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Do I need a Competent Person on site?

posted 21 Mar 2014, 05:18 by Unknown user   [ updated 24 Mar 2014, 09:36 ]
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, every employer must appoint at least one “competent person” to assist with health and safety management. These designated persons are then responsible for providing health and safety advice for every aspect of your business including site safety.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) definition of competence is a little vague, but according to Regulation 7 of the act;

“Every employer shall, appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements imposed upon him under UK health and safety legislation.”

The individuals appointed must have “sufficient training and experience or knowledge” to be able to provide practical advice and guidance to protect other employees and the general public. The persons involved must not only understand relevant UK health and safety legislation, but also how it applies to your business.
Competent Person

Appointing a Competent Person

When appointing a competent person or persons ideally they should be able to demonstrate the following:
  • Relevant industry experience which shows they know what your business does and how it operates.
  • Evidence of appropriate health and safety training like an NEBOSH diploma. 
Ideally you would expect your competent person to be a Chartered Member of Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and also OSHCR registered.

For smaller businesses running multiple projects, balancing HSE requirements with all the other tasks that need to be done can be difficult. These demands may need a full-time employee to be managed properly – an unaffordable “luxury “ in the low-margin world of construction safety.

Training your staff to ensure that they are competent at their core responsibilities makes sense for the future profitability of your business, and providing basic health and safety training is also essential to protecting your workforce. However paying for an in-depth qualification like the NEBOSH diploma, or OSHCR registration may not be the most effective investment of your company’s resources.

The fact is, although your business does not need a competent person on site, you must place a “competent person” in charge of construction health and safety. This person (or persons) are then responsible for providing accurate health and safety advice which is applied on site.

SES team of Health and Safety consultants are members of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) who can provide you with expert advice. To discuss your Health and Safety requirements call us today 01279 873354 or email