Step by Step Guide to Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

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9th March 2021

Safety issues are on the rise lately. One way to prevent mishaps at the workplace is by conducting job safety analysis (JSA). This guide takes a closer look at the steps required to carry out one - from identifying potential hazards and risks, to ensuring your workers are safe.

Step By Step Guide for JSA

Job Safety Analysis: A critical tool for ensuring workplace safety in any industry

As an employer, one has to consider the laws associated with employing someone to do a job, and the associated risks and potential safety measures that are required to be put in-place to ensure that no one is injured at the workplace.

That means Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is an essential element for any employer. If one wants to reduce workplace injury and illness, and stay  compliant with the State and Federal safety laws and WHS, a JSA is the best place to start.

There are established techniques and methods for conducting a JSA, including generally accepted conventions in the workplace, and steps for preparing a report. The same standards used by professional engineers or mining technicians can be applied to any industry or workplace where workers are exposed to hazards.

This detailed guide will walk you through the steps involved in a JSA, from its purpose down through the specifics of how to properly carry it out.

Let's dive in.

Job Safety Analysis Fundamentals

Before we proceed to talk about the exact steps to complete a JSA, let’s quickly cover what it is and why you should care about it.

What is  Job Safety Analysis?

Job Safety Analysis is a workplace technique used to identify and evaluate the hazards associated with specific job/tasks. With this information, the appropriate controls can be put in place to eliminate or reduce risk of injuries to employees.

Why is it important? (You should be interested in this!)

Job safety analysis is required for most employers and in many countries around the world.

Job safety analysis is a vital component of effective workplace hazard management. A JSA should be conducted before any other type of hazard management measure can be installed or carried out, meaning a JSA should be completed as soon as you identify, suspect, or envisage a hazard in your workplace.

There are many benefits of taking safety into account before assigning an employee to a task. You can identify potential risks, such as exposure to chemicals or the risk of slipping on stairs, which you may have otherwise could get overlooked without a JSA. By knowing the dangers of specific assignments, you will be able to mitigate or completely eliminate them and ensure no one suffers harm.

Other benefits of Job Safety Analysis include:

● Ensuring  safe work techniques at all times

● JSA is handy in workplace accident investigations

● Aid in training employees on job safety requirements

● Critical  to meet WHS and other compliance requirements

JSA: Before you get started

We won’t lie to you:

A job safety analysis is not pretty, requires a fair bit of time to complete, and can be monotonous — but it is  super important.

Keep the following in mind:

● Job Safety analysis is highly recommended for jobs with high injury rates, those that can cause serious harm or for a job that is new or has undergone changes. It is also applicable in cases where a worker expresses concern about the safety of a task.

● Always involve employees while conducting JSA. Their input is valuable to success. Make sure they  understand what a JSA is, why it is important and that what you are about to do is not related to employee performance appraisal in any form or shape.

● It is crucial you review your organization's accident or near-miss history.

● Make it a duty to pinpoint WHS standards that apply to your organisation. JSA should reflect these requirements.

● Finally, know that JSA can throw up lots of challenges during the implementation process or after - when trying to fix the issues discovered. Getting expert help from the onset is a good way to go - this singular action will increase your chances of avoiding pitfalls and costly mistakes.

How to conduct your first JSA the right way (Step-by-Step Guide)

When you decide to carry out a job safety analysis, we highly urge you to not cut corners.

Much of what you’re about to learn represents the gold standard and is a time-tested process with industry-wide recognition. So, you will find that following these steps is one of the best things you will ever do for your organisation.

Oh, and by the way; you can apply this step-by-step guide for just about any kind of work environment- the principles are the same.

 These are steps to a successful job safety analysis:

Job Safety Analysis step 1: Set priorities to choose a job for analysis

Chances are you’ve got a lot going on at the same time, and setting priorities to choose the jobs that will get your immediate attention sounds like common sense. It is.

And to be honest, if you don’t streamline your effort and strategy before you continue, you could confuse yourself, irritate your employees, and derail the entire process.

So how do you prioritise jobs to choose based on risk?

The answer:

Use a Risk Matrix

It is quite simple what a Risk Matrix does - it provides an objective way to better determine the degree and eventual consequence of hazards. This way you can quickly rank jobs that need urgent attention first and it also provides incredibly useful insights for planning and implementing risk controls.

