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Free Router VOC (Verification of Competency)

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Router VOC

Purpose of Document

Router VOCs are used to verify a worker’s competence in router 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 Router 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

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

Who Should Use

Router 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 router?

A router is a versatile woodworking tool used primarily for shaping, grooving, and cutting various materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. It consists of a motorized spindle with a rotating cutting bit or router bit that protrudes from the base of the machine. Routers can be handheld or mounted to a router table, providing different levels of control and precision. They are commonly used in cabinetry, furniture making, carpentry, and woodworking for tasks such as edge profiling, dado cutting, joinery, and decorative carving. Routers come in various types, including plunge routers and fixed-base routers, each suited to different applications and user preferences.

What is a router used for?

A router is primarily used for cutting, shaping, and hollowing out areas in various materials, including wood, plastic, and metal. It features a motor-driven spindle that holds a rotating cutting tool, called a router bit, which protrudes from the base of the router. Routers are commonly used in woodworking, cabinetry, and carpentry for tasks such as cutting profiles, edges, and grooves, routing dadoes and rabbets, creating decorative patterns, and trimming laminates. They are versatile tools that offer precision and control in shaping and finishing workpieces, making them essential for a wide range of routing applications.

What hazards are involved in router use?

Many hazards exist in router operation, for example:

  • Contact with the spinning bit
  • Kickback from the wood
  • Electrical hazards Inhalation of wood dust
  • Eye injuries from flying debris
  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome from prolonged use
  • Noise 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 router?

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 router operation, workers can complete the RTO unit

Did You Know?

Did you know that routers have a rich historical background dating back to the early 20th century? Originally developed for the woodworking industry, routers were initially hand-powered tools used for intricate design work and shaping edges. As technology advanced, electric routers were introduced, making the routing process faster and more efficient. Today, routers are widely used in woodworking, cabinetry, and various industries, enabling precise and intricate cuts, designs, and patterns on materials such as wood, plastic, and metal.

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