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Confined Space Expert Discusses OSHA Requirements for a Competent Person to Identify Permit Required Confined Spaces

Competent person for confined spaces training certification

Online Confined Space Training for The Competent Person

Confined space training certification is only one element of the qualifications for the competent person who evaluates confined spaces

The OSHA requirements for a competent person qualified to evaluate confined spaces are performance based. That means it is ultimately up to the employer to make that designation . . .”
— Curtis Chambers, President - OSHA Training Services Inc.
ARLINGTON, TX, USA, November 1, 2022 / -- OSHA confined space entry standards require affected employers to evaluate their work sites to determine if any of the spaces present at the site are permit-required confined spaces. That is because if there are any permit-required confined spaces, affected employers will have to implement appropriate steps to satisfy various sections of the OSHA confined space entry standards to protect workers involved in all aspects of entry operations. This could range from posting danger signs at permit-required confined spaces, to developing a written confined space entry program with permits for use when employees conduct entry operations.

And the person chosen by the employer to conduct the evaluation of confined spaces at the worksite? They must have been deemed by the employer as a “Competent Person” capable of performing the evaluation of spaces effectively and accurately. So, what qualifies a person as “competent” to evaluate confined spaces to identify which are permit-required spaces, and which are not? According to renowned confined space expert Curtis Chambers, there are three basic things the competent person for confined space entry must be able to do. Those are:

• Be capable of determining which spaces, if any, at the site meet the OSHA definition of a “confined space”;
• Examine each confined space at the site to determine if it meets the OSHA definitions of a “permit-required confined space”, or a “non-permit confined space;
• Recognize whenever conditions or operations change in a way that make further evaluation of a non-permit confined space necessary so as to determine if it must be reclassified as a permit-required confined space.

“The OSHA requirements for a competent person to evaluate confined spaces are performance based. That means it is ultimately up to the employer to make that designation based on their evaluation of, and comfort with, the competent person’s training, education, and experience with confined spaces” says Mr. Chambers. “In other words, even if a competent person took a training class on “How to Identify Confined Spaces”, that class alone may not be sufficient to serve as a competent person to evaluate confined spaces in those cases where the student has had absolutely no past experience related to the type, or types of spaces in the workplace.”

Mr. Chambers’ company, OSHA Training Services Inc., expands on this, and all other aspects, of the OSHA requirements for confined space entry operations in their new Confined Space Training Blog available on their website, as well as through on-site training classes and a variety of comprehensive online confined space training courses for the competent person and all others involved in confined space entry operations.

About Curtis Chambers and OSHA Training Services Inc.

Curtis Chambers is a board-certified safety professional (CSP) with a master’s degree in occupational safety and health, and over 32 years of experience in OSHA training and compliance assistance. He is also President of OSHA Training Services Inc., who provides on-site OSHA confined space entry training classes anywhere in the United States for groups of eight or more students. They also offer on-demand computer-based OSHA training courses on a variety of the major general industry and construction topics, including online confined space training courses for entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, and the competent person.

Curtis Chambers
+1 877-771-6742
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