Job Hazard Analysis

Table of Contents

Table of Contents. 2

Purpose. 3

Applicability. 3

Incident Summary. 4

Background. 4

Job Hazard Analysis Procedure. 5

Job description. 5

Responsibilities. 5

Qualification. 6

Specific Jobs demand. 6

Procedure of doing the job. 7

Identifying the hazardous steps. 9

Job hazard checklist. 10

What could go wrong?. 12

Consequences. 12

Contributing Factors. 12

Likelihood of Occurrence. 13

Standard operating procedures for hazard elimination. 13

School should; 13

Laboratory technicians should: 14

Record management. 15

Quality control and assurance. 15

References. 17


According to OSHA (2002), safety should be prioritized at the work place. All safety incidences should be investigated and proper steps be taken to avoid the incidence from recurring. A job hazard analysis (JHA) steps in to provide information that prevents future accidents from taking place.

            Heins School commits to the safety of its workers and that of the students. Reduction of accidents at the working place leads to better productivity by the workers and better performance by the students.

Safety can, therefore, not be compromised. Laboratory rules should be adhered to strictly and to those who disobey, strict action will be taken. The head oh department should be notified of all incidences or the parson stepping in for him or her.

The best way, however, to prevent hazards from happening is to work together as one in a struggle against them. A JHA will facilitate this war against hazards by ensures that all those that are identified are stemmed before they happen. A JHA is prepared with the contribution of everyone involved. With this in mind, hazards will be reduced to a mere minimum.

Those hazards which can be eliminated will be eliminated. Laboratory users will then be notified about those hazards that cannot be eliminated so that they can protect themselves and others against them.


This JHA contains very important information that can be useful for anyone working in a high school laboratory as a laboratory technician. It protects laboratory technicians and other laboratory users from common accidents during their day to day work. It also enables them to learn about hazards that are present in their environment

Incident Summary

Hein School is a young school that was founded five years ago. The school has three science laboratories and each of them is manned by a laboratory technician whenever any activity is taking place. During their day’s work, accidents may arise when they are arranging the apparatus for student, during preparation of chemicals or during the experiment itself. Common laboratory hazards include fires, corrosion, objects in the eyes, and cuts by broken glass, poisoning and choking by fumes.


According to OSHA (2014), over 500,000 people who are employed, work in laboratories in USA alone. A laboratory can be a hazardous place to work especially due to the exposure of dangerous chemicals, tools, and appliances that laboratory technicians use to work. Accidents happen every day causing serious injuries and in some cases even claiming lives. Many cases go unreported when they concern accidents that only lead to small injuries, destruction of tools and apparatus, and spillage of chemicals.

            A job hazard analysis is carried out to sensitize laboratory workers about the hazards that surround them and how to avoid them. It also helps organizations to identify hazards they can eliminate. A JHA also helps to open the gap between the administration and workers.

Job Hazard Analysis Procedure

The procedure requires that we know all the aspects of the job. We, therefore, look at the qualifications, job description, and the responsibilities of the laboratory technician before looking at the actual job performance.

Job description

A laboratory technician is responsible for the running of the laboratory and ensuring that all the required materials are available. He or she also assists science teachers in the preparation of experiments through preparation of reagents, and issuance and cleaning of laboratory apparatus. All activities done in the laboratory must be done in the presence of a laboratory technician. A laboratory technician also runs a record that communicates the amount of available resources, the number of breakages if any and responsible students. A laboratory technician is very important in the running of the science department.


  • The incumbent is required to run a medium sized  science laboratory
  • Perform safety checks daily
  • Clean the laboratory and all the laboratory equipment.
  • Store laboratory equipments and chemicals safely after work and ensure all doors are secured
  • Liaise with subject teachers to prepare experiment reagents for a laboratory session
  • Prepare laboratory reagents ahead of an experiment session
  • Maintain glassware by collecting, cleaning, sterilizing and distributing
  • Inventory stock, place orders and verify receipt of laboratory supplies.
  • Keep the laboratory equipment running by following operation instructions, doing simple repairs and calling for repairs
  • Document information by maintaining a logbook and equipment record books
  • Updates information by participating in learning opportunities, researching and studying new information
  • Enhance laboratory and organization achievements by accepting new requests and accomplishing them



  • The incumbent should possess a diploma in laboratory techniques and methods or its equivalent from a recognized institution
  • Exhibit knowledge of laboratory apparatus usage
  • Have familiarity of equipment cleaning procedures and maintenance knowledge.
  • Problem solving and team work skills are a must.
  • Demonstrate a high level of composure when dealing with students and laboratory equipments

Specific Jobs demand

The position of a laboratory technician can be very demanding especially during peak days like when the examinations are being done. The laboratory technician will be required to display confidence when dealing with laboratory equipment. He or she will in addition be required to work with students safely and responsibly.

