Would OSHA Consider You a Competent Person?

January 25, 2017 Dave Anderson

Safety is everybody's business
OSHA requires that safety oversight be handled by a “competent person.” But what exactly does that mean? What makes an individual “competent” in OSHA’s eyes?

Although there are currently no specific OSHA standards regarding competent persons, a new article by the safety experts at Safety Management Group in Indianapolis helps answer that question.

The law defines a competent person as someone who is:
"capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.”

So a competent person is someone who has the training and knowledge to identify workplace hazards and prevent accidents. But there's more – and it’s the most important part:

A competent person also has the authority to take prompt action on the jobsite to ensure that rules, standards and guidelines are properly applied in the workplace.

Of course there are considerations and even misconceptions about when and how many "competent persons" are needed for any workplace or job site. Check out the full article for more guidance. By ensuring that you have someone who meets OSHA’s rules for a competent person, you’re doing more than simply complying with regulations. You’re making your jobsite safer for your workers and reminding them that you take safety seriously.

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