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After competent person training, do I personally train my employees, or is their own individual training required?

March 23, 2016, 9:11 am | Question from Dan | Category: Fall Protection Training

Demonstration of the proper use of fall protection body harness.In regard to competent person training, OSHA is very clear in their definition of the topics an individual must be trained in to be able to give instruction to company employees. OSHA 1926.503(a)(2) states, “The employer shall assure that each employee has been trained, as necessary, by a competent person qualified in the following areas:”

    “The nature of fall hazards in the work area”;

    “The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting the fall protection systems to be used”;

    “The use and operation of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, warning line systems, safety monitoring systems, controlled access zones, and other protection to be used”;

    “The role of each employee in the safety monitoring system when this system is used”;

    “The limitations on the use of mechanical equipment during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs”;

    “The correct procedures for the handling and storage of equipment and materials and the erection of overhead protection”;

    “The role of employees in fall protection plans”; and

    “The standards contained in this subpart.”

In addition to this knowledge, a person must also be designated by company officials as being the competent person or representative for their company. Combined with the training, the decision for this designation can include job experience, other education or courses taken, seniority within the company, etc. This will allow you to train only employees of your company, but with limitations.

As discussed, only your workers that are employed by your company, which does not include outside or independent contractors, can be trained by you. In addition, you are limited only to teaching authorized user or general fall protection awareness courses, which provide a basic introduction that will focus on how employees can operate safely on a job site, but which limits their responsibility and roles on the job site. In order to have the ability to provide in-depth training for competent person designation, one would need to take a train-the-trainer course, which is generally a week long and very in-depth when compared to the other courses mentioned. Again, the designation must be granted by the employing company, which might include other important decision factors by top officials. See our detailed course description.

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1 OSHA 1926.503(a)(2)