So before going further, you need to rank your jobs from the  risk to low risk using the following:

The occurrence of a mishap (Likelihood) - How likely would a job cause injuries, illness or accidents? And how often do these mishaps happen. Use your organisation’s accident history and industry statistics to identify and group jobs with high chances of likelihood of mishaps.

The severity of mishap (Consequence) - Some jobs/tasks are notorious for causing accidents that are fatal or can result in debilitating injuries or sickness. This set of jobs should be high on your priority list.

How it works

It measures “Likelihood” and “Consequences” of an injury happening to an employee based on 4 levels - “Very Likely,” “Likely,” “Unlikely,” and “Highly Unlikely.”

Hazards with fatality as their consequences that fall into the Very Likely,” “Likely,” “Unlikely,” categories are ranked highest in the risk matrix and prioritised. Hazards that are very likely or likely to lead to major injuries are ranked next followed by those hazards that are very likely to lead to minor injuries.

Risk Matrix

Special note:

Compliance - Jobs and job processes that are in violation of WHS and other industry regulations, should also get special consideration in choosing a job for the next step of the analysis.

Job Safety Analysis step 2:  Break down the job into tasks

Admittedly, this is where the actual work of a JSA begins. So, pay close attention to this step because it is critical to your overall success.

Many people find this requirement is tedious and don’t do it thoroughly. Ultimately, organisations pay for that decision with injury claims and accidents.

Starting your analysis with the job with the highest risk of exposure and working your way down, here are what you should do to break jobs into different tasks easily and efficiently during JSA:

Observation: Simply watch with keen attention as a worker carries out a job/task. It is highly recommended that you record a video or photograph the process.

List the steps involved in the task: Identify and list each step, one after the other that leads to the completion of the job/task

Review: To make sure you have not skipped anything, review the steps with the employee or another that does the same job.


Logging involves the felling of trees using a chainsaw. We’ll consider the task of operating a chainsaw for the sake of this guide.

Job Safety Analysis step 3: Identify the hazards of each task

In the previous step you identified the tasks in completing a job; next, you want to identify the hazards associated with each of the tasks.

Here is a heads up, though.

Do not complete this step alone. Identifying hazards relating to a job or task is to be done together with your workers.

Consider the following:

● Identify persons that are at risk

● Identify the equipment, chemical, or process that can cause mishaps

●  Pinpoint events, factors, or activities that can bring about a hazard. For example, smoking close to a highly flammable substance can trigger a fire incidence

● Check out the work environment and investigate if there are things that can hurt the worker. For example: working in an area where there are exposed (live) electric cables increases employees’ risk of electrocution

● Are there factors that contribute to the onset or severity of a hazard? Identify and list them. For example, worker fatigue contributes to the risk of air accidents

Identify the hazards of each task using our earlier job scenario:


Job Safety Analysis step 4: Identify ways to eliminate or reduce the hazards

This is the most important part - mitigating the hazards identified.

Make recommendations using the “Hierarchy of Controls” which match the result of the Risk Matrix with the appropriate hazard control measure from the most effective to the least effective.

Hierarchy of Control

And here are some practical things you can do to help eliminate or reduce hazards:

● Change tasks

●  Change work process

●  Training employees on safe work practices

●  Putting-on or changing personal protective equipment

● Change equipment or tools. Or repair, modify or upgrade equipment or tool

● Embrace automation

Continuing with our example of operating a chainsaw, mitigation measures might include:

JSA: The Really Clever Bit

Using computer-based software like Kiri Align’s Job Safety Analysis tool, it is possible to objectively identify and maintain a visual scorecard of potential hazards around jobs.

This profiling will ensure that organisations are able to protect workers, customers, and businesses from adverse exposure, as well as prevent costly litigation and other expenses, related to health & safety compliance and loss of productivity.

With the click of a button, you can get a list of hazardous scenarios for not just a single job but as a whole and save time and stress. Get instant recommendations to eliminate or reduce hazards too. Once you sign up, you can conduct Job Safety Analysis for free (relatively low risk on your part).  

The benefits outweigh any possible downside of automating JSA. Objectivity, accuracy, time, and cost savings are great advantages that employers are using to gain a competitive edge.  

Now you can too. Sign up for free Job Safety Analysis today.

Published by: Kiri Align