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plumbing I N D U S T R Y




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welcome F R O M



Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine Plumbing Industry House 525 King Street West Melbourne VIC 3003 T 03 9329 9622 F 03 9329 5060 E The Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine (Industry and Member editions and occasional supplements including the MPMSAA Group Training News, are official journals produced by the Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) ABN: 56 296 473 997 Print Post number: 381712/02399 ISSN: 1325-6289

MASTER PLUMBERS ASSOCIATION LOCATIONS Head Office 525 King Street West Melbourne VIC 3003 T 03 9329 9622 F 03 9329 5060 Brisbane Group Training SkillsTech Australia 760-776 Kingsford Smith Drive Eagle Farm QLD 4009


Welcome to the first issue of Australian Plumbing Industry magazine for 2013 and Happy New Year to all our readers. This is issue is dedicated to all things safety. Workplace safety is critical to the success of any business, it is the responsibility of employers and employees alike and should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately many tradesmen have the “it will never happen to me” attitude and take a relaxed approach to safety gear and personal protection. It’s vital that employers and managers take the lead and implement cultural and behavioural change when and where it is required. Lead by example and show your staff and apprentices the right and safe way to do things. Being a healthy man (or woman!) is about more than just eating right and getting some exercise, it’s also about having a fulfilling career at a safe workplace, good healthcare and strong relationships with friends and family. Running your own business, stress and physically demanding work can all take a toll on your wellbeing and with one in eight men experiencing feelings of depression, it’s time we turned our attention to this serious illness.

Alice Williams takes a closer look at men’s health, the dangers of depression and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. Our major safety feature looks at the top five hazards in a plumber’s workplace; Charlotte Roseby covers everything from working near power lines, exploding gas cylinders, manual handling injuries and much more. In our new column, Hear me out, Master Plumber Occupational Health and Safety Officer Rod Tressider vents his spleen about some current health and safety issues. Also in this issue, we meet Jonathan Mullins, a mentor and leader in the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program. We’ve also got all our regular news and features, including information on workplace relations, product news and much more! Happy reading




MARCH 2013

Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre 306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3065 T 03 9356 8921 F 03 9356 8929

CONTACTS Publisher The Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) Editor Melissa Chrys T 03 9321 0703 E Advertising Tremain Walles T 03 9321 0780 E Suppliers Salt Creative Printgraphics Direct Mail Corporation

A BIG DIFFERENCE This air-conditioner is unique. It has no outdoor unit. The Italians have done it again. The Unico from Olimpia Splendid represents the latest in air-conditioning technology. Instead of a big outer box, it’s got two small holes. The air-conditioner is installed from the inside, quickly and without any complex masonry. This means fast and low cost installation. Four models with Inverter technology to choose from. Four models with On/Off technology. With or without heat pump technology. Unico. It means “the only one”, in Italian. You’ll agree. It’s unique.

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MARCH 2013

Don’t learn safety by accident / see page 28


22 36


From the CEO / page 9 A message from our CEO and the Association’s President

Hazards ahead / page 28 We expose the top hazards in a plumbers world

Member news / page 10 See photos from the Christmas party and catch up on Association news and events

Hear me out / page 34 Master Plumbers Safety Officer, Rod Tressider, vents his spleen on some current health and safety issues

Industry news / page 16 Men’s health / page 22 Being a healthy man is about more than eating right and getting some exercise

Star recruit: football follower turned leader / page 36 Charlotte Roseby meets one of plumbing’s young star recruits Training news / page 40 Sunspots / page 43 An update on solar thermal energy

43 Mastering Workplace Relations / page 46 The rules around subcontracting and an update on current legislation Drugs and alcohol / page 50 An update from Incolink Accident and illness insurance / page 52 Are you covered? Product news / page 54 WPC news / page 62 The latest from the World Plumbing Council

Disclaimer Statements and information appearing in this publication must not be interpreted as having the endorsement of being the opinion of the publisher, which takes no responsibility for the correctness of the statements made. It is a condition of purchase or acceptance of this publication that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in the publication, or from the use of information contained herein and the publisher makes no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any of the material contained herein. The publisher shall not be liable for any failure to publish any advertisement where such failure results from circumstances beyond their control. If advertising material is not supplied in accordance with deadlines, the publisher reserves the right to repeat any material previously provided by the advertiser. The publisher reserves the right to refuse and edit material. All prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Copyright Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.

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welcome F R O M







Happy new year to all our members and their families. 2013 will be a year of change for the Association. Last year Master Plumbers began the process of enacting a number of key governance changes that will restructure the National Council and Executive Board. The purpose of these changes is to ensure the effective representation of members’ interests within the Association’s governing bodies. The new rules and restructure will mean more frequent and regular elections for positions on the National Council and Executive Board. This in turn provides a greater range of members with an opportunity to get involved, contribute and help steer the course of the Association into the future. Your participation in this process is essential for the future success of the Association and to ensure Master Plumbers remains a strong voice within the industry. The nomination and election process is now drawing to a close and the new National Council and Executive Board will be announced next month. As part of all these changes I have decided to step down from my role as President of Master Plumbers. I have served on the Board and National Council for over a decade and am keen to encourage a new generation to help guide the Association into the future. Change is all about opportunity and I hope some of you take this chance to get involved with your Association. The more you put into something like Master Plumbers, the more you will get out of it; I can’t stress this point enough! I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to represent our Association for so many years and I’d like to thank the Master Plumbers, my colleagues on the National Council and Executive Board and all our members for their support over the years. Wishing you all much success for the year ahead.

As we come back to work from the summer break it is worth reflecting on progress on National Licensing. Many plumbers are concerned when they hear nothing about progress on this critical issue, however progress is slow. In the latter part of 2012 a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) was circulated for comment. In relation to plumbing, there were 1339 submissions received and another 332 in relation to refrigeration and air conditioning. This is a very high response and demonstrated a much higher level of interest and concern than the government expected. Broadly, the plumbing response documents put forward similar views on key issues relating to licensing policy, namely: > The Automatic Mutual Recognition model is supported as it is a simpler and cheaper means of achieving a national licensing outcome. > The three-tier National Licensing model is the second best option. > The two-tier National Licensing model was thoroughly rejected. > There was no support for licensing based purely on institutional-based learning outcomes; there is a very clear desire to see experience requirements in the form of an apprenticeship retained. > There was strong support for testing of competence, either in the form currently conducted by the PIC or otherwise incorporated into the Certificate III in Plumbing. > Some support for prescribing mandatory continuing professional development requirements for licensees. The result is that industry has indicated it does not support the proposed NOLs model as the preferred model. Master Plumbers will continue to meet with and lobby government and protect our industry. We will keep you informed on progress throughout the year.

Stephen Atherton President, Master Plumbers Association Ken Gardner CEO, Master Plumbers Association

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VIC MURRAY: LIFE MEMBER Vic Murray is the latest member to be made a Life Member of the Association. Life membership is granted to long standing Master Plumber members who have made a significant contribution to the industry and the Association. Since joining the Master Plumbers in 1989, Vic has been an active Association member. In 1994 he was elected Chairman of the National Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (NHVACA) which was a branch of the Master Plumbers Association of Victoria. In the same year the Heating and Cooling Association of Victoria Inc merged with the NHVACA and was known as the Heating and Cooling Association of Australia. Vic was elected to the Board in 1996 and was elected Vice-President in 1998. He received a Hygieia Award in 2000 for the major role he played in linking the Association with the building services and mechanical equipment manufacturers that was of great importance to the Heating and Cooling Group. Vic has continued to assist the Association in his capacity as a consultant to deliver the HB276 handbook for HVAC and is on the Australian Standards Committee to assist in the new HVAC Standards for Australia and New Zealand. Vic continues to be involved in quarterly meetings with the PIC on behalf of the Association today. The Master Plumbers, its Board and staff would like to thank Vic for his significant contribution to the organisation and the industry and congratulate him on his Life Membership.

