A competent person is an individual, designated by the employer, who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to workers, and who is authorized to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.
Under the Excavation standards, tasks performed by the competent person include:
- Classifying soil;
- Inspecting protective systems;
- Designing structural ramps;
- Monitoring water removal equipment; and
- Conducting site inspections.
Trenching and excavation work is dependent on these specialized employees because its highly technical nature, as well as its inherent hazards, require a greater level of training and experience than a normal worker would possess. The items below specify the trenching and excavation activities where a competent person is necessary.
Protective Systems or Equipment
- Monitoring water removal equipment and operations.
- Inspecting excavations subject to runoff from heavy rains to determine need for diversion ditches, dikes, or other suitable protection.
- Determining cave-in potential to assess need for shoring or other protective system.
- Examining damaged material or equipment used for protective systems to determine its suitability for continued use.
- Classifying soil and rock deposits, by both visual analysis and by testing, to determine appropriate protection; re-classifying, if necessary, based on changing conditions.
- Determining the appropriate slope of an excavation to prevent collapse due to surcharge loads from stored material or equipment, operating equipment, adjacent structures, or traffic, and assuring that such slope is achieved.
Inspecting Trench and Protective Systems
- Authorizing immediate removal of employees from the hazardous area where evidence of possible cave-in, failure of protective systems, hazardous atmospheres, or other hazardous conditions exists.
Designing structural ramps that are used solely by employees as a means of access or egress. Structural ramps used for access or egress of equipment must be designed by a competent person qualified in structural design.
At Ron Meyer & Associate Excavating, Inc, we’ve been providing underground and commercial construction to private and commercial businesses for 39 years. As the general contractor or subcontractor, our experienced foremen, equipment operators, pipe layers, truck drivers and well-maintained equipment fleet make us an undeniable choice for your excavating services. Let’s talk about your project!