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Free Lathe VOC (Verification of Competency)

Download our free Lathe VOC:

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Lathe VOC

Purpose of Document

Lathe VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in lathe 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 Lathe 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

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

Who Should Use

Lathe 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 lathe?

A lathe is a machine tool used in machining and woodworking to rotate a workpiece on its axis while cutting, sanding, drilling, or shaping it with various cutting tools. Lathes can be used to create cylindrical, conical, or contoured shapes with high precision and repeatability. They consist of a bed, headstock, tailstock, and a tool rest, with the workpiece mounted between the headstock and tailstock. Lathes are commonly used in manufacturing, metalworking, woodworking, and artisan crafts for tasks such as turning metal and wood parts, making screws, bolts, and other cylindrical components, and creating decorative turned objects such as table legs, bowls, and pens.

What is a lathe used for?

A lathe is primarily used for shaping, turning, and machining cylindrical workpieces or objects. It consists of a rotating spindle that holds the workpiece and a cutting tool that moves parallel or perpendicular to the axis of rotation to remove material, creating symmetrical shapes and features. Lathes are commonly used in metalworking, woodworking, and manufacturing industries for tasks such as turning, facing, drilling, knurling, threading, and tapering cylindrical parts, such as shafts, rods, and pins. They are versatile machines capable of producing precise and intricate components with various sizes, shapes, and surface finishes.

What hazards are involved in lathe use?

Many hazards exist in lathe operation, for example:

  • Entanglement
  • Struck-By Accidents
  • Electrocution
  • Noise Exposure
  • Vibration
  • Chemical Exposure
  • 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 lathe?

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 lathe operation, workers can complete the RTO unit

Did You Know?

Did you know that lathes have a fascinating historical background that dates back to ancient times? The lathe, one of the oldest known woodworking tools, originated around 1300 BC in ancient Egypt. Over the centuries, lathes evolved, with the introduction of power-driven lathes during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century. Today, lathes are essential machines in various industries, enabling precise shaping and cutting of materials such as wood, metal, and ceramics, contributing to the development of countless products we use daily.

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