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When companies perform excavation work on a job site, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that a trained, competent person be on site to ensure requirements of the OSHA standard are being complied with to ensure employee safety.

TrenchA competent person is defined by OSHA 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” [29 CFR 1926.32(f)].

OSHA regulations require that a person designated as a competent person “perform daily inspections of excavations, the adjacent areas, and protective systems . . . for evidence of a situation that could result in possible cave-ins, indications of failure of protective systems, hazardous atmospheres, or other hazardous conditions. An inspection shall be conducted by the competent person before the start of work and as needed throughout the shift. Inspections shall also be made after every rainstorm or other hazard increasing occurrence.”

A competent person must have specific training in and be knowledgeable about soil analysis, the proper use of protective systems and the requirements of the trench safety excavationstandard.

Competent person courses are required every three years by companies working on Corps of Engineering projects.  Project owners have specific internal requirements for updating training that range from annually to every five years.

Neff Rental offers OSHA Sub Part P Trenching & Excavation Competent Person Training Program that provides you and your employees with vital information regarding trenching and excavation safety. All training is taught by experienced instructors, is documented and certification of attendance is provided for all who attend. For more information visit:  or call (888) 709-6333.