Is your Shipyard Competent Person Program up to the task?

OSHA recently released a new fact sheet that helps employers evaluate their shipyard competent person programs. These programs help to mitigate potential worker exposures to dangerous atmospheres, especially when working in or around confined and/or enclosed spaces aboard vessels.

OSHA’s regulations contained in 29 CFR 1915 require atmospheric testing before allowing work in confined spaces to determine oxygen content, flammability, and toxicity of the space. A shipyard competent person (SCP) and/or a National Fire Protection Agency-certified Marine Chemist (CMC) must be employed to determine whether a space is safe for workers and recommend the appropriate protective measures to implement.

While employers can use the new document to evaluate the quality of their shipyard competent person programs, others in the shipyard community, such as subcontractors and inspectors, may also find the information useful.  This is also useful in shipyards that are still in need of setting up a Shipyard Competent Person program.

The fact sheet outlines the differences in education and training between an SCP and a CMC. According to OSHA, there are cases where atmospheric conditions present in the shipyard cannot be adequately evaluated by a person trained only to the SCP level, but require the expertise of a CMC. When this happens, the CMC and SCP should work together to protect workers from exposure to hazardous atmospheric conditions during shipyard confined space work.

The fact sheet provides a checklist for assessing shipyard competent person programs, including:

  • Training Requirements
  • Testing equipment
  • General knowledge
  • Record keeping

You can Find the OSHA Fact Sheet :“Evaluating Shipyard Competent Person Programs” at the following link.

If you feel your SCP program needs help or would like to discuss training requirements, please feel free to call and inquire about one of our upcoming Shipyard Competent Person Training classes.   504-234-9508