(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala -- The Safety Office would like to wish everyone at Anniston Army Depot a happy and prosperous new year. We have all been able to enjoy some time off celebrating the holidays, eating some good food, and doing things outside of work that we may not always get the time to do.

After so many days off, returning to work can be a struggle as we all find ourselves wishing for just a few more days of rest and relaxation. This can sometimes cause a lack of focus or job readiness that is crucial to performing your job both safely and effectively. It is very important that you refocus quickly and maintain awareness of your surroundings and job requirements to help prevent potentially avoidable accidents.

To help aid in the process of refocusing our minds on the safety aspect of our jobs, let’s look at what the month holds relating to Job Hazard Analysis reviews on the depot. Over the next few weeks, all employees will review each JHA that is relevant to the tasks that they perform each day. It is very important that all employees from the most to least tenured review and sign the JHA.

You may think “I have been performing this job for 10 years, nothing has changed, and I have never been hurt.” But accidents can happen to anyone even the most veteran employees. It is very important that you carefully read each potential hazard and its hazard control method to ensure you are adequately protecting yourself. It is easy to perform unsafe habits that are not identified until someone is injured. Years of habit can create a hazardous situation, and by reviewing the JHA, even the most experienced employee may be able to identify ways they can work safer each day.

A JHA outlines each basic job step, potential hazards associated with that step, and methods to control those hazards. So how should this look on the shop floor? Shop supervisors must have employees review each applicable JHA prior to signing the JHA training log. Employees should never sign the log without thoroughly reviewing the JHA. Supervisors are ultimately responsible for ensuring the JHAs are accurate and up-to-date, but shop floor employees are important to the process as well.

January is the month for annual training reviews, but we can also use this month to make revisions to the JHA as needed. As a shop floor employee, you are ultimately the expert on the job you perform each day. As you complete your annual JHA review, let your supervisor know if you see a need for improvement.  Identifying a potential hazard or additional hazard control can make a huge impact to your safety and the safety of your fellow employees.

Safety is all about improvement. I remember a saying from my high school sports days that stuck with me throughout my career. Each day before practice we were told “let’s get one percent better today.” A percent may not sound like much, but anytime you make yourself or something else better than the day before, you are moving in the right direction. Safety is like that as well, it’s not a sport, but we must strive to get better each day.

JHAs may seem like a small task, but if each employee conducts a review in January, over 3000 people will complete this training. If just one of those employees identifies a safer way to perform their job, we have gotten just a little better than the day before.

The goal of the Safety Office is zero accidents or injuries. That is what we strive for daily. I ask you to join me as we accomplish this goal together. Please continue to work safe and remain focused on the tasks at hand.