Compare Competent, Qualified & Designated
OSHA construction standards require a competent person onsite as a legal obligation. But OSHA does not have a specific standard regarding a competent person.
As building owners are responsible to develop written agreements regarding safety plans when working with contract crews, knowing the level of expertise of safety committee team protects your business.
A competent person is “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,” according to OSHA 29 CFR 1926.32(f).
A qualified person is “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,” according to OSHA 29 CFR 1926.32(m).
A designated person only means that the employer’s representative was “selected or assigned by the employer as being qualified to perform specific duties” according to 1926 Subpart L. So here the OSHA standards ask employer to take responsibility to designate certain employees to job assignments based on level of competence or qualifications.
OSHA standards explicitly requiring employers to provide workplace health and safety training to all employees. This training may constitute competency but not necessarily qualifications if there is no certifications. Conversely, if a workers is certified with no experience, there’s room to question the workers competency for a specific job assignment.
To be sure your business is protected and learn about the level of competence and qualifications of your contractor’s safety committee team.