The term "Competent Person" is used in many OSHA standards and documents. An OSHA "competent person" is defined as "one 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" [29 CFR 1926.32(f)]. By way of training and/or experience, a competent person is knowledgeable of applicable standards, is capable of identifying workplace hazards relating to the specific operation, and has the authority to correct them. Some standards add additional specific requirements which must be met by the competent person.
There are currently no specific standards regarding competent persons.
This section highlights OSHA standards, preambles to final rules (background to final rules), directives (instructions for compliance officers), and standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to competent persons.
Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have
OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are
identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
Shipyard Employment (29
- 1915 Subpart A, General provisions
- 1915 Subpart B, Confined and enclosed spaces and other dangerous atmospheres in shipyard employment
- 1915.11, Scope, applications, and definitions applicable to this subpart
- 1915.12, Precautions and the order of testing before entering confined and enclosed spaces and other dangerous atmospheres
- 1915.13, Cleaning and other cold work
- 1915.14, Hot work
- 1915.15, Maintenance of safe conditions
- Appendix A, Compliance assistance guidelines for confined and enclosed spaces and other dangerous atmospheres
- 1915 Subpart C, Surface preparation and preservation
- 1915 Subpart D, Welding, cutting and heating
- 1915.53, Welding, cutting and heating in way of preservative coatings
- 1915.54, Welding, cutting and heating of hollow metal containers and structures not covered by 1915.12
- 1915.57, Uses of fissionable material in ship repairing and shipbuilding
- 1915 Subpart E, Scaffolds, ladders and other working surfaces
- 1915 Subpart G,
Gear and equipment for rigging and materials handling
- 1915 Subpart H, Tools and related equipment
- 1915.135, Powder actuated fastening tools
- 1915.136, Internal combustion engines, other than ship's equipment
- 1915 Subpart K, Portable, unfired pressure vessels, drums and containers, other than ship's equipment
- 1915.172, Portable air receivers and other unfired pressure vessels
- 1915 Subpart Z, Toxic and hazardous substances
- 1915.1001, Asbestos
- Appendix F, Work practices and engineering controls for class I asbestos operations - Non-mandatory
Gear Certification (29
- 1919.2, Definition of terms
- 1919.26, Visual inspection before tests
- 1919.27, Unit proof tests-winches, derricks and gear accessory thereto
- 1919.28, Unit proof tests-cranes and gear accessory thereto
- 1919.29, Limitations on safe working loads and proof loads
- 1919.30, Examinations subsequent to unit tests
- 1919.31, Proof tests-loose gear
- 1919.32, Specially designed blocks and components
- 1919.33, Proof tests-wire rope
- 1919.34, Proof tests after repairs or alterations
- 1919.35, Order of tests
- 1919.36, Heat treatment
- 1919.37, Competent persons
Construction Industry (29
- 1926 Subpart C, General safety and health provisions
- 1926 Subpart D, Occupational health and environmental controls
- 1926 Subpart E, Personal protective and life saving equipment
- 1926 Subpart H, Materials handling, storage, use, and disposal
- 1926.251, Rigging equipment for material handling
- 1926 Subpart J, Welding and cutting
- 1926.354, Welding, cutting, and heating in way of preservative coatings
- 1926 Subpart K, Electrical
- 1926 Subpart L, Scaffolds
- 1926.450, Scope, application and definitions applicable to this subpart
- 1926.451, General requirements
- 1926.454, Training requirements
- 1926 Subpart M, Fall protection
- 1926.500, Scope, application, and definitions applicable
to this subpart
- 1926.502, Fall protection systems criteria and practices
- 1926.503, Training requirements
- Appendix C, Personal fall arrest systems - Non-mandatory guidelines for complying with
- Appendix E, Sample fall protection plan - Non-mandatory guidelines for complying with 1926.502(k)
- 1926 Subpart N, Helicopters, Hoists, Elevators, and Conveyors
- 1926 Subpart P, Excavations
- 1926.650, Scope, application, and definitions applicable to this subpart
- 1926.651, Specific excavation requirements
- 1926.652, Requirements for protective systems
- Appendix A, Soil classification
- Appendix B, Sloping and benching
- 1926 Subpart Q, Concrete and masonry construction
- 1926.705, Requirements for lift-slab operations
- 1926 Subpart R, Steel erection
- 1926.751, Definitions
- 1926.752, Site layout, site-specific erection plan and construction sequence
- 1926.753, Hoisting and rigging
- 1926.754, Structural steel assembly
- 1926 Subpart S, Underground construction, caissons, cofferdams, and compressed air
- 1926 Subpart T, Demolition [related topic page]
- 1926 Subpart U, Blasting and the use of explosives
- 1926 Subpart X, Ladders
- 1926 Subpart Z, Toxic and hazardous substances
- 1926 Subpart CC, Cranes and derricks in construction
- 1926.1401, Definitions
- 1926.1404, Assembly/disassembly -- general requirements
- 1926.1412, Inspections
- 1926.1413, Wire rope -- inspection
- 1926.1417, Operation
- 1926.1423, Fall protection
- 1926.1430, Training
- 1926.1431, Hoisting personnel
- 1926.1432, Multiple-crane/derrick lifts -- supplemental requirements
- 1926.1435, Tower cranes
- 1926.1436, Derricks
- 1926.1437, Floating cranes/derricks and land cranes/ derricks on barges
Preambles to Final Rules
- Inspection Procedures for Enforcing Subpart L, Scaffolds Used in Construction - 29 CFR 1926.450-454. CPL 02-01-023 [CPL 2.1.23], (1997, January 7). Appendix A contains information on the knowledge of and duties performed by a competent person.
