The term "Competent Person" is used in many OSHA standards and documents. An OSHA "competent person" is defined 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 29 CFR 1926.32(f). 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.
Therefore, a competent person must have training and experience to be knowledgeable of applicable OSHA standards, performs inspections to identify workplace hazards, and is authorized by the employer to take measures to protect workers until the hazards are either eliminated or suitably controlled.