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Free Lawnmower VOC (Verification of Competency)

Download our free Lawnmower VOC:

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

Lawnmower VOC

Purpose of Document

Lawnmower VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in lawnmower 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 Lawnmower 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

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

Who Should Use

Lawnmower 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 lawnmower?

A lawnmower is a machine used primarily for cutting grass to a uniform height. It consists of a rotating blade or blades powered by an engine or motor housed within a deck. Lawnmowers come in various types, including push mowers, self-propelled mowers, and ride-on mowers, each suited to different lawn sizes and terrain types. They are essential tools for lawn maintenance, keeping grass neat and tidy in residential, commercial, and public spaces.

What is a lawnmower used for?

A lawnmower is primarily used for cutting grass to maintain the appearance and health of lawns, yards, and other outdoor spaces. It features a rotating blade or blades powered by an engine or motor that cuts grass to a uniform height. Lawnmowers come in various types, including push mowers, self-propelled mowers, and riding mowers, each suited to different lawn sizes and terrain types. They are essential tools for lawn care and landscaping, helping to keep outdoor areas neat, tidy, and well-maintained.

What hazards are involved in lawnmower use?

Many hazards exist in Lawnmower operation, for example:

  • Contact with Blade
  • Struck-By Accidents
  • Electrocution
  • Kickback
  • 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 lawnmower?

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 Lawnmower operation, workers can complete the RTO unit https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/RIICRC319E.

Did You Know?

Before the invention of lawnmowers, maintaining a lawn was a laborious task that involved the use of scythes or grazing livestock. However, as societies became more affluent and embraced the idea of manicured landscapes, the need for a more efficient lawn maintenance solution arose. In 1830, the first mechanical lawnmower was invented by an English engineer named Edwin Beard Budding. Inspired by the motion of cutting cloth in a textile mill, Budding developed a machine with a rotating set of blades positioned against a flat surface, creating a cutting action similar to modern lawnmowers.

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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