What is a competent person?

What is a competent person?


A person who has, through a combination of training, education and experience, acquired knowledge and skills enabling that person to correctly perform a specific task.

One new standard states the following:

Competent persons shall be suitably trained, qualified by knowledge and practical experience, and with the necessary instruction to correctly assemble and test Grade T(80) and V(100) chain slings. They shall be able to detect and evaluate defects and weaknesses that may affect the intended performance of the equipment and carry out work as specified in this standard.

The standards clearly define that a person using or inspecting chain slings shall:

1. Follow the procedures included in the Standard
2. Complete an established competency-based training course
3. Maintain documentation of competency standards and procedures

Not only do you have to demonstrate that your staff are competent, documentation of competency standards and procedures must also be maintained.


Keeping accurate records of your lifting equipment and inspections is essential. All of your equipment in use needs to be fully certified and traceable. Documentation of competency standards and procedures must also be maintained.

A competent person shall be able to demonstrate the ability to choose the correct lifting chain sling(s) and inspect them based on the following:

a. Assess the mass of the load to be lifted as accurately as possible

b. Ensure the load, inclusive of any lifting points and any applicable derations, will withstand the lifting operation

c. Check that the lifting machine or lifting appliance is rated to lift the load

d. Select a suitable sling, taking into account the following:

(i) the condition of the sling as per Clause 9.1 in 3775.2:20
(ii) the geometry of the sling, including the number of sling legs, the angles of each leg to the vertical and the disposition of the legs in plan view
(iii) that each joining device has no more than one load bearing component in use at any
(iv) the manner in which the load is attached (i.e. straight, reeved or basket configuration).
This includes the angle in the reeving and the de-rating effect due to the higher stress caused by reeving on the links of the chain.
(v) The shape of the load, the centre of gravity and load distribution on the sling legs.
Uneven loading may cause a reduction of the lifting capacity of the sling. It may also cause instability and tilting of the load
(vi) The determination of WLL.
(vii) Protection of the chain sling from sharp corners of the load using packing material as appropriate to prevent bending or damage to the chain links and/or load shall be used wherever practical.
(viii) that the site where the load is to be landed, is prepared in advance of the lifting operation.
(ix) taking into account environmental conditions such as temperature and corrosive atmospheres etc.

e. Ability to identify the hazards associated with the task and apply controls that will mitigate the risk.

For more information on competent person requirements download our testing and inspection guide.