Toolbox Talks

Presented by Mark Solano, CHST. and the Laborers Training School

November 22, 2023

The Importance of Analyzing Work Assignments and Controls.

The Importance of Analyzing Work Assignments and Controls.

JHA (Job Hazard Analysis) or JSA (Job Safety Analysis) is crucial in the construction industry for several reasons:

1. Risk Identification: JHA/JSA helps identify potential hazards associated with specific tasks or jobs. This proactive approach allows construction workers and management to be aware of the risks before they start a job.

2. Injury Prevention: By identifying hazards and implementing control measures, JHA/JSA helps prevent accidents and injuries on construction sites. This is vital for the well-being of workers and contributes to a safer working environment.

3. Compliance with Regulations: Many countries have strict occupational safety and health regulations for the construction industry. Conducting JHA/JSA ensures that the construction activities comply with these regulations, helping to avoid legal issues and penalties.

4. Improved Communication: JHA/JSA involves communication and collaboration among workers, supervisors, and management. This ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding potential hazards, safety protocols, and emergency procedures.

5. Training and Awareness: The process of conducting a JHA/JSA often involves training sessions where workers are educated about the potential risks associated with their tasks. This increased awareness contributes to a safety-conscious culture within the construction industry.

6. Efficiency and Productivity: Identifying hazards in advance allows for the development of efficient work processes and the implementation of measures to mitigate risks. This, in turn, can enhance overall productivity by reducing the likelihood of work stoppages due to accidents or injuries.

7. Cost Savings: Safety incidents can result in significant financial losses for construction projects. Costs may include medical expenses, compensation claims, delays, and increased insurance premiums. JHA/JSA helps in minimizing these costs by preventing accidents.

8. Continuous Improvement: JHA/JSA is not a one-time activity; it should be an ongoing process. Regularly reviewing and updating hazard analyses contributes to a culture of continuous improvement in safety practices within the construction industry.

9. Risk Management: Construction projects inherently involve various risks. JHA/JSA is a key component of risk management, allowing project managers and stakeholders to assess, prioritize, and address potential risks systematically.

10. Legal Protection: In the unfortunate event of an accident or injury, having documented JHA/JSA records can provide legal protection. It demonstrates that the employer took reasonable steps to identify and mitigate hazards, which can be crucial in legal proceedings.

In summary, the use of JHA/JSA in the construction industry is essential for promoting a safe working environment, preventing accidents, complying with regulations, and ultimately ensuring the well-being of workers and the success of construction projects.

How Frequent Should a JHA/JSA Be Updated

The frequency of updating Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) can vary depending on factors such as the nature of the work, the complexity of the job tasks, changes in the work environment, and any new information or experiences gained over time. However, it's generally recommended to review and update JHA regularly to ensure its effectiveness. Here are some guidelines:

1. When Job Conditions Change: Any significant changes in the job tasks, processes, equipment, or work environment should trigger a review and update of the JHA. This includes introducing new tools or machinery, modifying procedures, or implementing different work methods.

2. Regular Intervals: Conduct regular reviews of JHA at predefined intervals, even if there haven't been any noticeable changes. This helps to ensure that the hazard analysis remains current and reflective of the actual work conditions.

3. After Incidents or Near Misses: If there is an accident, injury, or near miss on the job, it's crucial to revisit and update the JHA for the affected tasks. This ensures that any contributing factors or previously unidentified hazards are addressed.

4. Changes in Regulations: If there are updates or changes in safety regulations or industry standards that affect the job tasks, the JHA should be reviewed and updated accordingly to maintain compliance.

5. Employee Feedback: Encourage workers to provide feedback on the accuracy and effectiveness of the JHA. They are often the ones most familiar with the day-to-day tasks and may notice hazards that were not initially identified.

6. New Information or Best Practices: Stay informed about new information, technologies, or best practices related to job safety. If there are advancements in safety measures or if new hazards are identified in the industry, incorporate this knowledge into the JHA.

7. Project Changes: For construction projects, as the project progresses and evolves, it may be necessary to update the JHA to address changing conditions and tasks associated with different phases of the project.

8. Training and Orientation: Whenever new workers join a project or when existing workers are retrained, take the opportunity to review and update the JHA. This ensures that all workers are aware of the potential hazards associated with their tasks.

Remember, the goal is to have an accurate and up-to-date assessment of the potential hazards associated with specific job tasks. By incorporating a proactive and continuous improvement approach, you can enhance the effectiveness of the JHA in promoting a safe working environment.


Mark Solano, CHST.

Laborers Training School Safety Officer

I entered the construction industry in the summer of 1979, faced with a choice from my father, who was president of Local 652 at the time: go to college or join the Laborers. I chose the Laborers.  

I attended the Laborers Training School in Anza during the summer of 1980. Throughout my career, I worked with several respected companies, including Granite, Silverado, and Full Traffic Maintenance. 

My passion for safety ignited during my time at Granite and I later assumed the role of Safety Manager at Griffith Company. This journey led me to serve on the subcommittee for Laborers Local 652 in Santa Ana in a management capacity.  

It was there that I first learned of the position of Safety Officer at the Laborers Training School. Recognizing it as my calling, I embraced the opportunity to be part of a program that imparts knowledge ,experience, and safety values to young apprentices. It's both an honor and privilege to serve Laborer Local unions and contractors across Southern California.

"The path of safety and service is a rewarding one, built on sharing knowledge, experiences, and shaping a safer tomorrow."