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Free Telehandler VOC (Verification of Competency)

Download our free Telehandler VOC:

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Telehandler VOC

Purpose of Document

Telehandler VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in Telehandler 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 Telehandler 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

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

Who Should Use

Telehandler 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, especially for larger companies. It 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 telehandler?

A telehandler, or telescopic handler, is a construction machine with a telescoping boom and versatile attachments. It lifts, extends, and maneuvers loads vertically and horizontally, useful for tasks like lifting pallets, placing materials, and working at height in construction and agriculture.

What is a telehandler used for?

A telehandler, or telescopic handler, is a versatile machine used in construction, agriculture, and industry. With its telescopic boom, it lifts and extends loads vertically and horizontally. Telehandlers are essential for tasks like material handling, loading trucks, and pallet handling, offering flexibility across various applications.

What hazards are involved in telehandler use?

Many hazards exist in telehandler operation, for example:

  • Tip-Over/Rollover
  • Struck-By Accidents
  • Pinching/Crushing Injuries
  • Falls
  • Overloading
  • Collisions

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. Additionally, practicing safe telehandler operation techniques, including load management and stability awareness, can help prevent accidents.

Do you need a license to operate a telehandler?

Legally, you only require a license to operate “high-risk plant” (usually). For other types of plant or equipment, the level of training provided should be suitable considering “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 telehandler operation, workers can complete the RTO unit

Did You Know?

Telehandlers, a valuable equipment in material handling and construction, have a significant presence in Australia. These versatile machines feature telescopic booms that can extend and retract, allowing them to reach and lift loads at various heights and distances. Telehandlers are widely used in warehouses, construction sites, and agricultural applications.

In Australia, telehandlers play a crucial role in transporting and placing materials, such as pallets, building supplies, and farming equipment. With their ability to handle heavy loads and reach inaccessible areas, telehandlers contribute to enhancing efficiency and versatility in a wide range of industries across the country.

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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