Occupational Health and Safety Information
Your OH&S Officers
For over eleven 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 75 years collectively in the trade as qualified plumbers, and hold formal OH&S qualifications including Advanced Diploma OH&S (Business management), Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (Applied Science), Diplomas in Quality Auditing (OH&S), 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 member DWG OH&S Rep's, to assist employers in identifying areas of improvement, taking phone calls from Members on concerns they have at work, attending various industry stakeholder meetings, assisting with WorkCover or income protection claims, 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 income protection insurances covered by their EBA; 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 WorkSafe (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.
Safety hazards and alerts
With the Plumbing Trades being a diverse trade; physical, biological and chemical hazards range from but not limited to working at heights, working at depth, confined space, extreme heat and cold, asbestos and silica dust exposure, UV radiation, electrical safety, mobile plant, soil contaminants, sewer contaminants and gases, refrigerant gases, heating gases, welding fumes and gases, glues and solvents, to emerging issues resulting from new technologies such nano technologies.
The Unit works closely with Incolink to develop and implement stratergies to provide mental health and suicide prevention programs, along with a number of wellbeing programs to deliver best practice and support throughout our members careers to reflect the progressive, productive and dynamic industry we work in.
The Unit consults with PICAC, (Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre), the recently established joint training centre at Brunswick comprised of the employer associations and your Unions' RTO's, to provide input in regards to relevant and up-to-date 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.
The OH&S Unit is supported through Incolink funding.