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Step 4

Conduct Job Task Analysis

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Task analysis can be used to assess workstation and job design. In the Return-to-Work process, task analysis serves two functions:

  • Loss prevention:

    • Analyze jobs and work stations to minimize or eliminate hazards that may cause injuries or illness;

    • Identify jobs and tasks that are particularly risky and make their redesign a priority; and

    • Avoid the accident before it happens.

  • Identification of alternate work assignments:

    • Managers and workers will review existing job descriptions and perform task analysis on each using the task analysis checklist.

Task Analysis Checklist

Task analysis allows Return-to-Work team members to:

  • Identify the root cause of unsafe conditions in the workplace;

  • Prioritize workplace hazards so the worst problems can be addressed first;

  • Make hazard prevention a part of new workplace design;

  • Provide information to the health care provider treating the injured worker; and

  • Determine the job modifications required to enable the worker to carry out job activities based on information provided by the health care provider.

Questions to be Included During a Job Task Analysis

  • What activities are involved?

  • What are the physical functions required?

  • How frequently are they performed?

  • What is the duration?

  • What is a typical daily schedule?

  • What equipment and tools are required?

  • How are tools used?

  • What postures are involved?

  • What skills are required?

  • What weights are lifted?

  • How often are they lifted?

It is important that workers, as the people closest to day-to-day operations, participate in the preparation of task lists on their own jobs, and it is helpful if all members of the Return-to-Work team are familiar with the work environment. If feasible, conduct tests to quantify the force and exertion required to perform the duties of the job.

Additionally, the best time to conduct job analyses in your company is before a workplace injury or illness occurs. When a new employee is hired, or once a job task analysis is drafted for a current employee, have the employee sign off on the job task analysis before the injury occurs. This not only aids in the accuracy and consistency of the document but it also eases the burden of participating in a job analysis on the injured or ill employee during what could otherwise be a very difficult and confusing time.

An important thing to keep in mind is that your Job Task Analyses need to be kept up to date as the positions within your company change. It is very important to constantly review and update your records to ensure that they are accurate should you require them.


Appendix P: Job Description - Essential Functions (PDF)

Appendix Q: Provider Examination Report (PDF)

Appendix R: Return-to-Work Program Provider Form (PDF)