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Free Planer VOC (Verification of Competency)

Download our free Planer VOC:

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Planer VOC

Purpose of Document

Planer VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in planer 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 Planer 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

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

Who Should Use

Planer 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 planer?

A planer, also known as a thickness planer or surface planer, is a woodworking tool used primarily for reducing the thickness of boards or creating a consistent thickness across a surface. It consists of a rotating cutter head with multiple cutting blades that remove material from the surface of the wood as it passes through the machine. Planers are commonly used in woodworking and carpentry to flatten, smooth, and dimension rough lumber or to achieve precise thicknesses for various projects such as furniture making, cabinetry, and flooring.

What is a planer used for?

A planer, also known as a thickness planer or wood planer, is primarily used for smoothing and leveling the surface of lumber or wood boards. It consists of a rotating cutterhead with sharp blades that remove thin layers of material from the surface of the wood as it passes through the machine. Planers are commonly used in woodworking and carpentry to achieve uniform thickness, smoothness, and flatness in lumber for various projects such as furniture making, cabinetry, and construction. They are essential tools for achieving precise dimensions and high-quality finishes in woodworking.

What hazards are involved in planer use?

Many hazards exist in Planer operation, for example:

  • Contact with Blade
  • Electrocution
  • Kickback
  • Noise Exposure
  • Vibration
  • Eye Injuries

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 planer?

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 Planer operation, workers can complete the RTO unit

Did You Know?

Planers, the woodworking tools used to create flat and smooth surfaces, have a long history dating back to Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian craftsmen used handheld planers made from bronze or copper, helping them shape and refine their wooden creations. Over time, planers evolved, with the introduction of more sophisticated designs and mechanisms, contributing to the precision and efficiency of modern woodworking practices.

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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