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Environment, Health and Safety Division
Job Hazards Analysis FAQ


JHA Basics

Q: What is a JHA?

A: The Job Hazards Analysis (JHA) process provides a documented mechanism to answer the question “How do I know that I’m doing my job safely?” It is a methodical analysis tool used by highly effective organizations to identify and eliminate workplace hazards before they can cause harm. Job Hazards Analysis is a tool used by LBNL to address the five core functions of Integrated Safety Management namely

  1. Plan the Work by identifying the tasks to be performed;
  2. Analyze the Hazards of the Work;
  3. Determine the Controls necessary to safely perform the Work;
  4. Perform the Work utilizing the prescribed Controls; and
  5. Provide Feedback and Continuous Improvement to enhance safety by periodically reviewing the JHA.

The Job Hazards Analysis (JHA) process provides a work hazard and control description (called the Hazards Profile) and a Work Authorization. The Work Authorization contains the following elements:

    1. A description of the Work to which the JHA applies (the Scope).
    2. Descriptions of
      1. The tasks incorporated into that Work;
      2. The hazards associated with those tasks; and
      3. The controls required to mitigate those hazards, using exposure assessment as necessary to evaluate exposures and controls.
    1. Signatures of the Work Lead authorizing the Work (as analyzed by the JHA with the hazards mitigated by the specified controls) and the Worker indicating review of the analysis and understanding of safety requirements of the Work.
    2. A duration for which the JHA authorizes the work. The maximum duration of a JHA is one year from the date of the Work Lead’s authorizing signature.

Click here to view the flash animation explaining the JHA

Q: Who has to do them?

A: Every LBNL Worker who is active in the LBNL Human Resources Information System (regardless of whether he/she has a badge or not, and regardless of whether he/she works onsite or not) is encompassed within JHA requirements. Unless he/she is part of an alternate work group or has been “opted out”, he/she must have a current Individual Baseline Work Authorization, authorizing regular and routine Work performed. The Individual Baseline JHA process utilizes the electronic Individual Baseline JHA process described in Chapter 32 of PUB-3000. Every Worker must have one or more current Task-based Work Authorizations to authorize unpredictable, short-term, or unusual Work that is not included in the Individual Baseline. Task-based Work Authorizations can be obtained through:

    • Use of the Task-based JHA process
    • Use of an equivalent Task-based JHA process as described in the Division ISM Plan, and approved by the EH&S Division Director.

Task-based Work Authorizations are not required if all the Work is covered by the Worker’s Individual Baseline Work Authorization. Work may not be conducted unless the applicable Work Authorizations exist.

Individuals may be eligible to “opt out” of the JHA process if they visit LBNL solely for meetings, seminars or other non hands-on work, or if they work solely at an institution that has a health and safety program of its own (e.g., UC Berkeley). See PUB-3000, Chapter 32, Section 32.3.1 for additional information.

In certain circumstances, individuals may work under the direct supervision of an LBNL employee during his/her first 30 days of work while the JHA process is proceeding. See PUB-3000, Chapter 32, Section 32.3.3 for additional information.

Alternative Job Hazards Analysis and Work Authorization processes exist for construction subcontractors, and other subcontractors whose badge is not active for 30 days or longer.

Q: Why do we have to do it?

A: It is LBNL policy, and the federal law requires, that all staff, participating guests, visitors, and others who perform work at, or for, LBNL receive appropriate training necessary to protect their health and perform work in a safe and environmentally sound manner. This training must include information regarding job hazards, possible health effects, and required work practices and procedures. The JHA is one of the tools LBNL uses to meet this responsibility. The JHA process identifies hazards that an individual is likely to encounter and provides them with information and control measures so they can protect themselves from harm. Completion of the process also documents that LBNL has met its responsibility for informing Workers of hazards and for protecting them.

Q: When do I have to do them?

A: The JHA process is designed to be completed annually. LBNL is rolling out the JHA process to the general lab population in June 2008. All LBNL Workers as defined above must have their Individual Baseline JHA completed and authorized by September 30, 2008. The program is designed to align with the annual performance evaluation process and its associated training planning effort. As the program matures, Workers and their Supervisors will review their Hazards Profiles when they are first employed and annually thereafter, as well as whenever they changes jobs or whenever their job scope changes significantly.

Q: How is the JHA different from the JHQ?

A: The LBNL Job Hazards Questionnaire (JHQ) addressed training, and has been incorporated into the JHA. The questions are similar. What is new is the identification of hazards and inclusion of a controls discussion, such as for engineered barriers, work processes for safety and quality, and the use of personal protective equipment. The JHA process is also used to authorize work.  It establishes boundaries within which Workers are expected to be able to accomplish their assigned tasks without further permission or guidance.

