OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

April 26, 1977

Mr. Richard Munsterman
Post Office Box 439
M Duluth, Minnesota 55803

Dear Mr. Munsterman:

This is in response to your letter of April 5, 1977, regarding procedures to be followed to be recognized by the Department of Labor as a competent and/or accredited person. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard you referenced is 29 CFR 1926.550(a)(6) Cranes and Derricks, General Requirements.

Your specific inquiry is regarding aerial lifts and diggers derricks used by utility companies. 29 CFR 1926.550(a)(6) does not apply to the equipment you describe.

The employer assigns or approves a person as a "competent person". 29 CFR 1926.32(f), definitions, states the following:

"Competent person" means 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.

There are OSHA maritime standards that are referenced in construction standards (Part 1926) that require, under certain work situations, the material handling devices be certificated in accordance with the standards of Part 1919, by persons then currently accredited by OSHA as provided in Part 1919.

Enclosed is OSHA 2208, Maritime Employment, Safety and Health Regulations, Parts 1915-1919. These maritime standards cover the subject of accredited persons or agencies that are recognized by OSHA to certificate certain maritime equipment.

Thank you for your concern and continuing interest in safety and health.


Richard P. Wilson
Deputy Director,
Federal Compliance and State Programs