WELCOME Master Plumbers welcomes the following new members and affiliates who have joined the Association since November 2012. Julian Dal Zotto Plumbing & Roofing The Plumbing Man Gerimex Design Pty Ltd Energy Makeovers Viega Pty Ltd Chris McKee Plumbers & Gasfitters Pty Ltd Red Rock Contracting Perpetual Gas & Plumbing Bayaire Industries Pty Ltd Mark Lee Plumbing Icon Metal Roofing Specialists Pty Ltd Watson Plumbing and Drainage O'Flynn Plumbing GA Wade Pty Ltd Majestic Plumbing (Vic) Pty Ltd CM Worx Pty Ltd Farleys Plumbing Pty Ltd Super Roofing Pty Ltd The Precise Group Pty Ltd NBK Plumbing & Air Conditioning CNH Plumbing Pty Ltd DC Steeldeck Roofing Gradeline Plumbing & Drainage Pty Ltd Temperature Plus Heating & Cooling NJM Roofing QBH Plumbing and Drainage GV Weathermaster


NATIONAL COUNCIL NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS In October 2012 the Association called for nominations for the election of a new National Council. The nomination and election period is now over and details of the new representatives are being finalised. We will announce the new National Council at the Association’s Annual General Meeting in March 2013. Stay tuned for further details.

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CHRISTMAS COCKTAIL PARTY Members gathered at the Hilton on the Park in East Melbourne to celebrate the festive season on Thursday 6 December 2012. There was a great turnout with over 200 members in attendance. In addition, long time Master Plumber member Vic Murray was presented with a Life Membership to recognise his ongoing contribution to the Association and the industry. Read more about Vic on page 10. The cocktail party was a wonderful opportunity for members to network and catch up after a busy year.

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MEMBER BENEFITS PROGRAM: GREAT SAVINGS AHEAD IN 2013 Quality dining Enjoy great savings on dining at over 400 restaurants across Australia. Simply display the Ambassador Card logo on the front of your Master Plumbers member benefits card to access your discount. Visit the Member Advantage website for a full list of participating restaurants. Groceries and gift cards Pre-purchase gift cards online or over the phone and save 5% off the retail value. Gift cards include Woolworths, Coles, JB Hi-Fi, Kmart, Rebel Sport, ABC Shop and more, allowing you to save on large purchases and everyday expenses. *Based on price for off –peak Hoyts movie ticket when pre-purchased through Member Advantage. ** Average saving by members who purchased their vehicle using the Member Advantage car buying service.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: EMPLOYMENT LAW WORKSHOPS Following the success of previous sessions, Master Plumbers will once again conduct Introduction to Employment Law workshops in 2013. This workshop is essential for employers/business owners, managers and payroll/accounts personnel. Attendees will gain an understanding of: > Structure of Australian employment law > Minimum terms and conditions of employment > Key issues arising from employment law > Practical options for managing the employment relationship (including recruitment, performance management, payroll practices and record keeping) > Resources available to support employment Can your business afford to miss this opportunity? This course is offered free of charge to members and their staff and will be delivered in metropolitan and regional Victoria. To find out more visit

Movie tickets See your favourite blockbuster this summer, with prices starting from just $10.50 a ticket*. Discounts available on pre-purchased movie tickets for all major Australian cinemas including Hoyts, Village, Event, Greater Union and Palace Cinemas. Car buying services Save up to 20 percent off your next new vehicle purchase using our free car buying service through our partner Private Fleet. Makes and models sourced from around Australia, with an average saving of over $3000**. For more information, call Member Advantage on 1300 853 352 or visit masterplumber

INDUSTRY BRIEFINGS, MEMBER MEETINGS, WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS GALORE! The membership team has been working hard to put together a full calendar of industry briefing sessions, member and technical meetings, workplace relations workshops and other events for 2013. Our industry briefing sessions will be visiting members across metropolitan and regional Victoria to provide you with an opportunity to discuss issues and topics that are important to your business. Divisional and technical committee meetings will also be held throughout the year. These meetings offer a great opportunity to meet with fellow members and discuss technical and other issues affecting particular industry areas.

Visit for a full list of events throughout the year. Coming up… Master Plumbers will be visiting members in Warnambool, Bairnsdale and Sunshine as part of our industry briefing series. Warnambool Wednesday 17 April Sunshine Wednesday 8 May Bairnsdale Wednesday 22 May Later in the year we will also be visiting Ringwood, Traralgon, Warragul, Mornington, Hoppers Crossing, Echuca and more!

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Bosch Condensing Technology. Efficient Energy | Hot Water & Heating. For generations, Bosch has been commited to provide quality products that protect the environment and conserve resources resulting in the introduction of condensing technology systems into the market. These appliances derive their over 90% energy efficiency from their ability to allow the water vapour to condense and absorb most of the latent heat in the heat exchanger. Range includes: Bosch 26eco+ – award winning 6.9 STAR gas hot water system Bosch 32C – winner of the coveted ECO-Buy Innovative Green Product of the Year for 2011 Bosch Hydronic Heating Boiler (Condens 5000W) – provides a reliable and allergy free home heating solution. For more information, call 1300 30 70 37 or visit




Did you know that 1.1 billion people lack access to a safe clean water supply and 2.6 billion do not enjoy the use of effective sanitation systems? The tragic result is 3.1 million children die each year as a result of diseases that could have been prevented if only the children had access to basic facilities, according to the World Health Organization. There is nothing more important than clean drinking water and good basic sanitation to keep the world and the people who inhabit it healthy. World Plumbing Day (WPD) is an international event on March 11 every year, initiated by the World Plumbing Council as a means of highlighting the important role plumbing plays in the health, safety and sustainability of our community. In Victoria, the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre played host to a huge range of activities including an apprentices skills competition, plumbing careers expo, lunches, workplace health checks and an art exhibition – check out the photos in our next issue! To find out more visit

The Australian Government has now introduced Dad and Partner Pay. The new entitlement under the Australian Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme provides two weeks of government-funded pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage to eligible working dads and partners, including adoptive parents and same-sex partners, whose child is born or adopted from 1 January 2013. Dad and Partner Pay is administered and paid directly by the Australian Government and workers who may not have paid parental leave entitlements from their employer, such as selfemployed, contractor or casual workers, may also be eligible. To help support businesses, the Australian Government has developed a fact sheet available for download at or call 131 158

FRESH START FOR BUILDING & PLUMBING INDUSTRY Last year, Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced he would reform the oversight of building regulation to meet the 21st century needs of consumers and industry participants. A new Victorian Building Authority (VBA) will be established as the single over-arching body responsible for setting and enforcing building industry regulation following an extensive review of the existing structures. The function of the Building Commission, Plumbing Industry Commission and the Architects Registration Board will be absorbed into the proposed new Authority, which will provide a single point of governance for builders, plumbers and architects. “The current system does not promote consistent service capability and dents consumer confidence and respect for the industry. The building industry and those who work in it are important to Victoria’s economic health – which makes these reforms critical,” Mr Guy said. It iss pro proposed oposed that the VBA will be led by a Chief Executive Officer and constituted by an independent in ndependent Board that will set strategic ategic directions, operational policies, priorities oritie es and key performance measures in line w with Government policy.

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news GROUP TRAINING NETWORK WELCOMES NEW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND TRAINING Group Training Australia (GTA) today welcomed the announcement of Minister Chris Bowen as the new Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research. The Chief Executive of Group Training Australia (GTA), Jim Barron, said Mr Bowen’s elevation to the portfolio would be applauded in the group training sector, reflecting a high priority being placed on skills development and employment generation. “As a local member, Mr Bowen has shown a strong interest in supporting apprentices, highlighting the importance of trades training in career development and the critical role this plays.

“It is particularly significant that responsibility for small business has been added to the portfolio, since so much of Australia’s skills formation occurs in small and medium sized enterprises,” Mr Barron said. Within the group training network, which is the largest employer network of apprentices and trainees across Australia, the majority of these are engaged by micro, small, and medium sized businesses. Minister Bowen has previously shown a keen interest in the activities of the group training network and we look forward to engaging with him in his new role. The group training sector also extends its congratulations and thanks to Senator Chris Evans who has presided over some of the most significant reforms seen in the VET sector.

“Minister Evans has steered major changes to the national VET framework in regard to quality, equity and funding, and has worked to place trades careers on an equal footing to higher education for many school leavers and students. “It is especially noteworthy that Minister Evans maintained Commonwealth financial support for the Joint Group Training Program despite the NSW and Tasmanian government axing their components of the joint agreement. He deserves great credit for this. “The Commonwealth’s commitment has helped to maintain employment of apprentices and trainees across scores of industries and was widely applauded by apprentices, trainees, employers and the communities in which they work. “We extend our appreciation to Senator Evans and wish him the very best for the remainder of his political career and into the future,” Mr Barron said.



