The Importance of the Competent Person in Trenching

A competent person is an individual who has the capacity to identify the predictable and existing dangers. 

St. Louis Trench Shoring

The competent person plays a very significant role in trenching and excavation. He is well trained and has a comprehensive knowledge of the task.

The Competent Person

A competent person is an individual who has the capacity to identify the predictable and existing dangers in the workplace. He can clearly perceive the working conditions which are hazardous or unsanitary and pose a risk to the workers. He has the ability to identify the types of soil and design suitable protective systems. He possesses the authority to implement corrective measures to get rid of the hazards.

Role in Trenching and Excavation

The competent person has a great deal of responsibility. Trenching and excavation work is inherently dangerous. Accidents can occur at any time. The workers can get injured while performing their duties.

So the competent person must be very capable and well qualified. He must be trained suitably for the job. He should have a complete knowledge of the field. It is imperative that the person who holds this position is acquainted with all the aspects of excavation and the rules and regulations associated with the occupation.

He should be familiar with the applicable laws and requirements for personal protective equipment, utility location, confined space, rigging and design, and hazardous atmosphere testing.

A suitably trained competent person who is equipped with the right tools can make a great difference. He can get rid of the major hazards. At the same time, he can foresee the latent risks and take appropriate steps to reduce them.

Some of the specific qualifications include:

  • In order to achieve his goal of providing a safe work environment, he should have an open and clear communication with the staff responsible for the trenching operations. In order to achieve his goal of providing a safe work environment, he should have an open and clear communication with the staff responsible for the trenching operations.
  • He should devise suitable protective systems on the basis of the conditions of the site. While doing this, he must keep the depth and width of the trench and the soil conditions in mind.
  • He must keep a watch on all the employees who work in the excavation. He should ensure that each worker is trained properly and knows his work, is familiar with the hazards and the protective measures and knows what to do in an emergency.
  • He has to inspect the excavation and the areas around it.
  • He must conduct tests to check if there is an oxygen deficiency or a concentration of hazardous gases in the atmosphere.
  • He should analyze visually or test and classify the soil and rock deposits. If the conditions change he should re-classify the same. He must use this knowledge to determine the appropriate protection.
  • If there are chances of a cave-in, or if the protective arrangements are not working, if the atmosphere or the working conditions are hazardous, the competent person must immediately remove the workers from there. They should be allowed to return to work at the place only after all the safety precautions have been taken.

In this way, the competent person can play a vital role in trenching and excavation. Need competitive person training or St. Louis trench shoring services? Contact us now by calling (636) 660-7467 or by filling out our online contact form.

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