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Free Edge Trimmer VOC (Verification of Competency)

Download our free Edge Trimmer VOC:

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Edge Trimmer VOC

Purpose of Document

Edge Trimmer VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in edge trimmer 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 Edge Trimmer 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

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

Who Should Use

Edge Trimmer 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.


What is an edge trimmer?

An edge trimmer, also known as a lawn edger or lawn trimmer, is a gardening tool used to create clean, defined edges along sidewalks, driveways, flower beds, or other areas where grass meets a hard surface. It typically consists of a rotating blade or string trimmer attached to a long handle, allowing users to easily trim grass and vegetation that grows over the edges. Edge trimmers help to maintain neat and tidy landscapes by providing a crisp boundary between the lawn and other surfaces.

What is an edge trimmer used for?

An edge trimmer, also known as an edger or lawn edger, is primarily used for creating clean and defined edges along sidewalks, driveways, flower beds, and other landscape features. It features a spinning blade or line trimmer head that cuts grass and weeds along the edges of these surfaces, giving the lawn a manicured appearance. Edge trimmers are commonly used in landscaping and lawn care to maintain neat and tidy borders and improve the overall aesthetics of outdoor spaces.

What hazards are involved in edge trimmer use?

Many hazards exist in edge trimmer operation, for example:

  • Contact with Blade
  • Thrown Objects
  • Electrocution
  • Noise Exposure
  • Vibration
  • Falls
  • 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 an edge trimmer?

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 Edge trimmer operation, workers can complete the RTO unit

Did You Know?

Edge trimmers have a fascinating and unexpected historical connection to the art of hedge sculpting in Renaissance Europe! During the Renaissance, elaborate gardens and ornate hedges were all the rage among the nobility. However, maintaining these precisely shaped hedges required an incredible amount of time and effort. To meet this challenge, innovative gardeners and craftsmen devised a handheld tool that would later become the precursor to modern edge trimmers. These early trimmers consisted of a long, narrow blade attached to a wooden handle. The blade was carefully shaped and sharpened to allow for precise trimming and sculpting of hedges and shrubs.

Article Sources and Further Reading

Model Code of Practice: Managing risks of plant in the workplace (Safe Work Australia) <>

Plant (Safe Work Australia) <>

What is a PCBU? (Spire Safety) <>

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