Qualified vs. Competent Employee

Qualified vs. Competent Employee

According to the Society for Human Resources Management, it is "the employer’s responsibility to assign certain job roles to employees who fit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) definitions of “competent,” “qualified,” “authorized” or “certified.”

Who is a qualified person?

OSHA 1926.32 definition (m) - "Qualified" means 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.

Who is a competent person?

OSHA 1926.32 definition (f) - "Competent person" means 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.

Why is it important?

EHS Today reported on a 5 digit fine for violations in New York that included not having a competent person on site with the knowledge and authority to identify and correct trenching hazards. Another EHS Today report shows the exact same thing years earlier in Colorado.

Clearly Designate a Competent Person on Every Job Site.

Clearly communicate to all employees who they should turn to if they feel unsafe. Make sure that person is fully trained, equipped and authorized to ensure the job site is operated safely. If OSHA shows up unannounced, this will be the person they are asking for, so consider carefully who is representing your firm.

And know the difference between Competent and Qualified - without the presence of an employee or safety vendor with explicit certification, you and your team should not be making decisions on what constitutes safety on your job sites.


Experience the X1 Safety Difference

We are here to help Qualified and Competent Employees streamline their safety equipment purchasing processesContact us or call (833) 408-0500 to meet your dedicated account manager today.

We have vans on the ground on the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest and would love an opportunity to visit your facility. With a better understanding of your specific safety needs, we can provide hands-on support to your Qualified and Competent employees.