Just What Are Job Hazards?

Posted by Fit For Work on Nov 12, 2018 4:30:54 PM


A Job Safety Analysis (JSA) or Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) helps identify workplace hazards before they occur. But what does OSHA consider a workplace hazard, and what kinds of jobs are most hazardous under that definition?

From the perspective of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a hazard is a situation or condition that has “the potential for harm.” According to the agency’s booklet on JSAs, “a hazard often is associated with a condition or activity that, if left uncontrolled, can result in an injury or illness.” Check out the OSHA handbook if you're curious to learn more.

Hazards may include:

  • Chemical hazards—toxic, flammable, corrosive, or harmfully reactive chemicals
  • Explosive hazards—from chemical reactions or over-pressurization
  • Electrical hazards—shock, fire, static electricity, loss of electrical power
    in machinery
  • Ergonomic hazards—strain on the human body due to overexertion or repetition
  • Excavation collapse hazard—if a dug-up area is inadequately shored
  • Slip, trip, fall hazards
  • Fire hazards
  • Mechanical hazards—vibration that affects the body or causes materials to fray and break; failure of machinery; items or equipment that can directly damage the body
  • High noise level hazards
  • Radiation hazards—x-rays, ultraviolet, microwave, etc.
  • “Struck against” hazards—injury to the body from an action initiated by
    the worker
  • Temperature hazards—too high or too low
  • Visibility hazards—insufficient light or obstructed vision
  • Weather-related hazards

Setting Priorities

As you survey the jobs on your worksite for these possible hazards, it makes sense to give priority to tasks that:

  • Have the highest rates of injury or illness
  • Have the highest potential for injury or illness
  • Are carried out in such a way that one simple human error could
    lead to a severe accident or injury
  • Are newly implemented or have undergone changes in processes
    and procedures 
  • Are complex enough to require written instructions

For more on JHAs/JSAs, see our eBook “The Job Safety Analysis: A Responsibility, with Hidden Benefits”.

Reach out to Fit For Work's professionally trained representatives to see how we can assist your organization develop a healthy and safe environment for all employees. Give us a call at 877-348-4975 or contact us online here





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Topics: Workplace Hazards, Safety

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