You can seek help from outside of your organization on your fall protection plan if you need it. The most important thing to know is that regardless of whether you do the work yourself or have someone do an inspection and work is hired out to complete your fall protection plan, the responsibility of that plan is ultimately on you as the employer. An inspection and suggestion by a Qualified Person is only effective if the solutions are carried through to completion and your Authorized Person(s) are trained on the operations of these solutions.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a Qualified Person in standard 1926.32(m) as the following, “Qualified means one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.”
OSHA states in standard 1926.32(d) that an Authorized Person is, “A person approved or assigned by the employer to perform a specific type of duty or duties or to be at a specific location or locations at the jobsite.”
Typically, when someone comes to your jobsite, they will look over your anchorage points, potentially the beams on your structures that you are tying off to, and all of your fall protection scenarios to make sure you have the correct equipment and are using it properly.
They are also going to suggest what they think is the best. This is an intensive process. If you are hiring someone to come and do a thorough analysis of your job site, they are going to be there for several hours. They will want to document things, take photos, and look at existing things for your inspection records. It should be very comprehensive, and part of the service is a copy of all their inspections and notes. They will also suggest what they think is the right solution for your fall protection needs.
Outsourcing is a great thing to do especially to provide expertise and supplement your overall safety plan, but you cannot outsource the responsibility to provide a safe workplace.
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