OSHA defines a competent person as someone with the knowledge and skills to identify and predict current or future hazards representing danger to employees. Specialized training is required to help these selected individuals recognize and address risks, evaluate working conditions and equipment integrity, and exercise the power to shut down operations when necessary.
Every employer should designate a competent person at each site based on experience, and these persons should undergo extensive training to further their knowledge on safety precautions and procedures. Competent person training is specific to a person’s role on the site and teaches workers about recognizing clear dangers and how to handle them. This instruction is vital for work involving specific risks such as:
- Confined spaces
- Fall protection