19 – 21 March 2013 Melbourne Exhibition Centre The nation’s strongest safety trade event is back again! Visitors to Safety In Action are given the unique opportunity to discover the most comprehensive range of products and services. Plus network and learn from industry experts through a number of interactive live demonstrations, dedicated feature areas, and free seminars. Discover the latest innovation in OHS solutions for your business from broad range of industry specialists, all conveniently located under one roof. Find out more about: > Personal protective equipment > First aid > Height safety and confined space equipment > Gas detection and spill control > Hazardous goods handling > Innovation technology To find out more visit or call 1300 656 184

David Eynon has announced he will step down as Executive Director of AMCA Victoria. The Victorian executive put into place an arrangement to replace David after his 20 years of service to the Association. After careful deliberation, and an extensive interview process with the assistance of an external employment agency, the sub-committee has appointed Mr Sumit Oberoi as the new Executive Director for AMCA Victoria. Sumit will take over the role of Executive Director from David Eynon as of 1st April 2013. David Eynon will remain as National Director of AMCA Australia from this time and will work reduced hours each week to ensure the needs of the national office and national Council are met.




MARCH 2013

Drop into your local Tradelink Plumbing Centre before 31st May, 2013 and purchase an Apricus ‘Solar Ready Tank’, ‘Retro-Fit Kit’or ‘Solar Hot Water System’, for your chance to win one of six tickets to STATE OF ORIGIN Game II at Suncorp Stadium in June, 2013. The prize also includes return flights (from your nearest capital city), accommodation, VIP reserved seating, corporate function plus your own personalised State of Origin Jersey! Simply purchase one of these products and fill in the entry form online at and you could be one of our six lucky winners! BONUS! Master Plumbers members receive double entries! Simply input your membership number when submitting your entry. Visit for full terms and conditions.

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The chair of Safe Work Australia has commended Australian workplaces for reducing the number of workplace fatalities, but added that one fatality is too many. "Although Australia continues to have a reduction in workplace fatalities, there were still 169 compensated fatalities in Australia in 2010-11," Tom Phillips said at the release of the Comparative Performance Monitoring (CPM) report on Australia's work health and safety and workers' compensation outcomes for 2010-11. Phillips said the report continues to indicate a decreasing rate of compensated injury fatalities since the development of the National OHS Strategy. Notably Phillips pointed to a statistic which revealed that 11 out of every 1,000 workers were injured seriously enough to require one week or more off work. It was also found that since 2002 there has been a 28% improvement in the rate of serious injuries. However, this is still below the target set in the National OHS Strategy 2002-2012 of a 40% reduction in the rate of injuries by 2012. Other key findings in the report included: > body stressing continued to be the injury/disease that resulted in the greatest proportion of claims (40%) > work health and safety authorities undertook close to 211,000 workplace interventions and issued 58,000 notices during 2010-11, and > employers are now paying 1.49% of payroll in workers' compensation premiums compared to 1.79% in 2006-07.



15-18 September 2013 The Building Australia's Future conference will be held in Brisbane from 15 to 18 September this year. Proudly supported by the Australian Building Codes Board, together with Master Plumbers Australia and the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors, the conference will commence with a welcome reception on Sunday 15 September and conclude on the evening of Wednesday 18 September. The conference organisers have assembled leading industry practitioners and professional speakers to present an extensive program featuring both building and plumbing plenary streams. Throughout the conference you will be engaged in a series of interactive workshops and panel discussions, focussing on a variety of topics and technical requirements relevant to all building and plumbing industry professionals. Leading suppliers of both building and plumbing products and services will also be in attendance showcasing latest industry developments. Our evening social program will offer you the chance to network with colleagues in a relaxed and friendly environment. In addition to the conference, the QLD/NT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors will also hold their annual one day summit at the Sofitel Brisbane Central on Sunday 15 September 2013. This initiative also provides delegates participating in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs with an excellent opportunity to acquire their annual points. By attending both the AIBS Summit and the Building Australia's Future 2013 Conference delegates have an opportunity to receive CPD points for 22 hours of technical content across the four days. We look forward to seeing you at the Sofitel Brisbane Central for the pre-eminent construction industry conference of 2013!

MARCH 2013

ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING WATERMARK CERTIFICATION SCHEME On 25 January 2013, Standards Australia Limited (Standards Australia) and the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) formally entered into an agreement for the transfer of the administration of the WaterMark Certification Scheme from Standards Australia to the ABCB. From 25 February 2013, Standards Australia Limited (SA) will no longer be the administrator of the WaterMark Certification Scheme, and the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) will be taking over the administration and management of the WaterMark Certification Scheme. From 25 February 2013, ABCB will be responsible for administering, reviewing and updating all technical specifications, content and rules in relation to the WaterMark Certification Scheme. Appointment of new scheme certifiers and development of technical specifications will be temporarily suspended until 25 February 2013. From 25 February 2013 any new applications for approval as a scheme certifier and queries relating to technical specifications should be directed to ABCB. “Standards Australia and our committees have worked hard over many years to support this important Scheme. We are looking forward to seeing the Scheme transitioned to the Australian Building Codes Board,” said Colin Blair, Chief Executive Officer, Standards Australia. “I would like to recognise the contributions of all committee members, Certification Assessment Bodies and the National Plumbing Regulators Forum who have been so critical to the operation of the Scheme over many years,” Mr Blair said. The WaterMark website and database can now be found by visiting

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DEPRESSION: THE FACTS, THE STATS AND HOW TO KICK IT In Australia, more men die each year from suicide than skin cancer.* Let that statistic sit with you for a minute. From the early 80s not a single person in this country could make it thorough a summer without being told to Slip Slop Slap – a public service announcement turned national mantra. Most Aussie kids are smearing on zinc like warpaint against the merciless southern sun before they can swim. Why then, when depression is a known factor in over 80 per cent of male suicide cases, are discussions about the big D still a conversation most people aren’t ready to have? The reluctance to discuss feelings of depression and anxiety seems ludicrous when you consider that one in eight men report going through such phases at least once during their lives – and those are just the ones who seek treatment. Many do not. We spoke with a psychologist from Beyond Blue’s ‘Men’s Shed’ program to find out what’s going on. * Australian Bureau of Statistics, Causes of Death, available at the time of publishing.



MARCH 2013


Whether your run your own business or are on the tools all day, stress and physically demanding work can take a toll on your health and wellbeing. Being a healthy man is about more than just eating right and getting some exercise, it is also about having secure and safe work, access to quality healthcare and participating in activities and relationships with family and friends. Alice Williams takes a closer look at a couple of key men’s health issues.

What is depression? Depression is more than just having a bad week – it is a serious illness. Over one million Australians live with depression each year. Men are less likely to recognize depression in themselves or others because they don’t acknowledge feelings of sadness or low moods as easily as women. Men with depression are more likely to notice the physical manifestations of the illness. You might notice that you’ve lost interest in work, or hobbies or things you normally enjoy doing. You may lack energy, have difficulty sleeping or sleep more than usual. Some people feel anxious or irritable and find it difficult to concentrate. All of a sudden things that never made you angry before are setting you off – things like that. Why is it different for men and for women? Women are more likely to create social support systems – people they can talk to about feelings and anxieties – than men. Men tend to find it harder to bring up personal problems, not only because they fear being perceived as weak but also because they often just don’t even know where to start the conversation. Projects like ‘Men’s Shed’ work hard to make sure Aussie men know that depression is like having a toothache – you have a toothache, you go to the dentist and have it sorted out. There’s no stigma around getting your tooth fixed and we need to drop the rubbish ideas we have around people taking steps to sort out their depression.

Why do people get in contact with places like Beyond Blue, Mensline or Men’s Shed in the first place? We have a lot of people calling because they’re concerned about other people – in the trade industries especially we have a lot of bosses calling through for information because they’re worried about their workers. Most guys who call about themselves have been feeling ‘not right’ for some time. There are really common life events that can kick it off, such as family conflict, relationship breakdowns, partners who are pregnant or the birth of children, isolation or loneliness, unemployment, excessive drug and alcohol use – but sometimes there is no reason at all. The important thing is to try and catch it early and get it dealt with. What kind of support and treatment is available? Men need to know that just like a physical illness, depression is treatable and effective treatments are available. There are five recognized forms of depression and treatment varies from person to person. It may include physical exercise for preventing and treating mild depression, through to psychological and drug treatments for more severe depression. Why is it important to catch depression in its early stages? If depression isn’t detected, it can’t be treated and may become severe and disabling. Obviously, depression is a known factor in suicide and Australia has an unusually high rate of suicide, especially in men. Guys are much more likely to complete a suicide plan successfully because they’re more confident using mechanical means like guns or cars than women. It’s devastating to anyone left behind knowing that there might have been a better outcome if the person had been offered support earlier. It’s such a waste to live with depression, it affects every aspect of your life and it’s so pointless when the opportunity to get rid of it is available.

