VOC - what is it?

Under the new Workplace Health and Safety Legislation Employers or Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), must take reasonable and practical steps to ensure the competency of their staff for the work they perform and the safe operation of workplace plant and equipment.

It is therefore, a legal requirement to ensure sufficient information, instruction and training of workers performing the task can be maintained and operators experience and knowledge remain current and up to date.

For example, Jerry works in a warehouse and drives a forklift for the business X, Y, Z. Jerry has been driving forklifts since he left school in 1988. Although Jerry appears to be a safe and experienced operator, when he passed his forklift test in 1988 the exam and theory questions were very different to what they are today, and as Jerry hasn't undertaken any refresher training he is unaware of the changes to legislation for a whole raft of policies and procedures that have occurred in the workplace since. This can potentially leave both Jerry and his employer exposed should Jerry be involved in a workplace incident on his forklift and has to testify in court.

Enter the VOC process, with a VOC assessment comprising of theory questions, some rudimentary calculations relevant to the task, and a practical demonstration by the worker actually performing the task. The worker is 'challenged' to provide evidence that they can conduct the work as expected and we can identify any shortcomings or 'gaps' in a workers knowledge or skills and provide the necessary training to bring them up to date with current policies and procedures. This becomes 'evidence' that they have maintained currency in their skills and are competent to complete the task.

This helps in a court of law should Jerry or his employer be called upon as reasonable and practical steps to ensure competency have been met and can be shown in the form of a VOC. It protects both parties from appearing like reckless 'cowboys'.

How long is it valid?

That is site dependant and each PCBU has to make their own policy regarding how often a person should be VOC'd.

For instance, some large construction companies will require a VOC every two years which will cover that person for all of their sites. Other companies we have worked with demand a VOC on every piece of equipment on each individual site, regardless of when the last VOC took place. For example - VOC on a diesel 4 tonne forklift on Site A in March, VOC required also to operate the 2 tonne electric forklift on site at the same time. Operator moves to Site B in July and has to be VOC'd again for the 3 tonne diesel forklift on that site.

It's really up to the PCBU to have their own policy in place...

VOC - what we offer

We can conduct VOC's on your site with your equipment for all types of Elevating Work Platforms (EWP's), Forklifts, Telehandlers, Electric Pallet Trucks (Walkie Stackers), Personnel and Material Hoists, C2 Slewing Cranes, Non-Slewing Cranes, Dogging and Basic Rigging.

On successful competition the candidate and PCBU will receive a VOC Certificate via email.