Confined Space E&A – Competent Person

A competent person is an employee who is able to recognize hazards associated with a particular task, and has the ability to mitigate those hazards. Many OSHA construction standards require someone onsite – such as a foreman, supervisor or other employee – to be designated as a competent person.

  • Authorized Entrant
  • Standby Person (Attendant)
  • Entry Supervisor
  • Rescue/Rescuer Service

Based on the OSHA Standard 1926.32(f), an OSHA competent person as an individual who is capable of:

  • Identifying workplace conditions that are hazardous, dangerous, or unsanitary to employees and others on the job site
  • Identifying existing and predictable potential hazards in their surroundings
  • Having authority to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate any hazards

What OSHA is Looking For?

That’s right. OSHA will ask who your Competent Person is. They’ll do this for two reasons:

1) to see if your other employees know who it is
2) to evaluate their knowledge and level of authority.

If the employee is found lacking during this evaluation, they may cite you as if you did not have a Competent Person (because, in their eyes, you don’t). As an employer it is important that you select the right person for this role and that they understand the responsibilities that come with it. It is important that you make it known to the workforce who your Competent Person is (remember, as long as they are qualified, a single person can be the Competent Person for various aspects of your job). It is important that this title is not thrown around haphazardly thinking you are in compliance just because you designated somebody your Competent Person.