For over five years the Union has employed Steve Rocco and Chris Giblin, through funding from Incolink, as OH&S Officers in the Victoria Branch. Both have spent over 50 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.
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, 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 comprising of the employer associations and the Union, to provide input in regards to the delivery of industry based OH&S training.
The Unit produces Safety 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 on an industry based approach.
The PTEU has a web site that features all the Safety 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, focussing on current safety issues of the day.
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 membership cover through Incolink.
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
The Foundations For Safety (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
AISS (Asbestos Information and Support Services)
Royal Melbourne Hospital Hazard Management 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 counselling and support officers, which provide a wide range of services to support apprentices, all available free of charge and completely confidential.
For more information please see the following documents:
Know your rights - entitlements and benefits delivered by your EBA
Returning To Work After A Workplace Injury
Understanding your Hearing Tests
Policy on supply of Personal Protective Equipment
Safe work method for working at heights and ladder use