US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1926.32; 1926.650; 1926.651

February 21,

MEMORANDUM FOR: BYRON R. CHADWICK
Regional Administrator
FROM: JOHN B. MILES, JR., Director
Directorate of Field Operations
SUBJECT: Clarification of Competent and Qualified Person, as it Relates to Subpart P

This is in response to your memorandum of January 28, on the above subject.

29 CFR 1926.32(f) states: "Competent person" means on who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroun- dings or working conditons, which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dang- erous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

29 CFR 1926.32(l) states: "Qualified" means one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or profess- ional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, has successfully demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.

These definitions provide that a competent person must have authority to take prompt measures to eliminate hazards at the work site and have the experience to be capable of identifying these hazards. This is the reason a competent person is required under inspection requirements in 29 CFR 1926.650 and 29 CFR 1926.651.

The definitions provide that a qualified person must have a recognized degree, certificate, etc., or extensive experience and ability to solve the subject problems, at the worksite. This is the reason why 29 CFR 1926.651(f) requires that supporting systems design shall be by a qualified person. There may be a requirement for more technical or engineering knowledge here.

Each excavation job as in any other case, must be evaluated as to the facts relating to the needs of a competent person, and qualified person.

The professional judgement of OSHA must come into play by using our construction regulations where they apply

Please advise if we can be of further assistance.


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close