Competent Person

OSHA defines competent person as 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.

Note: OSHA defines qualified person as someone 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. They define an authorized person (designated) as a person approved or assigned by the employer to perform a specific type of duty or duties or to be at a specific location or locations at the jobsite.

Competent Person

Tab/Accordion Items

What type of training and/or experience does a Competent Person need?

By way of training and/or experience, a competent person is knowledgeable of applicable standards, is capable of identifying workplace hazards relating to the specific operation, and has the authority to correct them. Some standards add additional specific requirements which must be met by the competent person.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

These example safety and health programs are available for employers to download and adapt to their specific conditions.

Training and Outreach Services

Example presentations are available along with pre-recorded webinars which can be accessed at any time. In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request.

Lastly, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

Safety and Health Topics

Other related resource information can be found on the safety and health topics page for explosives, welding and cutting, confined spaces, scaffolds, hand and portable powered tools, radiation, ionizing and non-ionizing, lead, fall protection, steel erection, underground construction, silica, cranes and derricks, stairways and ladders, excavation and trenching, electrical safety, materials handling and storage and personal protective equipment.

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.

What standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to "competent person" in North Carolina. This is not all inclusive.

Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic.

General Industry

29 CFR 1910, Subpart F - Powered Platforms, Manlifts, and Vehicle-Mounted Work Platforms

29 CFR 1910, Subpart H - Hazardous Materials

29 CFR 1910, Subpart N - Materials Handling and Storage

29 CFR 1910, Subpart R - Special Industries


29 CFR 1926, Subpart C - General Safety and Health Provisions

29 CFR 1926, Subpart D - Occupational Health and Environmental Controls

29 CFR 1926, Subpart E - Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment

29 CFR 1926, Subpart H - Materials Handling, Storage, Use, and Disposal

29 CFR 1926, Subpart J - Welding and Cutting

  • 29 CFR 1926.354 - Welding, cutting, and heating in way of preservative coatings

29 CFR 1926, Subpart K - Electrical

29 CFR 1926, Subpart L - Scaffolds

29 CFR 1926, Subpart M - Fall Protection

  • 29 CFR 1926.500 - Fall protection, Scope, application, and definitions applicable to this subpart
  • 29 CFR 1926.502 - Fall protection, Fall protection systems criteria and practices
  • 29 CFR 1926.503 - Fall protection, Training requirements

29 CFR 1926, Subpart N - Helicopters, Hoists, Elevators, and Conveyors

29 CFR 1926, Subpart P - Excavations

29 CFR 1926, Subpart Q - Concrete and Masonry Construction

29 CFR 1926, Subpart R - Steel Erection

29 CFR 1926, Subpart S - Underground Construction, Caissons, Cofferdams, and Compressed Air

29 CFR 1926, Subpart T - Demolition

29 CFR 1926, Subpart U - Blasting and the Use of Explosives

29 CFR 1926, Subpart X - Stairways and Ladders

29 CFR 1926, Subpart Z - Toxic and Hazardous Substances

29 CFR 1926, Subpart AA - Confined Spaces in Construction

29 CFR 1926, Subpart CC - Cranes and Derricks in Construction

North Carolina State Specific Standards

Shipyard Employment

29 CFR 1915, Subpart A - General Provisions

29 CFR 1915, Subpart B - Confined and Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres 

29 CFR 1915, Subpart C - Surface Preparation and Preservation

29 CFR 1915, Subpart D - Welding, Cutting and Heating

  • 29 CFR 1915.53 - Welding, cutting and heating in way of preservative coatings
  • 29 CFR 1915.54 - Welding, cutting and heating of hollow metal containers and structures not covered by § 1915.12
  • 29 CFR 1915.57 - Uses of fissionable material in ship repairing and shipbuilding

29 CFR 1915, Subpart E - Scaffolds, Ladders and Other Working Surfaces

29 CFR 1915, Subpart G - Gear and Equipment for Rigging and Materials Handling

29 CFR 1915, Subpart H - Tools and Related Equipment

29 CFR 1915, Subpart K - Portable, Unfired Pressure Vessels, Drums and Containers, Other Than Ship's Equipment

  • 29 CFR 1915.172 - Portable air receivers and other unfired pressure vessels

29 CFR 1915, Subpart Z - Toxic and Hazardous Substances


Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Where can I learn more?

Industry Guides

Compliance Documents

  • Compliance Directive: CPL 02-00-124 - Multi-Employer Citation Policy provides guidance to Compliance Officers regarding the issuance of citations for employers who exercise control in creating, controlling, exposing and correcting hazards for their employees and those of other employers on site.

Technical Assistance

Inquiries about workplace safety and health requirements can be submitted to Ask OSH through the online form, by email to, or by phone at 919-707-7876.