Figuring Out Safety

A Guide to Job Safety Analysis

If you work for a construction or heavy industry projects, then you are at risk of injury in your job. While risk cannot be eliminated, it can be reduced and controlled by using standard procedures and good work practices. There are those who believe that risk is just a normal part of doing your job. The question is how much risk you are willing to accept.

Every day and on every task, risk is with you. When we speak of risk, it is the probability that something goes wrong and the severity of the outcome. We make decisions about accepting risks every day. But some do not really understand that risk and their willingness to accept it.

Risk is first accepted at the organization level and it is forced down to the local level. It is the management that has the function of controlling risks and they can use tools to help understand risk and keep it at an acceptable level. Only tool commonly used today for understanding risk is job safety analysis.

The people doing the work and their immediate supervisors control risk at the lowest management level. Those who need to be involved in both the planning and execution of the tasks should be given enough opportunity to be involved and be kept informed of the developments that might increase the risks and change the measures needed to deal with them.

Hazards are easily spotted by worker. But, usually they keep it to themselves. The existence of hazards in an area are known by workers as revealed by incident investigation findings. These workers treat hazards as part of their normal work life and that these risks are acceptable. To help reduce risk, managers should get their employees involved.

The goal is to establish a common level of risk tolerance among the team members and there are several things that can affect this process. When doing work area risk assessment and communication of local hazards the judgment and decisions of the supervisory staff and employees are the most critical part.

The fact that different people perceive risk and level of risk tolerance in different ways makes it difficult to communicate risk on a construction site. IN order to improve and document the communication process and ensure mutual understanding of risks and controls by all people involved, the job safety analysis tool is used.

The risk management process in heavy industry includes job safety analysis. It is a management tool used to reduce the level of risk to the lowest possible acceptable level by allowing all members of a team to interact and develop a common understanding of the task, procedures and hazards associated with completing the task.

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