OSHA, NIOSH, CDC, EPA, NEP, PPE, PPM—the world of workforce safety and compliance is teeming with acronyms and abbreviations. Many of them represent important rules and standards, indicators of dangerous conditions, or government agencies on the lookout for violations.
In other words, if you don’t know what a given string of letters means, it probably translates to “you’re in trouble.”
If regulatory alphabet soup is causing you to shout “OMG” or “WTF,” allow me to introduce you to one more acronym—one that serves to help rather than punish your organization:
That stands for job safety analysis. A JSA entails taking a step back, examining a series of tasks, and finding and addressing issues before they become real-world incidents. (FYI and FWIW, the term is often used interchangeably with “JHA”—job hazard analysis.)
OSHA—that’s the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, by the way—describes a JSA as “a very effective means of helping reduce incidents, accidents, and injuries in the workplace. It is an excellent tool to use during new employee orientations and training and can also be used to investigate ‘near misses’ and accidents.”
OSHA doesn’t necessarily require you to conduct JSAs, but it does recommend you do so as a best practice. Fortunately, the process is rather straightforward, as a recent article in Safety+Health magazine explains.