Since the laboratory contains many dangerous chemicals and equipments, a laboratory technician protects both herself or himself and other people using the laboratory. A laboratory technician is responsible to ensure those working in the laboratory are well dressed to be protected from laboratory hazards.

The laboratory requires much mental concentration. It is, therefore, paramount that the technician ensures that they are not under influence of drugs or alcohol and that they get enough rest.

The laboratory technicians should also observe working hours and schedules to ensure that they do not inconvenience the rest of the staff and the students.

Procedure of doing the job

The laboratory technicians have the responsibility of running a safe laboratory working environment. Below is the schedule of laboratory technicians.

  • The laboratory technician reports to work in the morning.
  • Laboratory technicians work a maximum of five days a week. They work in shifts that are well designated. There is always a stand-in laboratory technician in case of absenteeism or lateness
  • Laboratory technician consults the time-table for the day’s sessions
  • Laboratory technician confers with the subject teachers to get the specifics of the day’s session.
  • Laboratory technician on protective clothing in the form of laboratory coats, safety glasses, protective footwear and hand gloves.
  • Laboratory technician prepares chemicals and reagents if required.
  • Laboratory technician sets up the stations as required by subject teacher by putting the laboratory equipments that will be used on tables.
  • Students come into the laboratory silently and in a single file and are allocated stations to work out in groups or alone.
  • Laboratory technician gives reagents to students and students confirm if they have everything they require
  • Subject teacher takes over control of the class with the assistance of the laboratory technician
  • In case of problems with apparatus, laboratory technician repairs or changes the apparatus
  • After experiment, laboratory technician collects laboratory equipment from group
  • Laboratory technician washes equipment and stores it.
  • If there is a later laboratory session, laboratory technician prepares for that session.
  • Laboratory technician records breakages, if any
  • If anything requires repair, he calls for repair or does it depending on the level of damage
  • Before closing in the evening, laboratory technician ensures that laboratory is well secured and apparatus are well arranged and chemicals clearly labeled

While performing the above job, several hazards may take place. A job hazard analysis for any job should be performed to reduce the risk of hazards happening. The laboratory is laden with risks. A job hazard analysis is, therefore, not just important, but necessary. The findings obtained from a job hazard analysis may also be used by heads of department to train new employees and help reduce the risk of accidents happening.

            The department should follow up this job hazard analysis through scheduled and impromptu supervisions to ensure laboratory technicians observe the guidelines provided.

Identifying the hazardous steps

In this job hazard analysis, I am going to concentrate on the preparation and running of chemistry practical because the laboratory assistant’s job tasks involve too many activities. The laboratory technician, almost single handed, carries all the activities of the laboratory.

 Upon getting the instructions for next session;

  • The laboratory technician reads though the instructions given
  • He or she confirms that all chemicals and apparatus for the practical in question are available.
  • Prepares required reagents and chemicals and stores in safe containers or as required by the subject teacher.
  • Carries required apparatus and equipment to the practical area.
  • Arranges the apparatus on the tables as required by the instructor.
  • Waits for session to begin
  • Students arrive
  • Laboratory technician arranges them into their respective groups.
  • Confirms that all students have all the required apparatus
  • Distributes chemicals and reagents with the assistance of the Chemistry teacher
  • Students confirm they have all the equipment and chemicals
  • Experiment begins and laboratory technician assists to supervise
  • Missing or damaged appliances are replaced and recorded
  • Collects apparatus and appliances at the end of the experiment
  • Cleans apparatus and stores it

Laboratory technicians are exposed to a lot of harmful situations in the laboratory. To protect themselves from such harm, the laboratory technician should stay in good protection clothing to protection from such harm.

Job hazard checklist

As recommended, I came up with the following checklist for my task. Its importance is that it helps capture tasks with their corresponding hazards, causes, and correction procedures in one document.

Department Chemistry Laboratory Process Name Practical preparation Date: 2014-04-25                       ___New               ___Revised
Group Leader: N/A Manager: Harry Jayson Analysis performed by: Head of department
Sequence of Basic Job Steps Potential Hazards Recommended Action or Procedure Check if Corrected Date Initials
1.  takes glass beaker from shelf Glass breaks and cuts hand Plastic gloves      
2.  Prepares reagents Glass breaks and spills content on hands Plastic gloves      
3.  Takes glass apparatus to main experiment area Glass drops and breaks. Cuts foot Put on protective shoes      
4. Student rushes to laboratory Drops glassware which breaks and cuts colleague Rules and regulations, training      
5.  reaction causes fumes Fumes causes choking Use respiratory protection      
6.  student puts chemical in burette Chemical spills on clothes Proper training on how to use laboratory equipments      
7.  student boils chemicals in glass flask explosion Proper instructions. Read instructions carefully      
8.  puts on Bunsen burner Student’s sweater catches fire Shower to put off fire and fire extinguisher      
9.  opens reagent bottle Bottle produces choking fumes Gas mask      
10.  student heats flammable material Fire causes burn Fire extinguisher      

 General Manager                                             HR Manager                                      Dept. Manager                               Safety/Environmental              

What could go wrong?

