EWT - Job Briefings

Learning objectives

  • Correctly identify job briefings' importance and benefits.
  • Correctly determine when, how often, and how thoroughly to conduct job briefings.
  • Effectively identify, organize, and present a job briefing's core information.

Course overview

Failure to identify job hazards is a major concern for lineworkers. If an employee doesn’t know the dangers involved in their job, they won’t be able to protect against them. Employee failure to identify and grasp jobsite hazards has led to numerous electrical utility accidents. Before ever stepping foot on a work site, employees need to know what hazards exist and what steps to take to reduce the risk of accident and injury.

Job Hazard Analysis Meeting

OSHA requires a Job Hazard Analysis meeting to cover at least five core topics:

  • Hazards associated with the job
  • Work procedures involved
  • Special precautions
  • Energy source controls
  • Personal protective equipment

OSHA requires job briefings in order to help you plan your work. This planning helps you ensure employee safety, protect equipment, and protect the general public from whatever could go wrong when safety isn’t the foremost concern in a high-risk work environment.

Lineworkers routinely work around exposed, high-voltage conductors. They need to maintain Minimum Approach Distances (MAD) for unprotected parts of the body, and to consider “Extended Reach.” If employees work in power generation facilities, they’re frequently near hazardous substances. Workers there will face other dangers, such as: high air pressure; high water pressure; pressurized chemical injection systems; and steam pressure and heat.

Requirements For Workers Planning Around Inherent Hazards

  • Identify the task’s basic hazards.
  • Communicate the work plan to the whole crew: Who will do what? In what order? How will we coordinate? What tools will we need?
  • Consider: Does this particular task involve any unusual conditions, or distractions, not present on similar jobs? Do these unusual circumstances require any special precautions?
  • Consider: To accomplish this task safely, would it be prudent to de-energize equipment before you begin?
  • Make sure that everyone has the personal protective equipment required for the task.

OSHA requires at least one briefing before each work day or shift. OSHA requires additional briefings if any shift involves “significant changes” that might affect employees’ safety.

Examples of “Significant Changes”

  • Different kinds or tasks on the same shift
  • New personnel or spectators
  • Changing weather
  • Significant delays (e.g., interrupting work for a trouble call, then resuming)
  • Changing scope of work
  • Unexpected complications, hazards, malfunctions, or distractions

OSHA Conditions for a Brief Discussion

  • Routine work
  • Employees’ training and experience adequate to recognize and avoid hazards

OSHA Triggers That Demand a More Extensive Briefing

  • Complicated or hazardous work
  • Employees might not recognize and avoid hazards

Preparing and Delivering an Effective Job Briefing

  • The employee in charge presents each briefing, or shares presentation duties
  • The employee in charge remains responsible for shared presentations
  • Presentations should be clear, concise, and logical
  • Presentation should be organized around OSHA’s five core topics
  • Allow time for everyone’s input, questions, and answers

Written Materials to Support Effective Briefings

The current OSHA standard doesn’t require the safety professional to use any written materials in job briefings, but written briefing materials are emerging as a best practice.

  • Employers increasingly require written checklists and sign-off forms
  • Written supports help job briefings deliver better safety results
  • Checklists remind presenters of required topics, and details
  • Sign-offs help everyone “take ownership” of safety responsibilities
  • Completed forms help employers demonstrate compliance

An employee who’s working alone is not required to conduct a job briefing. Even so, OSHA states that the employer must make sure tasks are planned out, just “as if” a briefing had been required. A supervisor should brief the employee on hazards, work procedures, and safety measures. If employees who normally work alone are assembled into a crew of two or more people for a given task, that crew requires a normal briefing.

  • 20 minutes
  • Format: Online Interactive
  • English
Course Outline
  • Importance of Job Briefings
  • Frequency and Extent of Job Briefings
  • Contents and Presentation Techniques
  • 29 CFR 1910.269, Subpart R, Special Industries, Section (c)
  • 29 CFR 1910.269, Subpart R, Special Industries, Section (a)
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