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Free Jackhammer VOC (Verification of Competency)

Download our free Jackhammer VOC:

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Jackhammer VOC

Purpose of Document

Jackhammer VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in jackhammer 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 Jackhammer 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

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

Who Should Use

Jackhammer 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 Jackhammer?

A jackhammer, also known as a pneumatic hammer or demolition hammer, is a powerful handheld tool used primarily for breaking up or demolishing concrete, pavement, rock, or other hard surfaces. It operates by delivering rapid, repetitive impacts generated by compressed air or hydraulic power. Jackhammers are commonly used in construction, demolition, roadwork, and excavation projects for tasks such as breaking up concrete slabs, removing old foundations, and trenching. They come in various sizes and configurations, including handheld, mounted on a stand, or attached to heavy machinery.

What is a Jackhammer used for?

A jackhammer, also known as a pneumatic hammer or demolition hammer, is primarily used for breaking up concrete, pavement, rock, or other hard materials. It operates by delivering rapid, powerful hammering blows to the surface through a pneumatic or hydraulic mechanism. Jackhammers are commonly used in construction, demolition, roadwork, and mining to break apart concrete structures, remove old pavement, excavate trenches, and perform other heavy-duty tasks requiring the breaking or removal of hard materials.

What hazards are involved in Jackhammer use?

Many hazards exist in Jackhammer operation, for example:

  • Struck-By Accidents
  • Pinching/Crushing Injuries
  • Electrocution
  • Kickback
  • Noise Exposure
  • Vibration Falls

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 Jackhammer?

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 Jackhammer operation, workers can complete the RTO unit

Did You Know?

Jackhammers have an intriguing historical connection to the modern urbanization and construction boom of the late 19th century! During this period, as cities grew rapidly, construction workers faced the daunting task of breaking through tough materials like concrete and rock quickly and efficiently. Traditional hand tools such as pickaxes and sledgehammers were effective but time-consuming and physically demanding. In 1892, a German engineer named Karl von Bötticher patented the first prototype of what would become the jackhammer. Originally known as the “pneumatic hammer,” this revolutionary tool utilized compressed air to deliver powerful, rapid impacts against hard surfaces.

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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