How to Pick a Competent Person - 01/22/2018

Safety E-QuickTips

U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.

Monday, January 22, 2018

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Safety E-QuickTips is a weekly email designed to help Employers and Employees start their week with a short thought about safety in the workplace.

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How to Pick a Competent Person

Last week we talked about the Competent Person and the importance of their role in workplace safety and how I believe you need to put some serious thought into who is the right person for the job.

This week I’d like to share a few ideas that you can use when choosing a competent person and a couple you shouldn’t.

But before I get started, I’d like to ask you a couple of questions.

1.Can you designate more than 1 competent person on a jobsite? The answer is yes.

2.Does a competent person have a complete understanding of all workplace hazards in the workplace? The answer is no.

More on those questions in a moment.

For now, let’s discuss a few ideas on how to pick a competent person.

To do this we need to take a look at one of OSHA’s definition of a competent person.

“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”

Here’s a step by step process that will ensure you pick the right person for the job every time.

1.Review the scope of work that is going to be performed and establish all hazards associated with that work. A Job Hazard Analysis will make this process easier.

2.Next determine who has the necessary safety training and/or experience to recognize the hazards. When reviewing an individual’s training and experience it’s more important to understand what they have retained than how much training and experience they have.Remember OSHA expects them to be able to identify workplace hazards.

3.Next you need to determine if the company is willing to give the individual(s) the authority to stop work and make necessary corrections before work continues.

4.Last, but not least, make sure the individual(s) you assign as competent person(s) are available onsite to perform regular and frequent workplace inspections to ensure employees are performing their work a safe manner.

Now here are a couple things you should never consider when choosing a competent person.

1.Never designate someone as the competent person based on their title alone.A supervisor or foreman that does not have the ability to recognize hazards in the workplace would not meet OSHA’s requirements as a competent person.

2.Never give the position to someone who will have to contact upper management for authorization to stop work if there are hazards in the workplace.

Now back to the questions I asked earlier.

You can always have more than one competent person onsite for a couple reasons.

  • Competent persons might have to leave a project or work area from time to time, so having more than one available ensures there is someone available at all times.
  • An individual might only be competent in a specific type of work or piece of equipment, such as scaffold erection and dismantling, confined space entry or forklift operation.

The competent person position is one that you should always take seriously because as I said last week - It will go a long way in protecting your company’s most valuable assets – Your Employees, Company Reputation and Profits.

I hope this information has been helpful and if you have any questions or some thoughts on the subject, I’d love to hear them. Email me at keith@uscomplaincesystems.com or give me a call at 1-888-475-5353.

If you have just received your first Safety E-QuickTip or just want to take a look at past issues, check out our Safety E-QuickTips Archive Page on our website.

If you know of someone or a company that might benefit from receiving Safety E-QuickTips, please take a moment to share this with them so they can sign-up today.

Thanks for Reading and Please - Work Safe This Week!

Contact Information

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Phone: 1-888-475-5353
Fax: 1-888-925-5353
Website: www.uscompliancesystems.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Receive Safety E-Quick Tips First Thing Monday Morning 4:30 EST

Quick Links...
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Customized Online Safety Programs
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If you have just received your first Safety E-QuickTip or just want to take a look at past issues, check out our Safety E-QuickTips Archive Page on our website.

If you know of someone or a company that might benefit from receiving Safety E-QuickTips, please take a moment to share this with them so they can sign-up today.

Thanks for Reading and Please - Work Safe This Week!

Contact Information

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Phone: 1-888-475-5353
Fax: 1-888-925-5353
Website: www.uscompliancesystems.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Receive Safety E-Quick Tips First Thing Monday Morning 4:30 EST

Quick Links...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Customized Online Safety Programs
Online 1 Hour Safety Training
Workplace Safety Posters