One way to describe a competent person is one who demonstrates through their actions and behaviors those competencies required to be successful at a task. If the task is to prevent your own and others’ injuries, then to be a competent person, you need to know what to do to prevent injuries, recognize what causes them and want to do what it takes to work safe. In other words, people around you perceive that you are mentally positive about safety and physically demonstrate your belief.

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Zig Ziglar, a great motivator and thinker, said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Can you be a competent person? Certainly. Use the following questions to help you self-assess where you are with regard to being a competent person:

• What have I done to make sure that I understand the technical knowledge and skills required for my work?

• What do I know about the hazards associated with my work and what else do I need to know more about?

• What assumptions do I make about the safety of my work? Facts or opinions?

• How am I using my authority and responsibility for safely performing my work?

• What questions should I be asking my manager, supervisor or leader so I can be recognized as a competent person?

These are only a few of the questions you can ask yourself to determine the strengths you have as a competent person. You may find some areas where you want to increase your knowledge, skills and abilities.

By starting with yourself, you can determine how competent your work site is.

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