On a side note, tell us a bit about the Men’s Shed project? Men’s Shed is an updated version of the shed in the backyard and they’re starting up all around Australia. They are community-based, non-profit, non-commercial spaces for men to work on meaningful projects with other guys. As the project site says “If you looked inside one you might see a number of men restoring furniture, perhaps restoring bicycles for a local school, maybe making Mynah bird traps or fixing lawn mowers or making a kids cubby house for Camp Quality to raffle. “You might also see a few young men working with the older men learning new skills and maybe also learning something about life from the men they work with. You will see tea, coffee and a comfortable area where men can sit and talk. “You will probably also see an area where men can learn to cook for themselves or they can learn how to contact their families by computer.” It’s basically there to give guys a bit of space while offering practical support. On the flip side it’s also a great place to help out and give back to the community. To find out more visit

If you think you or someone you know might be in trouble there are plenty of support networks available to get the ball rolling. Talk to your family doctor beyond blue

1300 22 4636


1300 651 251


13 11 14

Mensline Australia

1300 78 99 78

Suicide Callback Service

1300 659 467

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M E N ' S



BACK IN BUSINESS “Lift with your legs not with your back. Bend at the knees, not at the waist!” How many times have you heard this? Now, how many times have you heard this from a person who has never had to lift a bundle of three metre pipes, a washing machine or water tank? While using your leg muscles is the preferable method, this doesn’t always translate in the world of over-sized pipes and appliances. It also works on the premise that the lifter has the leg strength to perform the lift — a lot of people do not. With around 80 percent of people working in trade industries expected to experience back pain and muscular injuries during their career, learning to lift, lower and move objects safely should be a top priority. The causes of back injury As most plumbers know, overexertion injuries result from overloading or over-stretching muscles, tendons and ligaments. Overloading exceeds your strength and overstretching exceeds your range of motion. Overuse injuries result from using muscles, tendons or ligaments so much they become damaged. For example, the task of installing waterlines using copper and PEX tubing systems may not be particularly hazardous. But if you repeat the task endlessly for eight hours each day, using ABS cutters, crimping tools, and knives in an awkward body position and without allowing the body enough time to recover, you’re probably going to end up with a back or muscular injury.



MARCH 2013


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M E N ' S


Activity is your friend Most people still believe that to reduce the risk of lower-back injury you have to eliminate all activities involving lifting, lowering and moving objects, however this is not actually the case. To stay healthy, muscles and other tissues need to be challenged. The trick is in making sure the challenge is sufficient — not too little, not too much. The plumber installing ABS vent and drain pipes may need to reduce how much they work with their back while a foreman who sits at a desk all day without moving much might be better off with a mix of work activities that includes using his back. Work up your strength and endurance To avoid injuring your muscles, tendons and ligaments – especially in your back – you need to give them a chance to adapt to loads of increasing weight. You want to expose them to loads that challenge but don’t damage them. You also want to give them time to recover between periods of strain. Gradually building up the weight your muscles can carry and the length of time they are used improves your body tissues’ tolerance to injury. Muscle endurance, which helps tissues work longer without tiring and losing their ability to work effectively, has more protective value than muscular strength. Research shows that exercise programs combining cardiovascular exercise with lower-back exercise are more effective than programs emphasizing lower-back exercise alone. Cardio exercises like walking briskly, surfing or playing football help build muscle endurance.


How to lift While employers should eliminate as much manual lifting and lowering as is practical and possible, there will still be times when you need to put your back into it. So what is the perfect technique for lifting? Well, there isn’t one. But the four principles below are the latest advice from specialists.

1 Keep the natural curve in your lower back When standing straight, the lower back naturally curves to create a slight hollow. Always try to maintain this curve when lifting, lowering or moving objects. The spine and back are most stable in this position.

2 Contract your abdominal muscles Contract the abdominal muscles during lifting, lowering and moving activities. This improves spine stability. Sometimes describes as “bracing”, contracting the abdominal muscles even slightly (as little as four to five percent) improves spine stability and reduces the likelihood of injury.

3 Avoid twisting Twisting the back can make it less stable, increasing the likelihood of injury. Bracing helps reduce any tendency to twist.

4 Hold it close Keep the load as close to the belly button and body as possible. Doing so reduces the strain on muscles of the back and trunk. If necessary, use protective clothing such as leather aprons so that sharp, dirty, hot or cold objects can be held as close to the body as possible.

Clever tips for plumbers ™ @ZZeVaaXjii^c\iddahh]VgeidgZYjXZ strain on your wrists and arms. If you're using crimping tools, make sure that they are properly calibrated. ™ JhZi]Zg^\]i"h^oZYYg^aadgWdg^c\W^i and make sure that the cutting edge is sharp to reduce strain on your arms and the tool. ™ LZVg`cZZeVYh[dgldg`dci]ZÄddg# Avoid prolonged awkward postures. Move between kneeling, squatting and standing. ™ >[ldg`^c\WZadl`cZZaZkZa!jhZV stool such as a milk crate or a mobile stool with castors to reduce stress on your knees and to help keep your back straight. ™ HZindjgldg`jeVilV^hiaZkZa using benches or tables. ™ ;dgVE:MijWZhnhiZb!jh^c\ mechanical crimping tools can help reduce strain and injury. ™ L]Zca^[i^c\[gdbi]Z\gdjcY!a^b^ii]Z load to 23 kg and don’t be a goose – always ask for help with heavy or awkwardly-shaped material. While it’s always advisable to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing pain, statistics show that most people with back pain simply get better, regardless of whether they receive treatment or the treatment methods used. Most people who leave work return within six weeks, and only a small percentage never return to their jobs. More evidence suggests that people with back pain who continue routine activities as normally as possible do better than those who try either bed rest or immediate exercise. However, as always, prevention is better than cure – and it’s usually down to more than just lifting with your legs. SOURCE: CSAO MUSCULOSKELETAL HAZARDS AND CONTROLS 2009.



MARCH 2013

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DON’T LEARN SAFETY BY ACCIDENT PLUMBING RISKS AND HAZARDS Charlotte Roseby exposes the top safety hazards faced by plumbers



MARCH 2013


Most people think plumbing isn’t a dangerous trade. It doesn’t have the obvious risks faced by an electrician installing LED lights on top of a stadium roof or a rope access specialist dangling from the edge of an oil rig. But that might just be the problem. Plumbing has many, many hazards – and it’s easy to forget they’re there. There has actually been an increase in injuries to plumbers in the last three years, according to WorkSafe Victoria. In the construction industry, one in ten injuries is to a plumber. Tragically, there have been recent deaths in the plumbing industry. A plumber was electrocuted and his colleague left in a critical condition after making contact with an overhead powerline while using an elevated work platform. Most plumbing hazards don’t have such catastrophic outcomes, but high-frequency injuries caused by manual handling, slips, trips and falls can result in serious pain and serious medical bills, and are the reason why many plumbers leave the industry. Manual handing injuries account for around 45 per cent of all injury claims. In fact, the typical plumbing injury profile is a 40 to 54 year old man with a chronic back or shoulder injury. “People become over-confident in their own environment within the workplace,” says Bryan O'Donaghue of O'Brien Safety Systems. “The old adage applies: young people – in fact most people – say, ‘it won’t happen to me’. But it does.”

“Safety is a mindset. Plumbers must consider the safety implications of the task in front of them. The Act says you must consider the hazard and put control measures in place that negates the risk, as far as practicable.” Many plumbers rely on PPE (personal protective equipment) without actually eliminating or reducing the risk, says Bryan. “PPE looks nice, but it is a last resort. You have to do the due diligence.” “I always encourage the more experienced plumbers to look out for the young blokes and make sure they’re taking their safety seriously,” says Rod Tresidder, Master Plumbers’ Occupational Health and Safety Officer. “That’s the way we’ll change the work culture – and make it a safe one.” Here, we revisit some of the hazards facing plumbers. (This article is just a brief look at some common hazards. For more information about safe work practices, risk assessments and control measures, visit the website of your state or territory work health and safety authority or contact Master Plumbers.)

