Are you a Competent Person?


So what makes a person competent or qualified to teach fall protection training courses? There is no standard definition or requirement. So, wouldn't you rather have some documentation to back up why you designated the person as Designated, Authorized, Competent, or Qualified?


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" 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.


1926.32(i)

"Designated person" means "authorized person" as defined in paragraph (d) of this section.


1926.32(d)

"Authorized person" means a person approved or assigned by the employer to perform a specific type of duty or duties or to be at a specific location or locations at the jobsite.


1926.32(f)

"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.


1926.32(m)

"Qualified" means one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional 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.


ANSI further clarifies this (ANSI is a consensus standard often used by industry as the "norm"


  • (ANSI Z359 2.30) Competent Person:An individual knowledgeable of fall protection equipment, including the manufacturers recommendations and instructions for the proper use, inspection, storage and maintenance; and who is capable of identifying hazards; and who has the employer’s authority to take prompt corrective action to eliminate or control those hazards; and who is knowledgeable of the laws, regulations, and standards regarding fall protection equipment and systems.

  • (ANSI Z359 7.3) Training:Authorized persons shall be trained by a competent person.Included:How to use, how to estimate maf, proper methods of donning, proper attachment locations, intended function, attachment methods, estimate free fall distance, what to do after a fall to protect the user from injury, emergency rescue planning and execution to include: methods of rescue, rescue personnel available, type of equipment available, training of rescue personnel.

  • (ANSI Z359 3.3.6.4) Training every two years

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