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Is it a SWP or a Safety Task Assessment you are trying to develop and what is the difference!

We all know or a least we all hope so that a job safety analysis (JSA) is a procedure which helps integrate accepted safety and health principles and practices into a particular task or job operation. In a JSA, each basic step of the job is to identify potential hazards and to recommend the safest way to do the job.

And a JSEA is a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS), Work Method Statement (WMS), Job Safety & Environment Analysis (JSEA) and Job Safety Analysis (JSA) are documents that describe how work is to be carried out safely.

So when we talk about STA are we saying; Critical Job Inventory. And Risk Assessment. … Conduct a Job Hazard Analysis (also known as Job Safety Analysis (JSA) or Task Analysis) of each of the jobs in your Critical Job Inventory. A job is defined as a set of actions required to complete a specific objective or task.

And for sure a SWP is  safe work practices are generally written methods outlining how to perform a task with minimum risk to people, equipment, materials, environment, and processes.

Regardless of the practice or actions you are really trying to;

·        Describes how the work is carried out,

·        Identifies the work activities assessed as having safety or environmental risks,

·        States what the safety and environmental risks are,

·        Describes the control measures that will be applied to the work activities,

·        Describes how measures will be implemented to do the work in a safe and environmentally sound manner; and where required:

·        outlines the legislation, standards and codes to be complied with; and

·        includes a description of the equipment used in the work, the qualifications of the personnel doing the work and the training required to do the work in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

What are we trying to cover in doing this practice?

When arriving at the work area ALWAYS fully assess the conditions by looking all around, and consider the potential hazards, associated risks and control measures. This will include looking for any of the following possible hazards, by adding ‘yes’ if present, and ‘x NO’ if any control measures are required

• Access/egress – can you get to the work area safely without encountering hazards?

• Working at height awareness – is there a risk of falling and injury or falling objects, is fall protection such as a safety harness or handrails and toe boards in position?

• Overhead obstacles – is there a risk of impact injuries to personnel or of damage to overhead pipes or cables ?

• Hazardous substances – do you know the correct substances to be used, how they can do harm and are they recorded on an available Pre-Job Assessment?

• Electrical – has the power been disconnected, is there a risk of electric shock?

• Noise and vibration – are you aware of any noise and vibration levels with the equipment or tools being used? If not find out what they are, ask your supervisor.

• Weather conditions – will the conditions affect the way that the job is carried out i.e. heat, wind or cold etc.?

• Manual handling – is there mechanical assistance available or do you need help with the load?

• Fit and healthy to carry out the task – do you have any existing health problems, which may be aggravated by completing the task in hand, are you of suitable build?

• Mechanical – are supports/props in place and sharp edges, etc. covered?

• Equipment moving parts – have measures been taken to prevent the movement and risk of injury from pulleys, belts, plant, vehicles etc.?

• Ground Conditions- is there a risk of tripping, falling or loose footing.

• Fire and explosion – are there any potential ignition sources associated with the work carried out and are there any combustible or flammable materials in the work area?

• Training – Are you trained and competent to complete all tasks? From the boxes additional hazards maybe identified and recorded. Any additional precautions required to control the hazards identified are then recorded and implemented prior to the task commencing .

STA should be used in conjunction with other documentation such as- standard operating or work procedures –Task Risk assessments

Responsible Supervisor and /or EHS representative shall ensure that this STA program is implemented at their site.

·        Current STA shall be maintained in accordance with company document retention policies.

·        All employees will be trained on the STA’s program prior to the start of their job activity.

·        Employees who actually perform the job task being evaluated must be included in the STA development.

·        STA shall include a visual observation of job task and its location;

·        STA development must take into account the effectiveness of any existing control measures

·        STA shall be carried out for all routine and non-routine tasks

·        Developed STA’s shall remain active for the duration of the task, but no longer than the shift

·        Completed STA must be posted at the specific task area and will be integrated with field or fixed facility procedures.