WATCH OUT FOR THESE RISKS Confined spaces Working in confined spaces can be extremely dangerous. The main risks to plumbers include loss of consciousness and suffocation caused by a lack of oxygen. Gases or fumes can explode and catch fire. Many toxic gases and vapours, such as carbon monoxide, can’t be seen or smelt. Sadly, it’s not uncommon for confined spaces incidents to often result in multiple deaths. Other workers, unaware of the risks, enter the space to rescue the collapsed worker and are overcome by the same toxic vapours or gases. There are specific laws which plumbers must comply with before entering confined space. Excavations Plumbers are always at risk of being buried in an excavation if it collapses on them. In recent years there have been a number of collapses, any of which could have been fatal. Another risk to watch out for around excavations is the power mobile plant (e.g. excavator, trencher, bobcat). Being hit by the bucket, buckets falling off machines, being hit by the machine when it swings around and being run over by the machine all have resulted in deaths and serious injuries to plumbers.

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with furring channel at a domestic building site. He was working with a seven metre length of channel on scaffolding that was just two and a half metres from high-voltage powerlines. He was seriously injured and is only alive because the channel was also touching the scaffolding, which took the bulk of the current. In 2011 a plumber died after electrocution – and another was left in a critical condition – after their cherry picker touched an overhead powerline. Because of the dangerous position of the cherry picker and its basket, emergency workers could not get to the men, whose clothes were still on fire, until the power was turned off. Powerlines can be difficult to see, particularly at dawn and dusk, says Paul Fearon, Victoria's Director of Energy Safety and CEO of Energy Safe Victoria. “It’s easy to become complacent when we do the same things every day … It’s vital that you’re aware of powerlines and that you stay out of the three metre No Go Zone.” “You should always carry out a safety check before you start any work to identify the location of powerlines. And you should never assume you know where they are. They can sag with temperature

This is “the biggie” – contact with powerlines will almost always be catastrophic for the plumber. In recent years at least one plumber has been electrocuted and many others have suffered severe and often lifechanging injuries from electric shock and flash burns. Plumbers doing roofing or guttering work are regularly at risk of making contact with live overhead powerlines. Using elevating work platforms, cranes, concrete placing booms, excavating equipment or scaffolding puts you at high risk. Plumbers themselves don’t usually hit powerlines, but inadvertently knock or push into powerlines with whatever they are holding: ladders, metal roofing sheets, battens or guttering. It’s the start of the year, but already one plumber is lucky to be alive after hitting powerlines

and electrical load in the heat of summer, and they can also move in the wind, so clearances could change by as much as four metres during the day. And that could be the difference between going home to your family, a prolonged stay in hospital or becoming a workplace fatality statistic,” says Paul. The No Go Zone rules stipulate that people or machinery should not come within three metres of live powerlines. If you need to do work within the three metre exclusion zone, make sure you get a permit from the powerline owner.

LIVE METAL WATER SERVICE PIPES Another high-consequence risk to plumbers is metal water piping becoming live due to an electrical fault near the premises – or even from a nearby fault in the street. Plumbers have died after being electrocuted when they have cut through or disconnected metallic water pipes, connected or disconnected water meters or appliances.

Alarmingly, most Australian properties built before 1976 used the copper or galvanised service pipes as the primary earthing system. An electrical hazard is caused by the out-dated practice of earthing electrical installations to metallic pipes. Turning off the premise's main switch may not remove the current. A plumber can receive a fatal or serious electric shock if they make contact with the metallic pipe, completing an electrical circuit to earth. If you are replacing metallic pipe with plastic, work must not start until the earthing has been checked by an electrical contractor. Plumbers must not disconnect earth wires that may be attached to the metal water pipes. Your customer needs to get an electrical contractor to carry out the work. Plumbers also risk making contact with damaged electrical cables or exposed electrical connections inside roof spaces and under floors. An experienced plumber recently died while working in a roof cavity after coming into contact with a live cable. When working in the roof cavity or under the floor of a house, the simplest method to control the risk is to turn and lock off the main switch.


Drilling into walls and contacting live electrical wiring Contacting damaged or exposed wiring in roof spaces and under floors Working with metallic water pipes ™ 8jii^c\dgY^hXdccZXi^c\\Vh service pipes and fitting lines ™ 9^hXdccZXi^c\Veea^VcXZhdg changing gas control ™ 8jii^c\dgY^hXdccZXi^c\lViZg service lines ™ 8dccZXi^c\dg disconnecting meters

Electrocution – death Electric shock, burns

Watch out for these hazards Making contact with powerlines: ™ Ldg`^c\dcgdd[idehdg construction sites near powerlines ™ BVcdZjkg^c\bViZg^VahhjX] as metallic pipes or sheets onto and off roofs ™ Jh^c\ZaZkViZYldg`eaVi[dgbh



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Safety tips Make sure you locate all powerlines. Remember that powerlines are more difficult to see at dawn and dusk. Monitor weather conditions closely – powerlines can sag in extreme heat and sway in strong winds. Know your ‘No Go Zones’ before starting work. Relocate bulk delivery storage sites away from powerlines. Remember that electricity can jump gaps.

If you notice any sparks or arcing or if your customer has reported ‘tingling’ after touching water pipes, taps or appliances, immediately stop work. If you are replacing metallic pipe with plastic, work must not start until the earthing has been checked by an electrical contractor. Get guidance on how to safely cut metallic water pipes by installing bonding straps.


FALLS FROM HEIGHT Working at height is another high-consequence risk. Falls from height are the most common cause of deaths to construction workers. And plumbers, sadly, are wellrepresented. Using unsafe or incomplete scaffolds, inappropriate ladders or falling from or through roofs are typical causes of falls by plumbers. Even falls from a relatively low height can cause very serious and debilitating injuries including fractures, and spinal cord injuries, concussion and brain damage. In a few cases, even moderately low falls have resulted in death. Yet the ways to prevent these injuries are well known. There are many common solutions for preventing falls in the workplace, which can be readily implemented – fixed or mobile scaffolds, elevated work platforms – or can the work be done on the ground? Everyone needs to be suitably instructed and trained and comfortable in relation to working at height.

In 2011 a plumber, a “serial offender” who continually put his subcontractors at risk of falls, was prosecuted in the courts. He told an inspector that the potentially lifesaving fall protection equipment was “at home” while two of his sub-contractors installed a roof and gutters on a house. He accumulated nearly $100,000 in fines. He was prosecuted after a tip-off to a worksite inspector that workers appeared to be working at height without fall protection.

SLIPS AND TRIPS Slips and trips are a high-frequency hazard for plumbers. These injuries might not be lifethreatening, but they are painful, costly and the effects can be permanent, making it difficult to work in the future. You know what it’s like: you might cut open a leg on a pipe offcut, trip over building rubble or strain a knee stepping backwards off a plank. You can hurt your back or neck, tear a ligament, lacerate yourself or break a bone.

It’s important to set some Often these incidents occur when “housekeeping rules” for the site. a plumber is just carrying You need to clean “as you go” and materials and tools around the each plumber is responsible for site. Injuries from slips and trips cleaning up after themselves. You will keep you off the job. Worse, can even state this responsibility they can be a career-changer. in your work procedures. Ladders used inappropriately are Make sure you and your plumbers a common cause of falls from a know the site’s designated relatively low height. Bending, delivery, materials storage and twisting, reaching, lifting, pushing waste collection areas. If access or pulling while standing on a around the site is not good ladder is hazardous and should enough, raise your concerns with be performed on a work platform the builder so it can be rectified instead. (Remember: a broken before someone is hurt. chair or overturned milk crate is not a work platform!) Plumbers also need to be extra-careful with their constant companion: mud. When mud gets tracked back through a building it creates a slippery surface, and this is the most common cause of slips and falls. Get your ladder muddy, and it’s an accident waiting to happen. Many slips, trips and falls can be easily prevented with a clear, uncluttered work space. (Have a look. Right now. What does your work area look like?) Poor supervision, poor access and poor housekeeping practices can greatly increase risks to plumbers. Pipes, offcuts FALLS FROM HEIGHT and other plumbing ARE THE MOST COMMON materials or debris should CAUSE OF DEATHS TO not be left lying around; they are a classic trip hazard. CONSTRUCTION WORKERS


Watch out for these hazards

Safety tips

Death Brain damage Concussion Spinal cord injury Fractures and dislocations Joint or muscle injury

Using ladders inappropriate to the task or using ladders incorrectly Falling from roofs or through floor penetrations or skylights Falling into excavations, holes, pits or shafts Tripping on pipes, offcuts and other debris lying around Working on uneven ground Slipping while working in mud, and tracking mud back inside the building which makes the floor and ladders slippery

Step ladders are inherently unstable as work platforms. Consider using: ™ :aZkVi^c\ldg`eaVi[dgbh ™ AVYYZgeaVi[dgbh ™ BdW^aZhXV[[daYh ™ ;^mZYhXV[[daYh# Make sure you use ladders correctly: ™ NdjgWZaiWjX`aZh]djaYcZkZg extend beyond the side rails. ™ 9dc¼ihiVcYdci]Zidei]gZZ rungs of a straight ladder or the top two steps of a step ladder.

