What is a Competent Person?
Many OSHA standards, especially in construction, require a “competent person” to be designated at the jobsite. Filling this role requires proper training, relevant experience to the work being performed and adequate knowledge of the associated regulations.
The competent person should be able to recognize critical hazards as well as have the authority to take the action needed to mitigate hazards. It’s much more than just picking someone to fill a slot.
A previous article, "What is a Competent Person?" found in the National Safety Council's Safety+Health publication, talks about how the term is often taken too lightly. Again, it's much more than just selecting a body to fill a role or attending one 10-hour training class covering all the various standards. Competency must be considered and evaluated for this important role.
At a minimum, your designated competent person should meet the following minimum qualifications:
(1) A high level of understanding of the types of hazards typically encountered in that area of work;
(2) A solid review of applicable standards relating to that type of work; and,
(3) A thorough understanding of types of solutions to control or eliminate the hazards.
To assist in preparing your competent person in fall protection, we encourage you to register for Roco's Fall Protection Competent Person - April 4-5, 2016 course in Baton Rouge. This course will provide practical experience in recognizing fall hazards and developing appropriate measures for reducing or eliminating those hazards.