May 2021
Volume 73    Issue 5

Competencies for the competent person: Defining workplace examiner competencies from the health and safety leader’s perspective

Hrica, Jonathan K.; Eiter, Brianna M.


The ability to identify hazards during a workplace examination is a critical skill for mineworkers to have in order to maintain a safe workplace. While research suggests that being able to successfully recognize hazards requires a complex set of competencies, it is unclear which competencies are most critical to adequately perform a workplace examination. This paper presents a hazard recognition competencies framework as an explanation of the competencies that affect mineworker hazard recognition. To better understand how the industry is selecting and preparing workplace examiners, researchers from the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) interviewed nine health and safety (H&S) professionals at surface stone, sand and gravel mine sites throughout the United States. These interviews verified that the competencies included in the hazard recognition competencies framework agree with perceptions of the interviewed H&S professionals, who also provided validity for the critical role these competencies play. Finally, the results of this study are presented within the context of current NIOSH research findings related to hazard recognition.

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2020) 37:1951–1959,


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