As always, Halloween was a big deal in my neighborhood this year. A. Really Big. Deal. Families call in grandma to manage candy distribution at their houses, while mom, dad, all the kids, and even Rover dress up and go trick or treating in blinged-out golf carts with scary sound effects blaring from bluetooth speakers! It is quite the community-wide masquerade!
Speaking of masquerades, there’s a little something I think we need to unmask— Competent Person (CP) Training. Training is a critical part of what’s required for CPs, however completing a class does not a competent person make! Not even if fancy certificates or cards bestowing the title “Competent Person” are distributed at its completion.
There are quite a few jobs or tasks that require a CP. During an inspection, OSHA will observe and ask questions to evaluate the CP’s knowledge, skills and authority to make needed corrections. If any of those are found to be lacking, a course certificate or completion card will not matter. Ultimately it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that CPs have not only completed training, but understand and retain the information presented in the training, demonstrate the practical skills related to the tasks and conditions they are responsible for, have the authority to correct hazards, and see that other workers on the job site respect that authority.
As you develop and support the CPs on your job sites, take a look at some of our course offerings to see if there are some that would enhance their training plan. Have you ever considered getting your Competent Person on the path to earning their MESH Certificate? Our staff can help you unmask the confusion. Please reach out to us with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holli Singleton is the Assistant Director of Safety & Health Services at NC State Industry Expansion Solutions. In addition to managing the services offered by the Safety and Health Specialists, she develops and presents workplace safety and health education courses, conducts work site assessments and provides occupational safety and environmental assistance to employers throughout the southeastern region of the United States.