VOC standards released for HDD operators

Under the occupational health and safety laws, employers have an obligation to ensure their staff have “÷current competency’; a verification of competency (VOC) is a way to measure existing skills an individual has and pinpoint where further training is needed.

Trenchless Advisor’s Peter Brown said since commencing his involvement in horizontal directional drilling (HDD) through Vermeer back in 1998, the training situation has remained the same.

“Either you received training on how to operate the HDD machine and equipment when purchased from a manufacturer, or it was taught on-site through the other drillers you worked with,” he said.

“This has always been a problem within the industry as some who are taught by an existing driller can pick up their bad work practices and the skill level problem can compound.”

Mr Brown says the answer to the skill problem shouldn’t focus just on training, but also in determining how skilled current drillers are.

The VOC compiled by Trenchless Advisor has been reviewed by Dial Before You Dig NSW/ACT (both Otre Moussa and Dominic Puiu) who have given their endorsement for the VOC. HDD manufactures Vermeer Australia and Ditch Witch have also given their support for the VOC and can see the benefits with introducing this into the industry.

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