Competent workers. In general, for people to be competent in the health and safety aspects of their work, they will have a combination of the following requirements:

  • be qualified because of knowledge, training, and experience to do the assigned work
  • have knowledge about the hazards and risks associated with the job or task to be performed (e.g., knows what hazards and risks are present)
  • know how to recognize, evaluate and control these hazards and risks (e.g., knows what precautions to take or controls to use/are in place for the different hazards or risks)
  • have the ability to work so that their health and safety and the health and safety of others is not in danger
  • have knowledge of the laws and regulations that apply to the work being done
These abilities can be learned or acquired through a combination of a person’s knowledge, skills, experience, and training. Knowledge can be defined as knowing both what to do as well as how to do it. Skill can be defined as having the ability to perform the activity correctly. Skills often require technical know-how, expertise, practice, measurement, and feedback to develop into ability. Some abilities will be gained through experience and practice, other abilities may be learned through informal and formal education and training.

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