Three Factors Used In Calculating Risk And Prioritizing Jobs

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Another simple technique to help determine the overall risk of the jobs for which you’ll be conducting a JHA, is called the Risk Assessment Matrix. It’s a simple process to determine the risk level of each job:

  1. List all of the jobs that you are analyzing.
  2. Estimate the probability and severity of each job.
  3. Next, place the job in the appropriate section of the risk matrix.

Once you’ve entered all jobs, you can easily prioritize each job to determine which jobs to analyze first.

Prioritize Jobs – Worst First

Now that you have some idea how much risk is involved in each job, you can prioritize them. As mentioned earlier, a common strategy is to prioritize the most hazardous job first. If a JHA is required for many jobs in your workplace, priority should go to the following types of jobs, in order of priority:

  1. Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates;
  2. Jobs with the potential to cause injuries or illnesses, even if there is no history of previous accidents;
  3. Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury;
  4. Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures; and
  5. Jobs complex enough to require written instructions.

OSHAcademy Student Opinion: According to William I., it’s important to understand that all the (potentially) “severe events” should be addressed first, then down to critical, etc. He has seen many cases where customers and safety professionals have focused on frequency issues because there is data to review and success to demonstrate. Meanwhile they ignore large loss potential events until they occur. In his opinion, as you address the large loss potential events, there is corollary benefit to the “less severe but more frequent” incidents.


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