The HSE-gateway

Safe Job Analysis (SJA)

You can use the SJA method to assess the risk of a work task or activity. UiB has developed a simple template that can be used by both employees and students for this purpose.

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The Safe Job Analysis (SJA) is used in many different industries and is particularly known from the oil and gas industry, and the construction industry. The procedure for a SJA is often similar, but the scope of the SJA may vary depending on the industry.

A SJA is a way of systematically reviewing a work task or activity, by dividing the task into smaller sub-tasks, and reviewing each sub-task to assess the risk associated with it. This makes it possible to introduce measures to reduce or eliminate the risk associated with each sub-task.

A SJA does not replace the need for HSE risk assessments and risk and vulnerability analysis (RVA also known as ROS), but is intended as a supplement in situations where these risk assessments do not cover a specific work task or activity.

You can think of a SJA as stopping and thinking before carrying out a risky work task or activity. By dividing the work task/activity into smaller sub-tasks, you get the opportunity to assess the work you are doing in more detail, and uncover any hazards. This gives you the opportunity to introduce measures in advance of the work task/activity, to prevent unwanted incidents.

Below you can read about the different steps for completing a SJA at UiB. UiB has developed a simple template for this that can be used by both employees and students.

1. Identify need for SJA

Everyone involved in a work task/activity can decide whether there is a need to carry out a SJA. Both students and staff.

A SJA should, for example, be performed:

  • If the work task/activity will deviate from established routines or procedures.
  • If the work task/activity requires collaboration between different units or professional groups.
  • If the equipment used is not covered by current work instructions or routines.
  • If the people who are performing the work task/activity do not have experience with this task.
  • If undesirable incidents have occurred in connection with this type of work task/activity in the past.

2. Planning of a SJA

A SJA should be carried out in time for measures to be introduced before the work task/activity starts, but close enough in time so that you still have the SJA fresh in your mind when you carry out the work task/activity.

  • Prior to the SJA, it may be a good idea to make a preliminary division of the work task/activity into sub-tasks.
  • Obtain information about the work task/activity you are going to perform. Examples of this can be talking to someone who has experience with similar work tasks/activities, examining if previous risk assessments or SJAs are available, reading instructions for use for equipment you will be using and read chemical data sheets for chemicals.
  • Decide who is going to participate in the SJA and who will be responsible for the SJA. The SJA-responsible is often the person responsible for the work task/activity that is going to be performed, e.g. lab responsible, head of workshop or similar. Also clarify who will document the SJA using the template.

3. Participants at the SJA

It is a good idea to be more than one person when conducting a risk assessment, this also applies to a SJA.

The person or persons who are going to perform the work task/activity must always participate in the SJA, together with the SJA-responsible.

4. Carrying out a SJA

A SJA is conducted as a meeting between the participants of the SJA. This can be done at the location where the work task/activity is to be performed, or you can carry out an inspection at the work site in advance.

When carrying out the SJA, the template for SJA is used. It is recommended to take notes directly in the template during the SJA meeting (remember to save the document on your PC first), but you can also take handwritten notes under the SJA and enter them in the template afterwards.

It is recommended that the SJA document is stored digitally, somewhere it can easily be retrieved if needed later.

  • The template is used to divide the work task/activity into sub-tasks and identify hazards associated with each sub-task in the form of undesirable incidents that may occur. It is often to your advantage to have made a preliminary division of the work task/activity into sub-tasks prior to the SJA meeting.
  • The sub-tasks must be in the order in which they will be performed.
  • You can then identify measures to prevent the undesirable incidents associated with each sub-task to reduce the risk.
  • The measures will help to prevent the undesirable incident from occurring and reduce the consequence should the undesirable incident occur.


Some SJAs have checklists with points that can be ticked off when carrying out the SJA. At UiB, the diversity of work tasks/activities is large, and it will be difficult to create a common checklist that covers all undesirable incidents that may occur. Some units therefore choose to create their own SJA templates.

When using checklists, one must be aware that this can lead to a one-sided focus on the checklist, and little focus on detecting other undesirable incidents. One way to get around this, can be to have a brainstorming session where you identify all the possible hazards and undesirable incidents that can occur, and then go through the checklist at the end of the SJA.

The picture below shows examples of common hazards that can lead to undesirable incidents. Chemicals are hazardous and can lead to an undesirable incident by a chemical spill on skin or in eyes. Mechanical hazards can lead to an undesirable incident by e.g. crush injuries of the body in a machine with rotating parts. Gravity can lead to infliction of damage from falling objects, e.g. if you are working at height and drop equipment on people below you.

Image of different hazards that can occur


When it comes to identifying measures to reduce risk, you should first and foremost consider measures that reduce the possibility that an undesirable incident will occur, these are called preventive measures. The use of a reflective vest when getting out of the car with engine failure on a busy road is an example of a preventive measure. It makes you more visible and reduces the likelihood of you being hit by a passing car.

You should also implement measures that can reduce the consequence if something should happen, these are called limiting measures. The use of seat belts is an example of a limiting measure. The seat belt cannot prevent a collision, but it can reduce the extent of damage to people when a collision occurs.

Examples of other measures are training and information, routines and plans for work, use of protective equipment such as. goggles, hearing protection, gloves, and laboratory coats, blocking of areas that may be dangerous to others, wearing a helmet, having fire extinguishers, first aid kit, emergency shower and eye wash available and knowing the location of these.

5. Going ahead with the work task/activity

After completing the SJA and if measures have been introduced so that the work task/activity can be completed in a safe manner, you can go ahead and start working.

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