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Free Whacker Packer VOC (Verification of Competency)

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Whacker Packer VOC

Purpose of Document

Whacker Packer VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in whacker packer 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 Whacker Packer 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

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

Who Should Use

Whacker Packer 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 whacker packer?

A “whacker packer” is a colloquial term often used to refer to a vibratory plate compactor or simply a plate compactor. It is a piece of construction equipment used for compacting soil, gravel, asphalt, or other materials to create a denser and more stable foundation. The machine features a heavy flat plate that vibrates rapidly, exerting downward force onto the surface being compacted. This action helps to remove air voids and achieve proper compaction, improving the overall strength and stability of the surface. Plate compactors are commonly used in road construction, landscaping, and trench backfilling projects.

What is a whacker packer used for?

A whacker packer, also known as a plate compactor or vibratory plate compactor, is primarily used for compacting soil, gravel, asphalt, or other granular materials. It consists of a heavy vibrating plate attached to a handle for maneuvering. When the machine is activated, the plate vibrates rapidly, applying downward force to the surface being compacted, thereby reducing air voids and increasing soil density. Whacker packers are commonly used in construction, landscaping, and roadwork to prepare surfaces for building foundations, paving, or landscaping projects, ensuring stability and durability of the finished structure.

What hazards are involved in whacker packer use?

Many hazards exist in Whacker Packer operation, for example:

  • Crush Injuries
  • Struck-By Accidents
  • Electrocution
  • 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 whacker packer?

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 whacker packer operation, workers can complete the RTO unit

Did You Know?

Whacker packers, also known as plate compactors, have a noteworthy history in the field of construction and road maintenance. Developed in the mid-20th century, plate compactors revolutionized the process of compacting soil, asphalt, and other materials. These powerful machines use vibrating plates to compress and level surfaces, improving the stability and longevity of structures and roadways around the world.

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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