The Job Hazards Analysis process replaces the Job Hazards Questionnaire.

Q: What about the Training Profile?

A: The Training Profile is the list of courses that you are required or recommended to take, and the history of all training classes you have taken. The Training Profile you generated using the JHQ is retained within the JHA process. Your “required courses” list and notifications work in the same way they did before the JHA was introduced. Your prior training history is retained. 

Q: How do the JHA and formal authorizations (e.g., RWA, AHD, BUA, others) relate to each other?

A: The JHA and formal authorizations serve the same purpose: as tools to define, analyze, specify safety controls for, and authorize your work (see PUB-3000, Chapter 6 for a discussion of Safe Work Authorizations).

The basic work analysis and authorization tool is the JHA. Everyone must complete a JHA. If some higher-hazard portions of the work are subject to more in-depth analysis, then the formal authorization supplements and supersedes the JHA. The formal authorization becomes the controlling document. The JHA lists the formal authorization, and defers to it for the specific requirements of that work. If the requirements of the formal authorization (including authorization signoff) are not met then the work is not authorized, regardless of the JHA.

Some elements of the formal authorization are listed in the JHA. This is done not to supersede the formal authorization but to provide “trigger” reminders during the discussion of the JHA between the Work Lead and the Worker. These are present as a convenience to the Work Lead and Worker to aid the discussion. It is best to have the formal authorization handy during the JHA discussion so that it can be referred to.

Sometimes the work authorized by a formal authorization starts after the JHA is prepared. It is not necessary to have the work covered in the formal authorization also listed in the tasks, hazards and controls section in the JHA prior to beginning that work since the JHA automatically incorporates the formal authorization. However, the JHA should be updated to reflect this change in work as soon as feasible.

Accessing the JHA

Q: How do I get to the JHA?

A: The JHA web application can be accessed here. The JHA can also be accessed from the A to Z index under Job Hazards Analysis, from the EH&S training website, the EH&S website, or the Industrial Hygiene website.

Q: How do I log into the JHA?

A: When logging into the JHA you have three options.

First you can use your LDAP username and password.  If you do not know your LDAP username and/or password, please contact the Help Desk at 486-HELP or access the IT Help Request Page here.

The second option available to you for login is to use your employee ID.  If you do have an assigned LDAP username and password, you cannot use this option.  To test whether you have the option to use Employee ID only login, select this option and enter your Employee (or Guest) ID.  If you are able to login, proceed to your JHA.  If you get an error, you will need to contact the Help Desk for your LDAP information.

The final option available to you for logging in is to use the “No Employee ID.”  This option allows you to enter your first and last name, along with your email address.  If you use this option you will need to wait until the JHA Team assign your employee ID to your personal information in order for your Supervisor/Work Lead to see your JHA.  Contact the JHA Group for more information by sending an email to

Benefits of the JHA

Q: How does the JHA process make me safer?


A: The JHA process helps you understand and eliminate hazards. It enforces communication between Workers and their Supervisors to explicitly identify the hazards associated with the work and to agree how those hazards will be managed. As a Worker, you are empowered to protect yourself from known hazards and are given information to foresee and avoid future, unknown hazards.  

Q: How will the JHA process help me do my work?

A: From a “Safety” point of view, it should reduce the frequency and severity of injuries. And from a work “Quality and Productivity” point of view, the rigor and formality used in the JHA process to analyze the work often results in improved quality and increased productivity. 

Work Lead

Q: What is a Work Lead?

A: A Work Lead is anyone who directs, trains, and/or oversees the Work and activities of one or more Workers. Work Leads provide instruction on working safely and the precautions necessary to use equipment and facilities safely and effectively. Work Leads may authorize Work with the concurrence of the Worker’s Supervisor.

Q: How is a Work Lead different than a Supervisor?

A: Supervisory Employees are defined by the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) as "any individual, regardless of the job description or title, having authority in the interest of the employer to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline other employees, or responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or to effectively recommend such action, if, in connection with the foregoing, the exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment. Employees whose duties are substantially similar to those of their subordinates shall not be considered to be supervisory employees."

Work Leads direct, train and/or oversee the Work and activities of the Worker. He/she is not necessarily that individual’s Supervisor (ie, he/she may not have the additional authority to hire, transfer, suspend, or take other personnel actions). Put another way, a Supervisor always has the authority to act as the Work Lead, but a Work Lead does not necessarily have the authority to act as Supervisor.

Q: How is a Work Lead different than a Principal Investigator (PI)?

A: Most U.S. Federal and State agencies that support scientific and technical research use the interchangeable titles “Principal Investigator” or “project director” for the scientist or researcher responsible for the technical leadership and administrative accountability of a project. A PI is ultimately responsible for the administration, direction, and management of the project and for its results. Often, funding for the project is also the PI’s responsibility. The designation is specific to a single contract, and terminates with the closing of that project. The designation is thus of a different character than for such ongoing leadership positions as division director, department head, and group leader.

