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Defining Competent Person Versus Registered Professional Engineer

careerHave you been searching for information defining the different responsibilities of the registered professional engineer and a competent person?

When you are involved in a construction project, terminology like this can seem confusing to an outsider. However, a competent person is an essential part of making sure that everyone is safe. Once you learn about their role, you will be able to understand why they are crucial to many mining or construction projects.

Defining a competent person

According to OSHA standards set by the US Department of Labor, the definition of a competent person is in regards to the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction under the General Safety and Health Provisions. The document number is 1926.32(f), and it states that a competent person is defined as someone who is knowledgeable in pinpointing potential hazards in a set of working conditions that are unsafe to employees. A competent person also has full authorization to immediately enact corrective measures to prevent injuries. Specific subparts of the construction standard provide additional requirements and specifications for the competent persons training and responsibilities.

Registered Professional Engineer versus competent person

OSHA does specify training standards for the competent person.  They are responsible for eliminating potential dangers in situations like excavation, mining and scaffolding. They are given the authority to shut a project down when necessary to protect workers. Generally speaking, they are to insure the work is done safely and protective systems are used in accordance with stamped designs of the registered professional engineer. The competent person's responsibilities are clearly spelled out in OSHA regulations.

Full-time competent person

Even on larger projects with a full-time safety supervisor the competent person is still required and must be on site anytime employees are performing work that could possibly put them at risk. When a specific subpart of the OSHA standard requires a competent person they must always be present when work is occurring.

Competent person saves companies money

While OSHA requires a competent person on a job site, it actually saves a company money. Namely, insurance premiums are lower due to fewer and smaller claims.  The lack of a competent person on site will result in an OSHA fine 100% of the time when an OSHA inspection occurs.

To learn more about a competent person, contact Neff Rental or call us at 888-709-6333. We are ready to assist you with your equipment needs.