Job safety analysis (JSA)

This publication is for: 
EmployerSmall business and farmer

A job safety analysis (JSA) is a written procedure developed to review work steps and their associated hazards in order to put in place correct solutions to eliminate or minimise the risk of those hazards.


  • A JSA is sometimes referred to as a ‘job hazard analysis’.
  • The JSA can also be completed as part of preparing a Safe Work Method Statement which is a written procedure for the high-risk construction work.

Why is a JSA important?

A JSA can offer many benefits to a business which includes:

  • increasing the knowledge of a work process by understanding what each employee should know and how they are to perform their job;
  • helping to uncover existing and potential hazards and consequence of exposure of the associated to work steps;
  • helping to outline appropriate control measures to prevent and eliminate hazards;
  • enabling employees to participate and contribute to the design of a work process thereby improving safety awareness;
  • standardising work processes based on acceptable safe practices and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  • improving communication about safety by using the JSA as a continuous training medium;
  • helping to reduce risks and prevent injuries and incidents at workplaces; and
  • complying with the occupational safety and health requirements.

What is my legal obligation?

As an employer, you have the duty of care to prevent workplace injuries and illness and to provide safe systems of work as specified under section 19 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984. An effective way to accomplish this is to ensure that job procedures are properly established and all employees are currently trained to perform their jobs.

A JSA can be used as a practical safety assessment tool through a process of identifying hazards, assessing and addressing risks and controlling risks for jobs with a high potential risk of injury.

When do I need to develop a JSA?

A JSA should be developed for a job that:

  • has a high potential risk of injury;
  • has a previous record of accident, injury and near miss;
  • is new or has been modified as a result of adopting new processes or equipment;
  • requires multi-steps to complete;
  • involves repetitive motion;
  • will be carried out in a new environment;
  • has been rarely performed or where new people are performing them;
  • performed under ‘Permit to Work’ conditions;
  • may be a routine task that requires frequent safety checks; and
  • requires a high level of safety precaution, for example, involving fire, explosions, chemical spills and creation of toxic or an oxygen deficient atmosphere.

Permit to work: formal written authority for persons usually trade-persons, to carry out work including maintenance on plant, a building or an item of equipment.

How do I conduct a JSA?

The JSA consists of the following steps:

Review the scope of the job in consultation with workers

Once the decision to develop a JSA for a specific job is made, a supervisory person can start the process by seeking input from one or more workers who are familiar with the job. Getting experienced workers involved in the process will assist in uncovering or minimising oversights of the specific hazards.

Other important related information about the job should also be reviewed. This includes information obtained from a company’s hazard register, the history of injuries or losses that require repair or replacement of tool or machinery, and information on any near misses.

Identify each task of the job and break it down into individual steps

The job process needs to be broken down into individual steps from start to finish and the steps should be documented in a logical order. A helpful technique to do this is to observe the workers while they are performing the tasks. The recorded steps should be subsequently verified by the workers to confirm their applicability.

It is important to describe and record each step briefly. A JSA is not intended to be a work process instruction or a job manual. Providing too much detail on the job steps could lead the JSA being ineffective and impractical.

Identify hazards and assess risks in each step

Once the task has been broken down into steps, the potential hazards associated with each step needs to be identified. The associated risk of each hazard is to be determined on the likelihood and consequences of harm or injury. The risk rating table below can be used as the tool to assess these risks.


Risk Matrix
Risk Matrix, by WorkSafe
Risk Matrix, by WorkSafe



Develop procedure to eliminate or control hazards in each step

This step involves identifying the procedure to eliminate or control the hazards. The hierarchy of control can be used as a guideline to prioritise the application of the most desirable control measure. The least desirable control measure is the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Hierarchy of control
Hierarchy of control, by WorkSafe
Hierarchy of control, by WorkSafe


Review and test the completed JSA

Once the JSA has been completed, it needs to be reviewed and tested prior to its being adopted. At an initial stage, the completed JSA is to be reviewed and tested by the supervisor, in consultation with the assigned workers who have been involved in the process. Subsequently, the JSA should also be reviewed and tested by an independent and qualified person.

Communicate the JSA

Prior to implementing the JSA, all workers who will work on that particular job should be trained to use it. Supervisors should explain the JSA content when it is distributed to workers and ask for their feedback and comments. When providing training, supervisors will observe workers as they perform the JSA tasks. This allows them to determine whether the workers understood the JSA process and are able to follow the procedures. The JSA training should be documented permanently on their records. It is important to keep the JSA readily available for use.

Monitor the JSA

The JSA is not a one-time activity. It must be constantly reviewed and updated as the job evolved. If an incident or near miss occurs, the JSA should be reviewed. If revision is necessary, all involved workers should be trained.

Last updated 19 Feb 2015

Share this page:

Last modified: