Occupational Health and Safety Information

Your OH&S Officers

For over nine years the Union has employed Steve Rocco and Chris Giblin, through funding support from Incolink, as OH&S Officers in the Victoria Branch. Both have spent over 70 years collectively in the trade as qualified plumbers, and hold formal OH&S qualifications such as Advanced Diploma/ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (Applied Science), Diplomas in OH&S and Quality Auditing, Cert IV Workplace Training and Assessment, and other industry based accredited training.

The range of their roles are wide and varied. On a daily basis they are called upon to attend sites either due to a call from a Member, to support our OH&S Rep's, to assist employers in identifying areas of improvement, taking phone calls from Members on concerns they have at work, or random drop in visits.

The Unit also assists Members in regards to WorkCover claims, managing return- to- work plans, and assisting Members with their leisure time insurances covered by their EBA and delivered through the Incolink building and construction industry accident and illness benefits program.

Some of the committees the Officers sit on to have the views and opinions of the Membership heard are:

  • Incolink Drug and Alcohol Advisory Committee
  • Incolink Apprentice Liaison Officers Committee
  • WorkSafe Stakeholder Reference Group¬†
  • WorkSafe (Asbestos) Stakeholder Reference Group
  • Foundations For Safety Victoria (Peak State OH&S group ,Union, Employer, WorkSafe)
  • Monthly Meetings with WorSafe (other than SRG)
  • Victorian Trades Hall Council Asbestos Committee
  • VTHC OHS Officers Committee
  • Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (Building,Construction and Demolition Sectors Committee)
  • The Construction Industry National Mental Health Committee

An additional role within the Unit is that of Apprentice Liaison Officer, (Steve) which focuses on assisting apprentices who find themselves struggling with the psycho- social issues that can occur from the transition of school life to the work-place environment. The Unit works closely with the Incolink counseling and support officers, which provide a wide range of services to support apprentices, all available free of charge and completely confidential.

Issues and alerts

With the Plumbing Trades being a diverse trade, issues range from working at heights, working at depth, confined space, extreme heat and cold, asbestos exposure, UV radiation, electrical safety, biological hazards and mobile plant, to emerging issues resulting from new technologies such as radiation exposure and nano technologies.

The Unit consults with PICAC, (Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre), the recently established joint training centre at Brunswick comprised of the employer associations and the Union, to provide input in regards to the delivery of industry based OH&S training.

The Unit produces Hazard Alerts when trends appear within the industry so as to alert Members, employers and other interested parties of practices creeping into the industry, and provide advice as to how those hazards can be eliminated or managed using an industry based approach. The PPTEU web site features all the Hazard Alerts produced, as well as other OH&S matters that concern our members, such as WorkCover and Safety Bulletins. The Unit also produces articles for the Plumbers Union Journal, focusing on current safety issues of the day.