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Job Hazard Analysis: A Valuable Tool for Workplace Safety and Accident Prevention

For businesses in the pet care services industry, taking steps to ensure workplace safety is crucial for reducing costs and liability, improving workplace morale, and cultivating a happy, healthy, and productive team. One tool that can be helpful in the effort to enhance workplace safety is a job hazard analysis, defined by OSHA as “a technique that focuses on
job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur.” Read on to learn more about the job hazard analysis process and how it may benefit your pet care services business.

How Does a Job Hazard Analysis Work?

In an effort to identify potential hazards and risk factors, a job hazard analysis focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Through this process, businesses can implement measures to reduce or eliminate safety risks. Steps of the analysis may include:

  • Selecting the job to be analyzed. Focus on jobs that have the highest injury rates (or the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illnesses), involve new or modified procedures, or those that are complex enough to require written instructions. Reviewing your company’s accident history can help you identify the jobs and tasks that have the greatest potential for injury.
  • Breaking down the job into steps. List all the steps involved in performing the job, from start to finish. Be sure to involve your employees in the process, as they have the best understanding of what their jobs entail and the potential hazards they face. Keeping employees engaged can also help garner their support for proposed solutions by ensuring that they feel a sense of ownership in your workplace’s health and safety efforts.
  • Identifying hazards. Examine each step to identify any potential hazards, including physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, and environmental risks. Strive to be as detailed as possible, considering where the hazard would happen, who it would happen to, what could trigger it, what outcomes could occur, and other circumstances. Then, rank the hazards in order of priority based on which are most likely to occur and which carry the most severe consequences.
  • Developing control measures. Determine ways to eliminate or reduce the hazards. This could include engineering controls (which physically change a work environment or item of equipment), administrative controls (which change how employees do their jobs), or introducing protective equipment.
  • Reviewing and revising. Regularly review the job hazard analysis to ensure that it remains relevant and up-to-date, especially when new tasks are introduced or if there are changes in equipment or procedures.

Why are Job Hazard Analyses Important for Pet Care Businesses?

Conducting a job hazard analysis can offer numerous benefits for your pet care business, including:

  • Enhanced safety for employees and animals. From working with unpredictable animals to handling chemicals used for cleaning and disinfecting, pet care professionals encounter numerous potential safety risks in their day-to-day duties. A job hazard analysis can identify these risks and help your business implement the necessary safety measures to protect workers. By ensuring that employees are well-trained in proper handling techniques and aware of the potential hazards that may arise, a job hazard analysis can also reduce the risk of accidents that could harm the animals in your care.
  • Compliance with regulations. State and federal regulatory bodies require many types of businesses to maintain a safe working environment. Conducting job hazard analyses can help your pet care business ensure compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and other relevant regulations.
  • Reduced workplace injuries and associated costs. Workplace injuries can carry significant costs, including medical expenses, workers’ compensation, and lost productivity. By proactively identifying and mitigating hazards, your business can reduce the incidence of injuries and associated costs.
  • Improved employee morale and productivity. A safe work environment fosters a sense of security among employees, leading to higher morale and productivity. Workers are more likely to be engaged and perform their tasks efficiently when they know their employer is committed to their safety.
  • Fosters a culture of safety. Regularly conducting job hazard analyses and involving employees in the process will promote a culture of safety in your workplace. Employees will become more aware of potential hazards and more likely to follow safety protocols and report unsafe conditions.

For businesses in the pet care services industry, a job hazard analysis can serve as a crucial component in maintaining a safe, productive, and healthy workplace. At IBPSA, we are committed to supporting our Members in all aspects of pet care operations, including safety and risk management. Want to create a certifiably safe environment for your staff members and the pets in your care, while reducing losses, ensuring legal compliance, and providing peace of mind for pet owners? Check out our Risk Management & Safety Facility Certification Program!