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FOUR HOUR COMPETENT PERSON
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CLASSROOM & HANDS ON FIELD INSPECTION
The OSHA Construction Standard defines a competent person as someone 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. 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.
Monitoring water removal equipment and operations. [29 CFR 1926.651(h)(2)] Inspecting excavations subject to runoff from heavy rains to determine need for diversion ditches, dikes, or other suitable protection. [29 CFR 1926.651(h)(3)] Determining cave-in potential to assess need for shoring or other protective system. [29 CFR 1926.652(a)(1)] Examining damaged material or equipment used for protective systems to determine its suitability for continued use. [29 CFR 1926.652(d)(3)] Classifying soil and rock deposits, by both visual analysis and by testing, to determine appropriate protection; re-classifying, if necessary, based on changing conditions. [29 CFR 1926 Subpart P Appendix A] 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. [29 CFR 1926 Subpart P Appendix B (c)(3)(iii)]
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. [29 CFR 1926.651(k)(2)]
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