™ 9dc¼ihiVW^a^hZaVYYZghl^i] makeshift materials to evenup floor surfaces. ™ HjheZcYhbVaa^iZbh^cndjg tool belt – don’t hold them. Use a work positioning system like an industrial rope access system or travel restraint system. Install a fall arrest system; for example an Industrial safety net, catch platform or safety harness system. Everyone must be instructed and trained with working at heights. Keep work areas clean, uncluttered and free of mud. Don’t leave pipes lying around.

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Make sure you are familiar with the control measures. Gas cylinders should be stored and transported in vehicles with cargo areas open to the air, and not stored inside closed vehicles. Make sure that your cylinders are stored upright, are not covered with a tarp, and are not going to be hit by loose tools or materials as you turn a corner. If you must store cylinders in a closed vehicle you need a specially installed gas storage cabinet that is airtight from the rest of the vehicle. The cabinet needs to be vented to the atmosphere outside your vehicle. Don’t use the storage cabinet if it’s not permanently vented. You need to remove hoses and regulators and make sure your cylinder valves are closed – and don’t forget to check leaks with soapy water. Remember, you also need a fire extinguisher in your vehicle.

Plumbers have died or sustained serious injuries after their work vehicles exploded. These explosions were caused by gas from leaking portable gas cylinders igniting inside the vehicles. Incorrectly stored cylinders put plumbers and the general public at risk. You need to be aware that flammable gas cylinders include those containing oxygen, acetylene, liquefied petroleum gas and propane or butane throwaway-style cylinders. Gas can ignite from any ignition sources: people smoking, non-flame-proof electrics and even remote locking devices.

A plumber was recently prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court after his work van exploded. The van was parked outside his home when a cylinder of acetylene gas leaked, built up inside overnight, and was ignited when the central locking was activated. The plumber’s storage cabinet was not airtight and not properly vented. He also failed to do a soapy water test to make sure the valves were not leaking before he loaded the cylinders into the vehicle. The explosion hurled debris over neighbouring houses, caused significant damage and risked not just his own life but the people around him.


HAZARD: FLAMMABLE GAS EXPLOSIONS Risks to you – and the public

Safety tips

Death Burns Serious injuries from flying debris

Store and transport fuel gas cylinders safely. Make sure: ™ i]ZbV^cXna^cYZgkVakZhVgZ tightly closed and there is no leakage from the main valve area (i.e. using a gas detector or soapy water test). ™ Xna^cYZghVgZhZXjgZY^cVc upright position to prevent them tipping or falling over. ™ Xna^cYZghXVccdiWZhigjX`Wn other objects (e.g. loose tools and materials). ™ Xna^cYZghVgZValVnhgZbdkZY from the vehicle before the gas is used.

Watch out for these hazards Leaking gas from flammable gas cylinders Unsecured cylinders Loose tools or materials that could hit the cylinder Areas where gas could accumulate in a poorly ventilated vehicle Cylinders in closed vehicles including empty cylinders Storage cabinets without vents or drains to outside Damage to the cabinet or seals



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™ ÃgZÃ\]i^c\Zfj^ebZci^hÃiiZY to the vehicle – make sure at least one 10B dry-powder fire extinguisher is fitted in the driver’s cabin. ™ XadhZY"ineZkZ]^XaZh]VkZ a properly fitted separate gas storage cabinet that is vapour-tight. ™ ndjg\VhhidgV\ZXVW^cZi^h sealed and is vented to the atmosphere outside the vehicle. An open vehicle can still have inadequate ventilation. Has your cargo area been assessed for its potential to retain gas? Make sure everyone is trained in checking and storing gas cylinders.

Ensure storage cabinets and door seals are regularly checked for damage. Ensure all gas cylinders are stored in the cabinet, including any empty cylinders.


Manual handling and manual task injuries cause a lot of pain and anguish to plumbers and the people around them. In fact, these injuries are the most frequent reason plumbers are off work. These high-frequency injuries come at a huge cost and result in a huge loss of work time and productivity. Even worse, we are losing plumbers. After repeated injuries, plumbers often end up leaving the industry right at the stage when they have the most experience to pass on to others. That’s bad news for the industry.

Hazardous manual handling includes repetitive or sustained application of force and awkward postures or movements. High force increases the risk, as well as manual handling of unstable loads that are difficult to grasp or hold. Even a toolbox becomes a manual handling risk when it’s overloaded or has tools spilling out. A large toolbox can also be awkward to lift; a young plumbing apprentice recently slipped a disc in his back while getting one of these out of the work van. It cost nearly $20,000 in medical costs, 64 days in lost time and was nearly the end of his apprenticeship. “Often it’s about getting back to basics,” says Rod Tresidder. Like safe lifting techniques, wearing gloves and appropriate footwear.


Plumbers not wearing gloves are especially susceptible to hand injuries because they are constantly handling metal roofing sheets, pipes and other types of metal with sharp edges, says Rod. Recently a young plumber fell from where he was working on the peak of a sloped roof. What did he grab as he fell? The edge of the sheet iron. Without gloves, he was forced to let go of the sheet and he slid down the roof, luckily hitting the safety rail – but not before four of his fingers were lacerated through to the bone. (Two of his fingers are still bent.) The goods new is that there are new types of work gloves now available that are specifically designed for plumbing and construction work. They are cut-resistant, have knuckle guards and other impact protection built in and also improved grip so materials are less likely to slip. They are now sensitive enough for tactile work – so there is no excuse.

FIND OUT MORE Master Plumbers members have access to Workplace Health and Safety advice, resources and assistance. Visit or call 03 9329 9622. Visit to find out more and for links to the Workcover Authority in your state.

HAZARD: MANUAL TASKS AND MANUAL HANDLING Risks to you Traumatic joint injuries Muscle stress and strain to back, shoulders, knees and wrists Hernias Lacerations to hands

Watch out for these hazards Moving gas bottles Repetitive manual tasks like digging or shovelling Carrying pipes and plumbing fixtures Lifting heavy equipment such as tank covers, drain cleaning machines, pipes, tanks, soak wells, pumps, large valves and sewer unblockers

Lifting and moving heavy bags of concrete Sharp edges and protruding treads or rods

Safety tips Reduce the strain. Use mechanical lifting and handling equipment and mechanical excavation where you can. Rotate plumbers through a variety of tasks so they use different muscles and not holding the same postures for a long time. Make sure that shovels are suitable for the type of digging task and have long handles to minimise bent postures.

Use the most ergonomically designed and lightweight tool for the job. To avoid lacerations to hands: ™ 8dkZgh]VgeZY\Zhd[bZiVa sheeting and strips ™ ;^iegdiZXi^kZXVehidi]ZZcY of all thread droppers and exposed rebar. ™ E^eZXjiiZghh]djaYWZjhZY^c preference to hacksaws. ™ LZVg\adkZh#Ndjg\adkZh should absorb impact energy, provide protection from sharp edges and be puncture resistant.

Reduce the time you spend in a stooped posture by completing work on a workbench instead of on the ground Revise and perfect your safe lifting techniques. Do not manually lift or move anything if you are not certain that it can be done safely.

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In the plumbing industry, Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), or Job Safety Analysis (JSA) as they were previously known in Victoria, form a central element in ensuring safety at the workplace. The use of SWMS in some form is prescribed under health and safety legislation in all jurisdictions in Australia. In the Victorian construction industry a SWMS is a site-specific statement that must be prepared before any ‘high-risk construction work’ (as defined in the OHS Regulations) is commenced if anyone’s health and safety is at risk because of the work. And anyone completing or providing a SWMS has a legal obligation to make sure the work is done in accordance with the SWMS. The development of the SWMS system was intended to improve safety at the workplace by requiring the tradesperson (i.e. a plumber) to briefly describe in writing the work he or she is intended to carry out, along with the associated safety risks and the measures to minimise or eliminate the risk of injury. The SWMS is designed to help employers think through the hazards and risks involved in the work, to choose effective control measures and to communicate the controls to their workers—including both loan labour and subcontractors. In most cases the occupier of a premises and/or a principal contractor will encourage their contractors to prepare a SWMS. There may also be an agreement for a plumber, when producing a SWMS, to provide a copy to them before the work is carried out. Recently, there have been complaints from Master Plumber members and an increase in the criticism from different industry groups about the requests for format changes – especially by principal contractors accredited or going for accreditation provided by the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) – in relation to members SWMS when they submit them.



For example, one of our members was removed from an approved suppliers list for not having his ABN on his SWMS. Another was prevented from starting on the job because a column called the ‘Residual Risk’ was omitted. And there were plenty more: issues with agreements over a ‘Risk Rating Table’, the inclusion/exclusion of certain words, missing pictograms, and preferences around the way solutions are derived. When questioned, generally most claimed “It’s a requirement of our accrediting agency so we can maintain our accreditation”. This need to maintain accreditation has caused the relatively straightforward templates used by plumbers to become more complex than may be required, and in turn this can cause a greater risk of a misunderstanding and even the potential of increased incident of injury. If you do your research the evidence is out there. WorkSafe (the Victorian WorkCover Authority) has a straightforward SWMS template that provides a consistent approach for the Victorian construction industry and now Safe Work Australia (SWA) has produced an example in their Code of Practice (Construction Work). Both templates are available on the respective websites. The OFSC states that it does not prescribe the particular format in which a SWMS should be structured as they feel this is a business decision for the company. In fairness they do however provide a list of elements open to interpretation.

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It is my belief that there is too much inconsistency and too much room for error with the current system. As Work Health and Safety (WHS) moves forward, the regulators need to seriously consider acquiring one standard SWMS template to provide a level of consistency across the construction industry. Having a standardised and consistent SWMS template will provide the industry with the consistency it requires and will enable plumbers and other tradespeople to effectively incorporate, manage and communicate SWMS within their business. It will also allow them to provide better service to their clients and a safer workplace for their staff.

FIND OUT MORE Safe Work Australia: WorkSafe Victoria: Master Plumbers members can access training, advice and resources relating to workplace health and safety. To find out more visit or call Rod Tresidder on 03 9321 0745

Is there an issue that really grinds your gears? Let us know via or contact Melissa Chrys on 03 9321 0703


In our new column, Hear me out, we give industry insiders a chance to vent their spleen. In this issue, Master Plumber Occupational Health and Safety Officer Rod Tresidder deliberates on some current health and safety issues.

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FOOTBALL FOLLOWER TURNED LEADER It was footy that first brought Jonathan Mullins to Melbourne, but it was plumbing that encouraged him to stay. From ruck to muck, you could say. Charlotte Roseby meets one of plumbing’s young star recruits.



MARCH 2013

After accepting an invitation to try out for the Coburg Football Club, 17-year-old Jonathan Mullins travelled from Darwin to Melbourne in 2005 with the hope carried by many young guys: to make a career in footy. He tried out and made it on the list of the VFL’s Coburg Tigers. He then needed a place to stay in the “big smoke” and needed a job. It was Earl Setches, secretary of the Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU), who set Jonathan on the path to plumbing glory: “He asked me whether I’d be interested in a plumbing apprenticeship. I was young; I didn’t know what plumbing was all about. I needed a job and thought I might as well give it a go… I liked the sound of the hands-on aspect – I was always good with my hands.” Jonathan joined the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program – a program that is tackling the obvious lack of Indigenous people in the industry. Run by the Plumbers’ Union on a not-for-profit basis, the program gets talented young Indigenous people from remote and rural areas around Australia into plumbing apprenticeships. It helps the young apprentices get established in Melbourne and gives them the support they need to get through their training. Jonathan is now one of the program’s success stories. He finished his exams, qualified and started work in construction. In 2005 he won the PBA Safety – Peter Pratt Family Indigenous Apprentice Award in the Master Plumbers 100th Year training awards. He is still playing footy – playing for Aberfeldie in the Essendon District League. But Jonathan’s no longer on the tools; he’s too busy being a role model. Now he runs the Indigenous Apprenticeship program that trained him.

THE INDIGENOUS APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM The PTEU’s Indigenous Apprenticeship Program, up and running since 2004, is a highly successful working partnership with Western Australian, Northern Territory and Victorian Aboriginal communities. It has joint aims of increasing the job and training prospects of young Indigenous men and women and improving sanitation standards within Indigenous communities. The ultimate hope of the program – and the ultimate satisfaction – is that fully qualified Indigenous plumbers return to their rural and remote communities and improve sanitation and access to quality water. It’s a life-saving goal. These communities are lacking basic services because, simply, they are some of the remotest in Australia, says Jonathan. “You might have to travel 200 kilometres to install a toilet… and if you forget something you have to travel 200 ks back to pick it up, then 200 ks back to work,” he laughs. It’s no wonder the basic services are inadequate.


Indigenous apprentices face particular challenges meeting the demands of an apprenticeship. “There are definitely cultural barriers,” says Jonathan. What all Indigenous cultures have in common is strong kinship ties with strong obligations. Many remote and rural Indigenous communities are like a big extended family – with all the responsibilities that a large family brings. Indigenous apprentices have to juggle family, social and cultural responsibilities, and the need to return to country for spiritual events and funerals. The program provides cultural understanding. “While you’re here, there’s a lot of family pressure back at home – like needing to do men’s business and women’s business. We try and understand and manage the pressures,” says Jonathan. For a young person from a THERE’S A LOT OF FAMILY remote community, the city can PRESSURE BACK HOME… seem like a huge, unfriendly WE TRY TO UNDERSTAND AND place that’s difficult to navigate. MANAGE THE PRESSURES “I had a couple of mates here, and a couple of family members, but it was still lonely. It’s a different world here. There might only be 500 people in someone’s community back home and they come down here to Victoria… and there are five million.”

Even the simplest things don’t come easily, says Jonathan. “I’d never been in the workforce. There were real challenges getting up every morning, going to work, going to footy training and footy matches, catching the train and the tram – I was scared to get lost.” “Then there’s the social side… in Darwin you can walk anywhere and not feel afraid. When I first arrived I used to hesitate to sit down in a café because I thought people were staring at me, thinking ‘what’s this bloke doing?’.” The Indigenous Apprenticeship program provides support to get young apprentices through the testing times. Sponsorship, mentoring support, tutoring and social activities help apprentices carve out a life in the city and get their qualification. “We have a big network of people willing to help,” says Jonathan. “We have great teachers at RMIT and the Plumbers’ Union are there for us. If the apprentices are willing to put in the effort, the support is there.” “The amount of work the Union puts in makes this program a success, says star AFL footballer Michael Long. “Not because they have to but because they want to. It’s genuine and it’s real.”

GOLD MEDAL WINNING PLUMBERS Jonathan knows his apprentices are keen to learn. The apprentices are job-ready and get excellent feedback from host employers, he says. Now Jonathan can prove they’re gold medal material. Two apprentices from the Indigenous program – fourth-year apprentice Tyron Bloomfield and first-year apprentice Alishia Ford – recently won Gold Medals for Plumbing at the World Skills Australia National Competition. The PTEU sponsored six Indigenous apprentices to fly to Sydney and compete in the three-day event. Over three days of competition the teams fabricated copper solar panels, installed fascias and gutters with down pipes, connected hot water units and installed toilets – all skills and knowledge needed back in their communities. Alishia Ford is a name to watch. From the remote outback of Townsville in Queensland, Alishia is showing great promise in her apprenticeship, says Jonathan. She is helping to fill the very thin ranks of women in the industry.

