The concept of a safe work environment is important in all industries. Due to the nature of specific industries, maintaining safety can be a challenge. Industries such as construction and manufacturing require a more focussed approach to keeping workers safe.
A safety analysis is a tool companies are using to create safer environments within their workplaces. The analysis should be conducted by a safety officer or someone with a solid knowledge of the jobs being studied may fill this role. Primarily, the safety analysis will identify potential job hazards that you can, in turn, reduce or eliminate in order to make the job safer. There are secondary benefits as well. These include:
- Maintaining OSHA compliance: The steps taken to reduce the hazards found during the analysis can help you maintain compliance. Additionally, should you be the subject of an OSHA audit, an OSHA attorney can present this information to investigators as evidence of your effort to keep workers safe.
- Raise awareness of safety issues: The responsibility for maintaining a safe environment doesn’t fall solely on management. Each employee should be invested in this process as well. A safety analysis and the findings generated from it can bring issues to the attention of workers. This can help them learn to take steps to prevent injury.
Steps for Conducting a Safety Analysis
Regardless of industry, a safety analysis breaks down into four basic steps:
- Selecting areas for analysis: Even if you plan to do a complete analysis of your jobsite, a list needs to be generated based on priority. The criteria for determining what jobs to analyze should include previously reported incidents, potential for injury (some jobs are naturally more hazardous than others), if a job is a new or modified job, and if the job is performed infrequently.
- Brake job into steps: In order to identify hazards, a job has to be broken down into the individual steps a worker performs to fulfill the job. These steps can be examined and hazards identified.
- Identify hazards: From carefully examination of all steps, hazards may be identified. You will be able to see where in the process workers may be getting hurt and how it is happening. This will prepare you for the final step.
- Determining preventative measures: With data in hand, you can begin to determine if hazards can be reduced or eliminated and devise methods for doing so.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.