With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

greatresponsibilityIn the last two posts, we’ve determined that working as a crane operator takes more than super powers to be safe—you need a team committed to safety and willing to do a little work before getting in the seat and starting the lift.  We’ve specifically looked at the When, Who, and How of a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and this post we will take a closer look at identifying potential hazards and determining what to do about them.

Identification of Potential Hazards

Once the job task steps are identified and, where possible recorded, potential hazards must be identified. Based on job knowledge, historical incidents and reports, and personal experiences (both of the job and of skills and knowledge required for the job), begin to evaluate the things that could go wrong, in essence, use your spidey-senses to determine areas of concern.  If possible use a checklist to guide you along, looking for items such as:

  • Can any body part get caught in or between objects?
  • Do tools, machines, or equipment present any hazards?
  • Can the worker make harmful contact with moving objects?
  • Can the worker slip, trip, or fall?
  • Can the worker suffer strain from lifting, pushing, or pulling?
  • Is the worker exposed to extreme heat or cold?
  • Is excessive noise or vibration a problem?
  • Is there a danger from falling objects?
  • Is lighting a problem?
  • Can weather conditions affect safety?
  • Can contact be made with hot, toxic, or caustic substances?
  • Are there dusts, fumes, mists, or vapors in the air?

Determining Preventative Measures

Once you have identified hazards as a team, then the final stage in a JSA is to determine ways to eliminate or control the hazards identified. The generally accepted measures, in order of preference, are:

Eliminate the hazard – is the most effective measure. Techniques to eliminate the hazards are:

– Choose a different process.

– Modify an existing process.

– Substitute with less hazardous substance.

– Improve environment (ventilation).

– Modify or change equipment or tools.

Contain the hazard – If the hazard cannot be eliminated, contact might be prevented by using enclosures, machine guards, worker booths or similar devices.

Revise work procedures – Consideration might be given to modifying steps which are hazardous, changing the sequence of steps, or adding additional steps (such as locking out energy sources).

Reduce the exposure – These measures are the least effective and should only be used if no other solutions are possible. One way of minimizing exposure is to reduce the number of times the hazard is encountered. An example would be modifying machinery so that less maintenance is necessary. The use of appropriate personal protective equipment may be required. To reduce the severity of an accident, emergency facilities, such as eyewash stations, may need to be provided.


Note: In listing the preventive measures, do not use general statements such as “be careful” or “use caution”. Specific statements which describe both what action is to be taken and how it is to be performed are preferable. After all, “Its not who we are underneath, but what we DO that defines us.” – Batman

Next week we will look at the JSA Crane Tech performs prior to hands-on training, and provide a sample of our JSA form. In the meantime, make sure you take our poll about your requirements to perform a Job Safety Analysis, or register/login to post a comment about your JSA process.

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