In order to be a “Competent Person” for the purposes of the excavation standard, one must have specific training in, and be knowledgeable about, soils analysis, the use of protective systems (i.e. sloping, trench boxes and shoring) and the requirements of the excavation standard. A Competent Person shall inspect the trench daily and after any significant event that may have caused the conditions in the trench to have changed. It is the role of the Competent Person to ensure that the methods of protection selected to protect the worker(s) are sufficient and installed properly.
In summary, a Competent Person one must have knowledge of the OSHA standard, knowledge of the work being performed, and the authority to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate a potential hazard. If you do not possess these three qualities, you cannot be the Competent Person.