Why do I need a competent person?

In any business setting, it’s paramount that the health and safety of your employees is always a top priority. This should never be compromised.

It is your responsibility as an employer to appoint a competent person that has the skills, knowledge and expertise to help you to meet your health and safety legal duties. After all, you must comply with all health and safety legalisations by law.

What is a H&S competent person?

A competent person is a responsible individual. They will have received a sufficient amount of training to be able to confidently recognise hazards in your business. They can assist you in implementing effective control measures to ensure that your workforce do not come to any harm.

In order to do this, a competent person must also have the experience and knowledge needed to recognise these signs, regardless of the complexity of the situation and help required.

The meaning of competent person is outlined in Regulation 7 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and states: “Every employer shall, subject to paragraphs (6) and (7), appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions and by Part II of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997.”

Every organisation must be able to access help from one or more competent persons to meet all health and safety law requirements.

Qualifications and training

Although it’s not essential for your competent person to have formal qualifications, formal training is advised due to the sometimes complex nature of the role.

Who you can appoint?

You can appoint the following individuals as your competent person.

  • Yourself
  • One or more of your employees
  • An individual outside of your business.
  • someone from outside your business

Of course, if you’re business or organisation that does not have the capacity to manage health and safety in-house, you can always call upon the help of a specialist consultant or advisor to help.

Drop Eddie an email on eddie@oculus-healthandsafety.co.uk or check out our services and how we can be your H&S competent person we can provide to support you.

You can also check out the HSE view on this matter