Digitizing Job Hazard Analysis Reports for Safer Work Zones

April 12, 2022

Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) reports are a mainstay of every construction job site. These reports serve as an assessment of potential hazards—ranging from uneven work surfaces and the movement of heavy equipment to weather and site conditions—that may impact the safety and health of workers each day. Digitizing daily JHA reports and transitioning to a digital application rather than a paper workflow improves the efficiency and effectiveness of completing the form, stores the files in a more secure location, and allows for a more timely review by SAM supervisory staff and Safety Department personnel.

At SAM, JHA reports are more than a form to fill out prior to beginning work. These documents have evolved into a point of communication between Safety Department personnel and crews. Over the last two years, SAM has been testing and transitioning to a digital application of its JHA reports which uses a series of interactive menus and written details and gives the crews the ability to include images of the worksite.

Kevin Jones, Regional Safety Coordinator with SAM, explains, “Our crews are very good at their jobs. To provide for a safe work environment, we want our crew leaders and teams to think about and document the actions that they are going to take before they take them with the goal of preventing incidents.”

SAM JHA reports are reviewed and graded by a member of the Safety Department, and Jones says these are more than just written documents that are filed away. “I make every effort to review JHAs on a routine basis and utilize JHAs to send comments about opportunities for improvement and to recommend follow-up actions. Many times, I follow up my review with a call or I may go out into the field to the job site. Safety is our leading Core Value on every job—and the only way to truly stay safe is preparation,” he adds.

With the digital application of JHA reports, crews are asked to assess and rate risks such as driving and weather conditions—and those risk ratings trigger important reminders. For instance, identifying driving hazards such as high-density traffic, high speeds, or icy roads immediately opens a dialogue box with reminders from SAM’s driving safety course.

There are also risk ratings and reminders based on walking or working surfaces, traffic control, tools and equipment, environmental hazards, and human factors. The concept is for the digital application of the JHA to provide reminders and deploy micro safety training to SAM personnel which are directly related to that day’s tasks and associated potential hazards.

“A well thought out and accurate JHA puts me on the job with them so that I see what they see,” Jones explains. “Every JHA provides perspective into a crew’s mindset, how well they are recognizing hazards, and what actions they are taking to mitigate those risks.”

SAM’s comprehensive JHA safety workflow is working, too. The Company has long maintained a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) below 1.00 and below 0.5 since beginning the transition to an electronic JHA application.

Since implementing the more collaborative JHA workflow, SAM crews are more aware of hazards, which mechanisms to put in place to avoid them, and are better connected to the Safety Department when support and coaching are needed.