition of Construction Safety Week, Procore.org is kicking off its third annual Procore Safety Qualified program May 6. All courses are free. After completing the 2019 Procore Safety Qualified series you and your team will earn nine continuing education units and the 2019 hard hat sticker. Register here.
Optimizing Your Quality & Safety with a Project Management Solution
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