During the development of the STA any missing engineering controls that require immediate attention – must be documented on form along with mitigating controls – EG; LEV / Machine guarding –Gas monitoring equipment & interlock devices q During the development of the STA any missing PPE controls that require immediate attention – must be documented on form along with mitigating controls – EG; Respirators

Here is a prime example of a Safety Task Assessment

Concrete Manufacturing Safety

  • Potential hazards for workers in concrete manufacturing:
  • Eye, skin and respiratory tract irritation from exposure to cement dust;
  • Inadequate safety guards on equipment;
  • Inadequate lockout/tagout systems on machinery;
  • Overexertion and awkward postures;
  • Slips, trips and falls; and
  • Chemical burns from wet concrete.

Hazards & Solutions

Manufacturing concrete can pose health and safety risks for the worker. For concrete manufacturing, the 10 OSHA standards most frequently included in the agency’s citations were:

  1. Hazard communication
  2. Lockout/tagout
  3. Confined spaces
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Guarding floor & wall openings and holes
  6. Electrical wiring methods
  7. Noise exposure
  8. Forklifts
  9. Electrical systems design
  10. Machine guarding

Cement Dust

Hazard: Exposure to cement dust can irritate eyes, nose, throat and the upper respiratory system. Skin contact may result in moderate irritation to thickening/cracking of skin to severe skin damage from chemical burns.


  • Rinse eyes with water if they come into contact with cement dust and consult a physician.
  • Use soap and water to wash off dust to avoid skin damage.
  • Wear a P-, N- or R-95 respirator to minimize inhalation of cement dust.
  • Eat and drink only in dust-free areas to avoid ingesting cement dust.

Wet Concrete

Hazard: Exposure to wet concrete can result in skin irritation or even first-, second- or third-degree chemical burns. Compounds such as hexavalent chromium may also be harmful.


  • Wear alkali-resistant gloves, coveralls with long sleeves and full-length pants, waterproof boots and eye protection.
  • Wash contaminated skin areas with cold, running water as soon as possible.
  • Rinse eyes splashed with wet concrete with water for at least 15 minutes and then go to the hospital for further treatment.

Machine Guarding

Hazard: Unguarded machinery used in the manufacturing process can lead to worker injuries.


  • Maintain conveyor belt systems to avoid jamming and use care in clearing jams.
  • Ensure that guards are in place to protect workers using mixers, block makers, cubers and metalworking machinery such as rebar benders, cutters and cage rollers.
  • Establish and follow effective lockout/tagout procedures when servicing equipment.
  • Be sure appropriate guards are in place on power tools before using them.

Falling Objects

Hazard: Workers may be hit by falling objects from conveyor belt systems, elevators or concrete block stacking equipment.


  • Avoid working beneath cuber elevators, conveyor belts and stacker/destacker machinery.
  • Stack and store materials properly to limit the risk of falling objects.
  • Wear eye protection when chipping and cleaning forms, products or mixers.

Poor Ergonomics

Hazard: Improper lifting, awkward postures and repetitive motions can lead to sprains, strains and other musculoskeletal disorders.


  • Lift properly and get a coworker to help if a product is too heavy.
  • Avoid twisting while carrying a load. Shift your feet and take small steps in the direction you want to turn.
  • Keep floors clear to avoid slipping and tripping hazards.
  • Avoid working in awkward postures.

Confined Spaces

Hazard: Plants and ready-mix trucks have confined spaces that pose safety risks for workers.


  • Follow established procedures for confined space entry and work to assure safety.
  • Guard against heat stress when working inside any confined space
  • Wear appropriate protective equipment to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals


Hazard: Poorly maintained or improperly handled vehicles can lead to crushing injuries at the plant site or other injuries for truck drivers.


  • Make sure back-up alarms on all vehicles are functioning.
  • Use care with the load out chute on concrete mixers to avoid injuries to hands and fingers.
  • Beware of hot surfaces on equipment and truck components.
  • Guard eyes against splashes of aggregate materials during loading and unloading.
  • Use hearing protection if needed to guard against excessive noise exposure during cement loading/unloading.

