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Free Brush Cutter VOC (Verification of Competency)

Download our free Brush Cutter VOC:

*For internal use only. Not for resale or redistribution. By downloading, you agree to our Free Resources Licensing Agreement.

Brush Cutter VOC

Purpose of Document

Brush Cutter VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in brush cutter use. The primary goal is to protect workers from injury or illness through effective training and competency procedures. This form is broadly aligned with AS45001:2018.

How to Use

This Brush Cutter VOC should be completed by a competent person in consultation with the trainee who will use the plant. This document is a template only and should be customised for your business.

When to Use

Brush Cutter VOCs should be completed prior to the worker operating plant or equipment within your business.

Who Should Use

Brush Cutter VOCs must be completed by someone who is familiar with operation of the piece of plant or equipment. This person should also be competent in training and assessment methods.

Legal Considerations

There is no specific legal requirement to complete a documented Verification of Competency (VOC). However, it is best practice. Completing a thorough Verification of Competency can help meet general legal duties, including:

  • s(19)(3)c WHS Act – Duty to Provide Safe Systems of Work
  • s(19)(3)d WHS Act – Duty to Ensure Safe Use of Plant
  • s(19)(3)f WHS Act – Duty to Provide Adequate Information, Training, Instruction and Supervision
  • s(203) WHS Regulations – Management of Risks to Health and Safety (PCBUs with management or control of plant)

The Code of Practice “Managing risks of plant in the workplace” states that employers (PCBUs) must ensure workers are trained and have the appropriate skills to carry out a particular task safely.

FAQ

What is a brush cutter?

A brush cutter consists of a gasoline or electric-powered engine with a rotating cutting head equipped with metal blades or a nylon line. Brush cutters are commonly used in landscaping, forestry, and agriculture for tasks such as clearing overgrown areas, maintaining trails, and trimming vegetation along fences or roadsides. They are designed to handle tough and dense vegetation that standard lawnmowers or trimmers may struggle with.

What is a brush cutter used for?

A brush cutter is primarily used for cutting dense vegetation, thick grass, bushes, and small trees in areas where a lawnmower or traditional trimmer may not be effective. It’s commonly used for clearing overgrown areas, maintaining trails, tidying up fence lines, and landscaping tasks in both residential and commercial settings.

What hazards are involved in brush cutter use?

Many hazards exist in Brush cutter operation, for example:

  • Contact with Blades
  • Thrown Objects
  • Kickback
  • Electrocution
  • Noise Exposure
  • Vibration
  • Chemical Exposure

To mitigate these hazards, proper training, adherence to safety protocols, regular equipment maintenance, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and thorough site inspections are essential.

Do you need training to operate a brush cutter?

In general, the level of training provided to workers must take into consideration “the nature of the work, the nature of the risks and the control measures required” – WHS regulations s(39). That is, for plant that poses no or minimal risks, there may be very little training required. As the risks of the plant increases, the requirement for training also increases.

To demonstrate competence in crush cutter operation, workers can complete the RTO unit https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/RIICRC319E.

Did You Know?

Brush cutters have an intriguing historical connection to the famous explorers of the ancient world! Long before modern machines were invented, intrepid explorers needed a way to clear dense vegetation as they ventured into uncharted territories. Enter the earliest predecessors of brush cutters. These resourceful explorers would fashion simple tools with sharp blades attached to sturdy handles. These makeshift brush cutters allowed them to clear dense brush, making way for their expeditions. So, the next time you use a brush cutter to tame an overgrown yard, remember that you’re continuing a long tradition of clearing paths and exploring the great unknown, just like those fearless adventurers of the past!

Article Sources and Further Reading

Model Code of Practice: Managing risks of plant in the workplace (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/model-code-practice-managing-risks-plant-workplace>

Plant (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/safety-topic/managing-health-and-safety/plant>

What is a PCBU? (Spire Safety) <https://spiresafety.com.au/resources/what-is-a-pcbu/>

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