Tight schedule sometimes necessitates the laboratory technician to work hurriedly to prepare for experiments.

Such a laboratory technician may cause take apparatuses from their shelves in a hurry and take many apparatuses together.

Sometimes the laboratory technician may neglect putting on his or her laboratory coat or other protective clothing.

When in a hurry a laboratory technician may move in a hurry and see equipments that are placed on the floor

During peak period, the laboratory technician may become fatigued hence causing poor judgment

Students may rush into the experiment area in order to secure their favourite positions


Preparing for experiments in a hurry may lead to breakages and spillages which could in turn lead to cuts, corrosion, and poisonous fumes.

Laboratory coats and other protective clothing help to protect laboratory technicians from harm when they are exposed to fire and chemicals.

Students should also observe laboratory rules at all times as this could help them avoid accidents in the laboratory. If students rush into the laboratory, they could cause spillages and breakages which would in turn pose harm to their colleagues.

Contributing Factors

  • Fatigue which may impair judgment
  • Carelessness
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Human error

Likelihood of Occurrence

Laboratory hazards are very common especially due to carelessness and ignorance. Everyone using the laboratory should observe al the regulations or face disciplinary action. All laboratory users should avoid laboratory hazards at all costs. All precautions should be taken cautiously. Most of the accidents that happen in the laboratory can be avoided through proper use and storage of laboratory equipments and chemicals and following the regulations that are laid out for use in the laboratory.

The rest can be eliminated by avoiding careless mistakes and neglect.

Standard operating procedures for hazard elimination

School should;

  • Educate those who use the laboratory upon employment through training of new and old staff
  • Put down a set of rules and regulations to be followed by those using the laboratory facilities.
  • Install required appliances, such as showers and fire extinguishers, to enhance communication.
  • Put warning signs around the library to avoid risks like fire, corrosive chemicals and to stop students from causing hazards in the laboratory
  • Device an easy method of communication in case hazards happen
  • Write a timetable that does not strain laboratory technicians as this could cause poor judgment which increases the possibilities of hazards taking place
  • Put down a mechanism for dealing with indiscipline issues in the laboratory
  • Employ more staff temporarily to work during peak days so as to reduce fatigue among workers.
  • Encourage those who are best able to control their working environments by awarding them.

Laboratory technicians should:

  • Ensure that they get to work punctually to ensure that they don’t have to rush through their duties
  • Ensure that everyone follows laboratory rules and regulations to minimize accidents
  • Ensure that they don’t work while under influence of drugs and alcohol as these could lead to poor judgment
  • Communicate to the students in clear terms to ensure that students do not make unwise decisions
  • Wear protective clothing to avoid getting hurt
  • Put on nose masks or respiratory protection to avoid being affected by the fumes that are emitted in the laboratory
  • Inform the right authorities in case there  are equipments that need repair or replacement
  • Get enough rest to avoid getting fatigued
  • Ensure that all signs are in place to avoid students and unknowing teachers from getting harmed
  • Ensure that all chemicals are well labeled and described as to the level of harm they can cause

Other laboratory users should:

  • Obey laboratory rules and regulations
  • Report incidences through the laid down infrastructure to enable the authorities to solve them
  • Only use the laboratory in the presence of a laboratory technician
  • Ask for directions in case they run into problems
  • Dress in proper gear when coming to visit the laboratory
  • Report any breakages that happen in the laboratory to ensure proper documentation

Record management

Laboratory technicians should be inspected once in a while to ensure they only work in protective gear

All trained personnel should sign their names to show they attended the training and that they are going to comply by the regulations for laboratory use

Quality control and assurance

1. A hazard assessment cannot eliminate all the hazards. Quality control and assurance alert hazard forms will be made available for all members. These will make it possible to report hazards efficiently to minimize the risk of them recurring. These forms will be used by all people who use the laboratory to report any hazards and incidents which need to be controlled since they are likely to cause hazardous effects. Authorities will, however, meet disciplinary action to people who are careless with laboratory equipment. This will discourage others from doing the same mistakes. These forms of disciplinary actions will include, but not be limited to, replacement of destroyed equipments, prosecution, and summary dismissal of workers and expulsion of students.

2. Inspection of laboratory technicians will be done impromptu to ensure they dress in correct gear to avoid causing harm to themselves and to others. The inspection will also ensure that laboratory technicians do not come to work while drunk. If found drunk, it will lead to immediate dismissal.

3. All laboratory technicians will meet once each month for a two hour training session so as to learn from each other and learn from new experiences. New employees will be required to get a two month training period over which they will only work under supervision.


OSHA (2002). Job Hazard Analysis. Washington DC, OSHA Publications Vol. 3071

OSHA (April 25, 2014). Laboratories. Available at

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