- Inspection Procedures for Occupational Exposure to Asbestos Final Rule 29 CFR Parts 1910.1001, 1926.1101, and 1915.1001. CPL 02-02-063 [CPL 2.2.63], (1995, November 3). Contains competent person training requirements including a summary of EPA course requirements.
- Inspection Procedures for Enforcing the Excavation Standard, 29 CFR 1926, Subpart P. CPL 02-00-087 [CPL 2.87], (1990, February 20). Section H.4.b.2 provides direction on determining qualifications of the designated competent person.
- Search all available directives.
- Inspection. (2012, October 1). Clarification of the term controlling entity and responsibility for ground conditions for safe crane operations.
- Excavation. (2010, July 1). "Competent" person under one section of subpart P also qualify as a competent designer of structural ramps under construction.
- Training. (2005, June 17). Requirements for being designated a competent person under 1926 subpart L (scaffolds).
- Training and competency for oxygen-fuel gas welding equipment use. (1998, May 13). The workman in charge of a system may perform as a welder and welding operator to the extent that welding or cutting does not interfere with his or her responsibilities for safe operation.
- OSHA's requirement for certification for building roof anchor points & the "Certificate of Regulation Compliance Building" form. (1996, August 9). Competent person means a person because of training and experience, is capable of identifying hazardous or dangerous conditions in powered platform installations and of training employees to identify such conditions.
- Training requirements of the competent person for class II roofing work. (1996, April 2). Responds to a question of whether the competent person for class II roofing work must always attend a 5-day asbestos supervisory course.
- The assessment of craft technical skills. (1996, January 19). OSHA does not require tests to assess craft technical skills and knowledge. It is the responsibility of the employer to assure that their employees possess the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their tasks safely.
- Inspection of cranes used at a construction site. (1993, February 1). Contains a general clarification of requirements to be designated as a competent person for crane inspections.
- Rules addressing competent persons and qualified persons. (1992, April 15). Provides a definition of competent persons in construction, particularly for excavation.
- Powered platforms for building maintenance to "a permanently installed suspended scaffold". (1992, December 15). States that a competent person means a person who, because of training and experience, is capable of identifying hazardous and dangerous conditions in powered platform installations.
fly extension ladders manufactured by Keller Industries. (1992, April 16). Shows that a competent person would be knowledgeable about the placement requirements of rear-fly ladders.
- Clarification of (Excavation) Standards. (1991, January 9). Here, the competent person must be thoroughly knowledgeable of requirements or of the limitations of the manufactured system.
- Construction crane certifications. (1981, August 18). Responds to a letter concerning construction crane certifications and how a competent person must be capable and must have authority.
- Search all available standard interpretations.
- OSHA Technical Manual (OTM). OSHA Directive TED 01-00-015 [TED 1-0.15A], (1999, January 20).
- A Guide to Scaffold use in the Construction Industry. OSHA Publication 3150, (2002).
- Suspended Scaffolds - Two Point (swing stage) - Personnel training and competent persons. OSHA Scaffolding eTool.
- Inspection Guide. OSHA Steel Erection eTool.
- Construction Hazards and Standards [1 MB PPT*, 64 slides]. OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grantee Slide Presentation.
- Construction Resource Manual - Appendix B - 50 Most Frequently Cited Standards. OSHA.
- Training Requirements in OSHA Standards and Training Guidelines [720 KB PDF*, 110 pages]. OSHA Publication 2254, (1998).
- Residential Fall Protection Program Update - Slide 73. OSHA Slide Presentation.
- Subpart CC - Cranes and Derrick in Construction: Wire Rope - Inspection [234 KB PDF*, 3 pages]. OSHA Fact Sheet, (2013).
- Fall Prevention: Training Guide -- A Lesson Plan for Employers [4 MB PDF*, 24 pages]. OSHA Publication 3666, (2013).
- Reducing Falls During Residential Construction: Re-Roofing [631 KB PDF*, 4 pages]. OSHA Fact Sheet, (2012, January).
- Reducing Falls in Construction: Safe Use of Job-made Wooden Ladders [657 KB PDF*, 2 pages]. OSHA Fact Sheet, (2013, May).
- Powered platforms [46 KB PDF*, 2 pages]. OSHA Fact Sheet, (2002).
- Working Safely in Trenches [322 KB PDF*, 2 pages]. OSHA QuickCard™, (2011). Also available in Spanish [302 KB PDF*, 2 pages].
- Trenching and Excavation Safety [248 KB PDF*, 2 pages]. OSHA Fact Sheet, (2011). Also available in Spanish [249 KB PDF*, 2 pages].
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