Conducting a JSA-Style “Hazard Hunt”

how to conduct a hazard huntOver the past several weeks we’ve posted several articles on some basic principles for conducting a JSA (or Job Safety Analysis).  One final consideration is how to use a JSA in a practical way to raise safety awareness on the job. One of the best things you can do with a JSA is to use it as a discussion format to conduct an engaging and interactive “hazard hunt” with your work crew.  A hazard hunt is, in effect, a “roving” tailgate meeting. Here’s how it works. [content_protector password=”hazard-hunt” identifier=”hazard-hunt”]

Conducting a Hazard Hunt

Start your pre-job meeting at the regular meeting spot and have a brief, two-way conversation about work-tasks and other assignments for the day to ensure everyone knows and understands their role that day.  And make a note of just where on the job site they’ll be working. In fact, if you can rough-sketch a map of the job site and make a note on the map where each person or work-crew will be spending most of their day, that’s even better. 10 Things You Absolutely MUST KNOW About Reinforcing Your Safety Culture By Building EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Then say something like, “Guys, let’s walk the area as a group to get a better idea of what we’re up against today.”

Lead the group to the first place you marked on your job-site map, and have them stop there. Then say something like, “Okay guys, this is where John and his crew are going to be working today. Guys, let’s just take a look around here. What hazards or potential hazards might John and his crew have to watch out for today?”

Gather the group’s thoughts on that, and then follow that up with something like, “John, what can you and your crew do to mitigate or eliminate those hazards today? How do you plan to avoid those dangers?” Get John’s input, get his work crew’s input, and get input from the rest of the group. Then move on to the next location on your job-site map and repeat the process.

Now, this accomplishes three things: First, it gets them thinking actively about the potential dangers of the job that are directly in front of them and that they can see. Because they can see it, it acts as a visual aid and helps to turn an otherwise abstract safety concept into a concrete reality.

Second, it sparks a lot of good conversation about what those dangers are and how to work safely in spite of them. And third, it gives everyone the opportunity to watch out for everyone else, to advise each other on potential hazards they may not otherwise have noticed, and to coach each other on how to work safely that day.

fctc-online-bannerThis kind of pre-job meeting is of much greater value for raising safety awareness than the static, check-the-box monologue-lecture method that’s typical of these meetings.

That’s it for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Be sure to view the associated video below to learn more about using a JSA to conduct a hazard hunt.  Until next time.




About the Author

Eric Svendsen
Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is Principal and lead change agent for safetyBUILT-IN, a safety-leadership learning and development organization. He has over 20 years experience in creating and executing outcomes-based leadership development and culture change initiatives aligned to organizational goals, and he personally led the safety-culture initiatives of a number of client organizations that resulted in “best ever safety performance” years for those companies.