Safety Discussion – JSA: Just Sign and Agree?

Nov 12, 2020 11:16:38 AM

By: Bluefield AMS

During a recent Webinar as part of our Effective Maintenance Supervision program, we discussed the topic of Safety Leadership. The group shared their thoughts on the issue of whether Job Safety Analyses (JSA’S) were being used effectively, or if people were, in the words of one participant, “Just Signing and Agreeing.”

Some of the group expressed concern regarding whether everyone is truly thinking about the safety aspects of the task they’re performing, or if they just want to get the job done and go home.

One of our most experienced team members, Brad Guy, shared a couple of anecdotes from his time as a supervisor. Below is an edited transcript of his share. We would love for everyone to read it, and contribute their thoughts to the discussion below.


Brad’s Story

I had the crew at the pre-start, and asked “Ok, is everyone ready? Has everyone read the JSA?”

Yep, yep, yep – everyone had signed it.

“So, you’ve signed it to say that you’ve read it?”

Yep, yep, yep, got that…..

They’d all go to work, but did they really read it? Anyone who’s done supervision, you know they don’t read it.

I said the same thing to them every day: “Has everyone read it?”

Yep, yep – everyone’s signed.

So, one day, after everyone went to work, I added a line. It said: “By signing this document you agree to hand over your car keys to me and I will take possession of all your vehicles, and you’ll sign the registration over to me.”

The next morning, at the pre-start, I asked again if everyone had read and signed the JSA.

Yep, yep.

“So, you all agree to the conditions?”

Yep, yep.

Then I said: “Right, everyone bring your keys over and put them in this bucket.”

They all looked at me like it was some kind of (adult) party!

I told them to go back and read the JSA, and there it was. It just brought to their attention that anyone can just write a line in the JSA. I used to get on with them pretty well, so it wasn’t taken the wrong way, but it just proved that point.


Another Quick Example

We had boilermakers in the revolving frame of a dragline. They were “gouging” - it’s messy and dirty and cloudy and gas detectors can be set off if you have them in there.

The guys were working in there without respiration and their gas detectors were going off. I went over to see what was going on, and the gas detector was about five bays away!

I asked him what he was doing.

He said: “The bloody thing keeps going off! I keep moving it away until it stops!”

I asked him: “What’s that thing telling you? What’s it there for?”

I don’t know! It just keeps beeping and buzzing and the lights are going off!

I told him “that means the air is irrespirable.”

Yeah, but it just keeps going off all the time! What am I supposed to do?!?!