Other Hazards

  • Welding operations can lead to flash burns.
  • Makeshift ladders, platforms and stairs with improper or no guardrails make falls more likely.
  • Workers can also be injured by falling concrete forms if the forms are improperly chocked, braced or cribbed.


General Precautions

  • Be sure you understand how to perform all your tasks and how to use tools and equipment safely.
  • Follow confined space procedures when cleaning and working in hoppers, tanks and other places with potentially serious mechanical hazards, such as blades or sloping sides which may entrap employees, or atmospheric hazards, such as oxygen deficiency.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment to avoid being injured by flying or falling objects.

Vehicle Safety

  • Be sure that trucks and other vehicles are in good working order by performing daily truck inspections and properly filling out the forms,
  • Ensure audible back-up warning signals are working, before operating them.

Machine Safety

  • Use lockout/tagout procedures to de-energize conveyors and other machinery before attempting to free any jams.
  • Secure chutes and hatches to reduce injuries from swinging parts.
  • Make sure guards are in place to protect you from moving parts of machinery and tools before you operate the equipment.

Overhead Hazards

  • Be sure that form work, casting and stressing operations are adequately braced and chocked to avoid sudden release of materials.
  • Make certain that rigging is in place to protect against falling objects and materials during hoisting and stacking procedures.
  • Do not walk or work under overhead loads.

Think Safety Checklists

The following checklists may help you take steps to avoid hazards that cause injuries, illnesses and fatalities. As always, be cautious and seek help if you are concerned about a potential hazard.

General Safety

___Implement a comprehensive safety and health management system to find and fix all hazards at the worksite.

___Establish a written hazard communication program to inform all employees about chemical hazards and hazardous substances, reporting of hazards, appropriate personal protective equipment and what to do in emergency situations.

___Train workers in safe work practices and methods for all work activities, procedures and equipment as well as how to recognize and respond to potential workplace hazards, including rendering first aid.

___Put in place personal protective equipment programs. Train workers in selecting, cleaning and maintaining equipment such as respirators, protective clothing and goggles.

___Use safe work practices and appropriate personal protective equipment for all welding, cutting and burning; handling of chemicals (e.g., moist concrete, epoxies, form release agents); and during grinding, chipping, wire brushing, scraping and cleaning.

___Ensure that all tools and equipment — including forklifts, cranes, hoists and rigging — are maintained in good working condition, are inspected regularly and are operated by thoroughly trained, tested and competent workers.

Physical Hazards

___Set up a noise control program to reduce noise sources. Include sound-level measurements, audiometric testing, training and/or hearing protection equipment.

___Implement machine guarding and lockout/tagout procedures for all equipment and machinery servicing and/or maintenance work to prevent workers from being injured.

___Establish a confined-space entry program to protect workers doing work inside storage bins, hoppers and other confined spaces.

Health Hazards

___Avoid exposure to cement dust to prevent bronchitis and silicosis.

___Prevent burns and skin and eye irritation by avoiding skin contact and eye contact with cement dust or wet cement.

___Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves, boots, goggles or HEPA-filter respirators.

___Avoid dusty areas and wet down work areas, as appropriate, to reduce or eliminate dust.

Fall Hazards

___Identify and fix fall hazards, such as slippery surfaces, damaged ladders and walkways, and any loose or unsteady hand- or footholds used to climb up and down on trucks and other equipment.

___Make sure all portable ladders have safety feet and are the proper length for the specific task. Secure them or tie them off to prevent movement.

___Ensure scaffolding and walking/working surfaces have adequate guardrails, safe accessibility and no tripping hazards or holes.


___Implement appropriate work practices and/or controls to help reduce or eliminate potential back injuries from twisting, turning, lifting, awkward postures and whole body vibration.

___Train workers in appropriate mechanical and manual materials handling techniques and safety procedures to help reduce or eliminate musculoskeletal injuries.

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