Job safety analysis and risk assessment seem similar, since they're both tools for reducing risk — but they're not the same.
While the two do have some basic principles in common, mixing up job safety analysis with risk assessment is sort of like using a screwdriver to drive a nail. Or using a rake to shovel your driveway.
Even if you already perform both types of assessments for your organization, it's worth reviewing the differences to make sure you're not inadvertently creating more work for yourself.
Let's jump right in.
Definition of job safety analysis and risk assessment
Before we get into differences between job safety analysis and risk assessment, let's define what we're talking about:
Job safety analysis: A formal process to identify the dangers of specific job tasks in order to reduce the risk of injury to workers. It involves breaking down the steps of performing a job, identifying hazards at each step, and creating controls to keep workers safe while performing that task.
Risk assessment: A formal process to identify potential hazards related to an activity or operation, analyze the level of risk associated with those hazards, and propose controls to reduce the level of risk
So, what's the difference between job safety analysis and risk assessment?
The key difference between job safety analysis and risk assessment is the scope. Job safety analysis has a much narrower scope, as it involves only job-specific risks. Risk assessment, on the other hand, gives a big picture view of all operational risks including environmental hazards, stormwater and waste management, equipment maintenance, and more.
Examples of job safety analysis and risk assessment
Now that we have a definition for each method, let's look at an example of each.
Here's an example of job safety analysis for hitching a tractor and wagon, from the USDA Agricultural Extension:
For each job step, the supervisor has identified potential hazards, and suggested recommended actions to eliminate or control the hazard.
So you might use a job safety analysis to uncover task-related risks like:
- potential for slips, trips, or falls
- pinch points or places body parts/clothing could get caught in the equipment
- exposure to extreme heat or cold
- loud noises or vibration
- potentially harmful substances or electrical hazards
For comparison, here's an example of a risk assessment for a poultry farm from Health and Safety Executive:
In addition to task-related hazards, the risk assessment identifies potential hazards associated with machinery, chemical storage, electrical systems, building maintenance, and more.
Now that we've seen the difference between these risk management tools, let's take a brief look at how they are different within Perillon.
JSA vs. RA in Perillon
Perillon's mobile audit management software gives you the flexibility to perform either type of assessment with one intuitive tool.
Drag and drop questions from a central library to build any form template you need. Add logic to skip questions, generate findings, or trigger corrective actions.
You can also perform assessments on mobile or offline with the GOpak mobile app, so you can capture data, images, and video at the source.
The bottom line
Job safety analysis and risk assessment, used together in the right ways, can be a powerful combination. Job safety analysis can help you reduce task-specific risks to workers, while risk assessment can help lower your overall corporate risk profile.