A PI is always part of Line Management, and from a Safety Line Management perspective, the PI is no different from any other Staff. The PI role pertains to the management of the project. The Supervisor or Work Lead role pertains to the management of people. The same individual may in fact fill both roles (PI and Supervisor), but this is not necessarily so.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a Work Lead?

A: Work Leads
  • Utilize the JHA process as a mechanism to authorize Work under their control when the tasks, locations, hazards, and controls have been properly analyzed.
  • Consult with new Workers, or Workers whose tasks have changed, to assure that their Work Authorizations accurately describe the tasks, hazards, and controls inherent in the Work.
  • Ensure that JHAs are updated annually, or more frequently if required.
  • Stop authorized Work when hazards and controls change, and do not reinitiate Work until the Work Authorizations for all Workers performing that Work have been updated, and the required controls are in place.

JHA Work Groups

Q: What is a Work Group?

A: A Work Group is a set of Workers who have exposure to a similar set of hazards. They may, or may not work together. For LBNL’s implementation of the JHA process, they are usually the members of a particular research team, a facilities craft shop, or an administrative support group.  The Work Group is a JHA process invention to make implementation easier. Everyone in a Work Group is initially given the same Work Group Hazards Profile, which is then tailored to the individual Workers’ needs by adding or deleting tasks, hazards and controls to reflect their individual responsibilities.

Q: What is a Work Group Owner?

A: A Work Group Owner is the person who is responsible for setting up and maintaining a Work Group. They identify the core set of hazard and controls all members of the group are expected to be aware of, and then work with individual group members to tailor the Work Group Hazards Profile to their Individual Hazards Profile, based upon the group member’s individual responsibilities. The Work Group Owner is usually, but not necessarily, the Work Group’s PI, Supervisor or Work Lead.

Work Group Owners are generally, but not necessarily, members of the Work Groups for which they are responsible.

Q: How are the Work Group Owner and Work Group defined/assigned?

A: Supervisors, Managers, and Work Leads are part of the safety line management chain from every Worker to the Laboratory Director. Supervisors and Managers are part of the formal management chain, and they have the responsibility for adherence to all EH&S policies and safe work practices. Work Leads derive authority from formal Laboratory Managers and/or Supervisors to assure that day-to-day work, operations, and activities in their assigned area(s) and activities are conducted safely and within established work authorizations.  Work Leads are assigned their duties by their Line Management Supervisor.

Q: What happens if an individual's Supervisor is not the Work Group Owner?

A: Work Group Owners manage Work Group Hazard Profiles so that other Workers can take advantage of pre-analyzed work. An individual can subscribe to a Work Group Hazard Profile regardless of whether the Work Group Owner is his/her Supervisor or not.

The Supervisor/Work Lead retains ultimate responsibility and authority for defining the hazards faced by the Worker. If the Supervisor does not agree with the Hazards Profile created by the Work Group Owner, he/she has the authority to update it for the individual. However, he should discuss it with the Work Group Owner first. The Supervisor or Work Lead can only make updates to the individual’s Hazards Profile and cannot make changes to the Work Group Hazard Profile.

If a Supervisor or Work Lead wishes to create his/her own Work Group Hazard Profile, he should contact the EH&S Job Hazards Analysis support at

Taking Your JHA

Q: Are there instructions on how to use the JHA?

A: Yes, there are instructions on how to use the JHA. Depending on your role when using the JHA the steps you take will be different. You can access the instructions from the JHA Help Page. Follow the links below and nnavigate to the "Step-by-step Instructions".

For instructions on using the JHA as:

  • An Individual click HERE
  • A Supervisor (who is not a Work Lead) click HERE
  • A Work Lead click HERE

Q: Do I have to take the JHA if I'm apart of an Alternate Work Group?

A: If you are apart of an Alternate Work Group you do not have to take the JHA.  Your work has already been analyzed and authorized by another approved process.  Approved processes may include Contractor JHA (CJHA), non-Construction Sub-Contractor JHA's (SJHA) or a short term user facility authorization.  To find out more about your divisions Alternate Work Groups, contact your Division Safety Coordinator.

Q: Why do I see some questions set to "YES" when I take my JHA? Why can't I change the answer to "NO".

A: As part of the Job Hazards Analysis process, you were probably assigned to one or more Work Groups of people performing similar work. During development of that Work Group Hazards Profile, the Work Group Owner answered questions about the activities of the Work Group. By association with that Work Group, you inherit the answers to those questions, and the associated tasks, hazards and controls will be included in your individual Job Hazards Analysis.

