What is a Verification of Competencies (VOCs)?

Under nationally harmonised work health and safety (WHS) laws, earthmoving or particular crane (EPC) occupational classes are not required to be licensed from 1 January 2012.
From 1 January 2012, it is the duty of a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to ensure competency of the operator when plant is operated, so far as is reasonably practicable.
Although these licences are no longer required, persons conducting a business or undertaking still have a duty to provide information, training, instruction and/or supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety of all persons.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) encourages formal competency-based training and assessment for the operation of this equipment.

A PCBU should consider the following when assessing plant operators:

  • Has the worker completed competency based training and assessments on the item of plant in question?
  • Can the worker provide evidence of having previously operated the item of plant in question to perform similar tasks in a similar environment?
  • Can the worker demonstrate knowledge of pre-start inspection requirements to ensure an item of plant can be operated safely?
  • Does the worker have knowledge of the specific risks and control measures associated with the item of plant in question?
  • Are there specific hazards or circumstances, associated with either the plant or the activity to be performed, which require specialist knowledge or experience? Does the worker meet this requirement?

Additional supervision or training may be required after an initial assessment, either as a result of the operator’s competence or the specific hazards associated with the task.
PCBUs should maintain records of competency assessments to ensure that evidence can be provided to an inspector or other duty holders if required.

In regard to the issuing of VOC’s.

They are only issued on the behalf of a particular site or company, and only when the person who is undergoing the VOC can satisfy the assessor of the above considerations.
As we are also an earthmoving company, we are aware what the industry wants and needs to comply with current legislation. We presently act on behalf of a number of companies and government authorities to carry out VOC assessments.

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