North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Start Series on Job Hazards

Recently the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its Job Hazard Analysis manual.

Our workers’ compensation lawyers of Charlotte know it is vital to identify hazards in the workplace to avoid on the job accidents and illnesses. As part of a three part series we will be reviewing the job hazard analysis process.
Who could benefit from reading this manual?

Everyone. Supervisors, foremen, employers and especially employees can all contribute to making their work environment safer.

Define a hazard

A hazard is any activity or condition that could produce harm if left uncorrected.

Common types of workplace hazards include:

  • Chemicals: how much of it if absorbed or inhaled can cause an illness or death? What are their flash points and boiling points?
  • Electrical: are all devices properly grounded to prevent shocks? Are any devices overheating or producing static electricity that could cause a fire?
  • Ergonomics: are any tasks done repetitively or causing overexertion resulting in strains and sprains?
  • Excavation: is proper shoring being used to prevent collapses?
  • Falls: are safety measures being used to prevent falls from heights? Are walking surfaces free from tripping and slipping hazards?
  • Noise: is the noise level above 85 decibels?
  • Radiation: is there a risk of tissue damage from Alpha, Beta, Gamma, neutral particles, X-rays, ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, and microwaves?
  • Struck By: are employees at risk to be hit by falling objects and projectiles?
  • Temperature Extreme: are workers exposed to extreme cold or heat that could result in heat stroke or hypothermia?
  • Visibility: are work areas well lit?

Define a job hazard analysis?

A technique that centers on job tasks that recognizes hazards prior to them occurring is a job hazard analysis. It identifies the connection between the employee, the tools, the job, and the work setting. Once uncontrolled hazards are identified, you can come up with solutions to eliminate or decrease them to a suitable risk level.

How important is job hazard analysis?

We all know that countless workers are killed and injured at work every day. A job hazard analysis will review workplace operations, create proper job protocols and make sure all workers are properly trained thus reducing hazards in the workplace and adding value to the business/company. Think of a job hazard analysis as one piece of the pie with regard to the business/company safety and health management system..

How valuable is a job hazard analysis?

By identifying job hazards through this process, workplace dangers can be greatly reduced. Less hazards in the workplace means fewer employee injuries and illnesses, safer and more efficient work techniques, decreased workers’ compensation costs and a rise in employee productivity. The analysis is a vital tool for training new hires on the correct way to perform their jobs in a safe manner.

What jobs should get a job hazard analysis?

A job hazard analysis can be done on any job but ones with the following criteria should be done first:

-Jobs with the most injury or illness rate.
-Jobs with the possibility of causing severe or disabling injuries or illness.
-Jobs in which one small error could result in a severe accident or injury.
-Jobs that are brand new to your process or have had changes in procedures.
-Jobs that require written instructions.

If you or a loved one has suffered an accident while at work in North Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More blog entries:

North Carolina Injured Workers: What to Do, Who to Tell North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, July 6, 2011

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