Competent Person – What is it, why do we need it?


Did you know that every job when using fall protection requires the use of a competent person?

What is a competent fall protection person according to ANSI and OSHA?

According to ANSI Z359.0-2007, a competent person is defined as:
“An individual designated by the employer to be responsible for the immediate supervision, implementation, and monitoring of the employers managed fall protection program who, through training and knowledge, is capable of identifying, evaluating, and addressing existing and potential fall hazards, and who has the employers authority to take prompt corrective action with regard to such hazards.”

According to OSHA, a competent person is defined as:
“One who is capable of identifying existing and predictable conditions in the surrounding areas and work areas which are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective action.”

Notice that both ANSI and OSHA stipulate that the competent person be capable of recognizing hazards and have authority to stop work when needed. Those two elements are key requirements in the role of the competent person. Also, the competent person must be deemed so by their employer and there are no training classes or schools that can deem a worker competent.

Why do you need a competent person for your fall protection plan?
There are several areas in the ANSI and OSHA rules where the need for a competent person pops up. First, would be the initial inspection and assessment of jobsite hazards. According to both OSHA and ANSI that means having a competent person do this work and provide feedback on predictable hazards. Without personal work experience and training the employee may not recognize fall hazards such as open holes, unprotected edges, and fall clearance issues, etc.

Inspections- Competent people needed!
Second, the competent person is mentioned frequently regarding inspection of product. Per ANSI A10, your fall protection must be inspected at least every six months by a competent person and OSHA requires that all fall protection be inspected by a person who is trained by a competent person. In addition, many manufactures stipulate that fall protection devices are inspected by competent persons and documented.

What does all of this mean?
Clearly there is a lot to review and dissect regarding competent persons and their role in your particular fall protection program. We are here to help! We can help you set up competent person training around the country

(Reposted with permission from Jasson Farrier)


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2 Responses to “Competent Person – What is it, why do we need it?”

  1. Competent Person – What is it, why do we need it? | Says:

    […] full post on Always On Top Tags: Competent, need, Person Posted in Roofmaster […]

  2. 2010 in review « Always On Top Says:

    […] Competent Person – What is it, why do we need it? June 2010 1 comment 5 […]

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