If the particular answer does not apply to you, your Supervisor/Work Lead can delete the tasks, hazards and controls associated with it during his/her discussion with you. Be sure to review the Hazards Profile and discuss with your Supervisor/Work Lead which elements do not belong.

Q: What should I do if I've created my JHA, but my Supervisor/Work Lead doesn't see my JHA?

A: If you’ve created your JHA, but your Supervisor/Work Lead does not see your JHA it is possible that you logged in using the “No Employee ID Login” option prior to taking your JHA.  You currently don’t have an employee ID associated with your JHA.  Your employee ID will need to be assigned to your login information by the JHA Team.  Contact the JHA Team for help by sending an email to  To avoid this delay, the JHA Team recommends using the LDAP or Employee ID login.

Q: When a Work Lead "approves" a JHA, what does this mean?

A: The Work Lead's approval of a JHA indicates that he/she has reviewed his/her employee's Hazards Profile and feels that it accurately describes the tasks that the employee performs and the hazards that the employee faces, and is satisfied that the controls specified will adequately mitigate the hazards. In order to do so, the Work Lead must be familiar with the employee's work. After the Work Lead and Employee have discussed the Hazards Profile and the Work Lead feels that the Employee understands the expectations, the Work Lead authorizes the work to proceed (subject to the specified controls) by signing electronically. The employee's countersignature confirms this mutual understanding. Although the signing is done electronically and can in fact be done without actual contact, the best way to assure agreement upon expectations is by a face-to-face meeting or telephone conversation.

Q: Why do I have to write a description of my work? Isn't it enough to answer the JHA Questions?

A: The JHA questions result in a listing of the hazardous tasks that you perform, but they do not provide an overall description of the Work that comprises the sum of the tasks. The Work Description is intended to provide context in which to view the hazardous tasks. For additional information on Descriptions of Work, including some examples, refer to the JHA help page by clicking here.

Correcting Your JHA

Q: What if my JHA needs to be updated after sign off or during the sign off process?

A: If your JHA needs to be updated after sign off or during the sign off process, you or your supervisor/Work Lead do have the opportunity to go back and edit your JHA by selecting the “Create Draft JHA for Review/Approval” button at the top of the page when you view your Active JHA.  If your supervisor/Work Lead would like to edit your JHA after their sign-off, but before the JHA is Active, they can do this by selecting the “Remove Supv/WL Approval Return to Editable JHA” button at the top of the page when they view your JHA. 

Q: What should I do if my supervisor listed on my JHA is incorrect?

A: If your supervisor listed on your JHA is incorrect you will need to contact your division HR representative.  They will need to change this information in the HR database. 

Q: What should I do if my supervisor changes?

A: A change in supervisor needs to be reflected in the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) before it will be reflected in the JHA. Contact your division’s HR Center to have this done. The JHA system does not store the name of the supervisor independently of HRIS.
A change in supervisor in HRIS does not automatically change the Work Lead in the JHA. If your old supervisor was also your Work Lead, then he/she will remain so after the change in supervisor. You must have the Work Lead changed in a separate step. There are two ways to do this:

  • Your new supervisor can do it by opening up your JHA (“View/Approve JHA” “JHA Profiles (My Direct Reports)” “Edit”), and then creating an editable version (“Create Draft JHA for Review/Approval”). Next to the Work Lead’s name is the “Change” button which enables the Supervisor to designate someone else, him/herself included, as the Work Lead.
  • Your new supervisor can email with a request to change the Work Lead. The system administrators will be happy to do this with the permission of the supervisor.

Either way, after the Work Lead has changed, the new Work Lead will have to review the JHA and revise/approve it, and the Worker will have to countersign, to make the changes into a new “Active” JHA.

Q: What should I do if I accidentally created an extra JHA draft?

A: If you accidentally create an extra JHA draft you can contact the JHA group to remove it.  Please send an email to  However keep mind that creating an extra JHA draft will not do any harm to your current JHA.  You can even save this JHA for edits in the future for renewal or as work changes.

Training Profile

Q: Why am I seeing training on my training profile that doesn't show up on my JHA?

A: Training that doesn’t show up on your JHA, but shows up on your training profile can exist because of two possible reasons.

First, there are legacy training groups that still exist, which you could be a part.  If you are a part of a Training Group, the work Group will appear in the Source column on your Training profile. These groups are gradually being phased out in favor of using JHA Work Groups.  (Legacy training groups may include training like EHS0026 - ES&H for Managers & Supervisors)

Second, some of the questions in the JHA are compliance based questions and require you to take classes not specific to operational safety.  Examples include the Emergency Team questions (B9) and Materials Handling questions (Section S).  If you would like more information about this please send an email to