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Free Hedge Trimmer VOC (Verification of Competency) Template

Download our free Hedge Trimmer VOC Template:

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

Hedge Trimmer VOC

Purpose of a Hedge Trimmer VOC Document

Hedge Trimmer VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in Hedge 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 Hedge 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 it must be customised for your business. Other aspects that may need to be considered include, but are not limited to, ensuring that:

  • Relevant legal requirements have been met,
  • Workplace specific risks are identified and managed, and
  • Workers are consulted with during the customisation / review process.

When to Use

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

Who Should Use

Hedge 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 a hedge trimmer?

A hedge trimmer is a gardening tool primarily used for trimming and shaping hedges, bushes, and shrubs. It features a motorized cutting blade or teeth that move back and forth to trim vegetation cleanly and efficiently. Hedge trimmers come in various types, including electric, battery-powered, and gas-powered models, offering different levels of power and mobility. They are essential tools for maintaining neat and manicured hedges and landscaping features in residential and commercial settings.

What is a hedge trimmer used for?

A hedge trimmer is primarily used for trimming and shaping hedges, shrubs, and bushes in landscaping and gardening. It typically consists of a motorized tool with reciprocating blades or a rotating cutting head that quickly and efficiently cuts through foliage. Hedge trimmers are used to maintain the appearance and health of hedges by removing excess growth, shaping them into desired forms, and creating clean, uniform edges along borders or pathways. They are essential tools for keeping outdoor spaces neat and well-maintained.

What hazards are involved in hedge trimmer use?

Many hazards exist in hedge trimmer operation, for example:

  • Contact with Blades
  • 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 a hedge 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 Hedge trimmer operation, workers can complete the RTO unit

Did You Know?

The concept of trimming hedges into intricate shapes and patterns, known as topiary, dates back to ancient Roman and Greek civilizations. However, it was during the Renaissance period in Europe when the art of topiary truly flourished. As gardens became symbols of wealth and status, skilled gardeners began using handheld shears to carefully shape hedges and shrubs into elaborate designs, resembling animals, geometric shapes, and even people. These early hedge trimmers consisted of long-handled shears with sharp blades, allowing precise trimming and sculpting of foliage.

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) <>

These free resources are templates only. They must be customised for your workplace ensuring that:

  • Relevant legal requirements have been met,
  • Workplace specific risks are identified and managed, and
  • Workers are consulted with during the customisation / review process.

The image provided may be inaccurate, download the file to view the template.

By downloading, you agree to our Free Resources Licensing Agreement.

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