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GIVING YOUNG PLUMBERS A NUDJ Graduates of the Indigenous program have the opportunity to contribute their skills to NUDJ Plumbing, a not-for-profit company that provides vital plumbing services to remote Aboriginal communities in the Broome and wider Kimberley region. NUDJ is a thriving partnership between Cooke & Dowsett, the Victorian Plumbers’ Union, the Nirrumuk Aboriginal Corp (an employment and training organisation) and the Jarlmadangah Burru Aboriginal Corp (a community in the Kimberly). NUDJ aims to service remote and non-remote communities in the Broome and wider Kimberley region, and also works to break down social barriers and heighten cultural awareness in the wider community. It provides a great career opportunity for the qualified plumbers, and allows them to make a real difference to people’s living conditions and their health. Jonathan tells the story of one bloke whose nearest access to water was a tap 150 kilometres away. “NUDJ installed a water system and pump so he could just step outside the door and get water. It made a real difference to his life. ” Being thankful for fresh running water outside the house is something city-dwellers can hardly imagine.



MARCH 2013

KICKING GOALS The Indigenous Apprenticeship program is flourishing. Out of the first six apprentices to begin, all have completed their four-year apprenticeship. Now, 50 people have been through the program. This year there are 15 apprentices from remote and rural areas around Australia participating in the program. “Every year we’re trying to expand,” says Jonathan. “The core group we have now are really keen. They want to do something for themselves and their community.” There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing an apprentice qualify and become a role model themselves. The PTEU program is seeing fully qualified and skilled plumbers returning to country, improving sanitation and living standards wherever they go. “The Indigenous Apprenticeship Program is one of the greatest achievements of the PTEU,” says Earl Setches. “Seeing these young men and women gain the skills and confidence to complete their apprenticeship and work as qualified plumbers has been an absolute privilege.” “There are very few opportunities in remote communities – there just isn’t much there for young people,” says Jonathan. “With this program they can travel the world.”

THE INDIGENOUS APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT The best and easiest way to support the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program is to become a host employer. Their charge-out rates are ‘at cost’ and the PTEU support all apprentices and host companies to get the best outcomes for everyone. Other ways you can be involved include providing sponsorship, mentoring, support and tutoring. Contact the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program at the Plumbers’ Union for more information. Phone 03 9662 3388


news NEW YEAR, NEW RESOLUTIONS? Is this the year you resolve to grow your business? By expanding your skills base and growing your knowledge, you can increase your business offerings. Master Plumbers is once again offering a full range of industry and green plumbing courses in 2013. Why not give your business a boost with one of the following courses… Disconnect/reconnect fixed wire electrical systems This seven day course is recommended for plumbers who are required to carry out electrical work to low voltage fixed electrical appliances associated with their plumbing work. It covers the skills and knowledge required to safely isolate and disconnect electrical appliances and then reconnect and test appliances. Please note: > This course does not cover rectifying faults > External course assessment occurs rs one week after course completion > Course cost includes one attempt at external assessment. Additionall assessments will incur an additional charge > Licence (REL Class 2) cost at participant’s expense

Commission and maintain backflow prevention devices This three day program is designed to train plumbers in the commissioning, testing and repairing of backflow prevention devices. Participants must hold water supply registration and/or license. Commission and maintain water temperature control devices (Thermostatic mixing valves) This two day program is designed to train plumbers to test, commission and maintain hot water temperature control devices, including thermostatic mixing valves in water services. Participants must hold water supply registration and/or licence. To check out the full range of courses on offer, visit and download the January-June 2013 Training Schedule.

Raingardens represent a unique business opportunity for plumbers



MARCH 2013

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: WE’RE SINGING IN THE RAINGARDEN ONCE AGAIN! Master Plumbers and Melbourne Water are offering free raingardens training once again. This exciting program will provide you with all you need to know to successful install and construct residential raingardens. What is a raingarden? A raingarden is a water saving garden that is similar to a regular garden bed but is designed specifically to capture stormwater from hard surfaces such as driveways, patios and roofs when it rains. Raingardens have been identified as a way of protecting waterways from pollution and storm damage whilst providing a self-watering landscape feature. They are designed to treat urban runoff whilst making more effective use of rainwater and they are popping up in backyards and public spaces across the country. Raingardens also represent a unique business opportunity for plumbers. Raingardens training will be held on Monday 8 April 2013 at PICAC in Brunswick. To find out more, contact PICAC on 03 9356 8902 or email

GEOTHERMAL TECHNOLOGY: A CHANCE TO FIND OUT MORE Australian Geothermal Solutions, in association with Master Plumbers and PICAC are pleased to be offering a comprehensive two day Earthlinked Technologies technical geothermal training program. The program will provide participants with the opportunity to become accredited in the design, specification, installation, commissioning and servicing of Earthlinked Technologies’ energy efficient, direct expansion geothermal heat pump systems. Training will also include new product developments and allow attendees the opportunity to find out more about adding EarthLinked Technologies products to their business offerings. Training will be delivered by Russel Bath, Manager of Technical Support and a 22 year employee of EarthLinked Technologies from Florida, USA.

SAFETY TRAINING Ensuring your employees are properly instructed and trained in relation to workplace health and safety is essential. Knowledge and awareness is vital if you want to avoid the risk of injury on your worksite. There are a wide variety of safety courses on offer at PICAC to help to improve, refresh or increase the safety knowledge of you and your staff. Courses include: > Confined space entry and refresher > Construction Induction (CI) card > First aid level two and refresher > Safe work on roofs > Safety representatives course and refresher > Plumbing licence level training: carry out work based risk control processes To find out more visit

Course details Dates: 20-21 March 2013 Venue: Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre, 306 Albert Street Brunswick, Victoria Cost: $100 ex GST per head To find out more contact PICAC on 03 9356 8902 or email registration@

HOW TO KICK OFF A GREAT CAREER Following the success of the first preapprenticeship course run in September 2012, Master Plumbers will once again run preapprenticeship training in 2013. The preapprenticeship is a 13 week full time course that aims to introduce learners to plumbing and provides industry knowledge, workplace exposure and hands-on experience. Participants gain basic skills that make them more attractive to prospective employers and have the chance to decide if plumbing is the right career choice for them. Preapprentices learn about the various types of plumbing and are given a general introduction into a number of streams, including general plumbing, roofing, drainage and gas. Delivered at PICAC, the purpose-built preapprenticeship facility includes a sand-pit that allows learners to practice setting gradients, laying pipes and pipeline sizing. Learners also have access to other areas of the facility, which provides training in the latest sustainable plumbing products and technologies. The next preapprenticeship course will run in April 2013. To find out more about course costs and applications, contact PICAC on 03 9356 8902


CUTTING-EDGE PLUMBING TRAINING? PICAC WILL MEET YOUR TRAINING NEEDS The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre is the industry’s state-of-the-art training facility in Brunswick. Our stakeholders offer a wide range of training to help you develop the skills you need.

Courses include: Plumbing preapprenticeship Post apprenticeship plumbing courses (thermostatic mixing valves, backflow prevention) Certificate III in Fire Protection Post apprenticeship fire protection courses (fire sprinkler testing, EAHL training, annual testing) Fundamentals of air and water balance

Energy efficient HVAC systems Welding (including butt and electrofusion) High risk tickets (boomlift, forklift) Confined space entry Disconnect/reconnect fixed wire electrical systems (REL Class 2) Green Plumbers

For more information on all the training available at PICAC go to or contact 03 9356 8902

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For most people solar tends to mean electricity from photovoltaics, but Solar Thermal Energy technologies also use the sun to heat water, air and even floors at home. And STEs – as they’re known for short – could soon be cooling your home, or working in tandem with other renewable devices to really save power and money. Using the sun for hot water has been around a long time of course and with around 100,000 solar hot water systems sold each year in Australia, it is clearly the most well-known. In fact our country now has about a million solar water heater systems according to the Australian Solar Energy Society. Installations rose by 167 per cent between 2004 and 2010 – and they are probably at least one of the reasons why electricity usage here has fallen by over three per cent in the three years to 2011.

It’s not hard to see why. Solar hot water is estimated to provide up to 80 per cent of the annual energy required to heat water at home and generates savings per household of between $300 and $700 a year, all while making a sizable contribution to reducing carbon emissions. But despite all the benefits, uptake still isn’t huge; recent figures say under 10 per cent of all homes have solar hot water. And while recent cut backs in government rebates suggest that the ‘solar coaster’ market ride is set to continue, there is little growth expected in the short term. W W W. P LU M B E R . C O M . A U



What is likely to keep the outlook sunnier however, is the country’s commitment to renewable energy targets (it is supposed to have a 20 per cent share of electricity supply by 2020), the introduction of carbon pricing, the relentless uptick in electricity and gas bills, and the fact that the costs of solar technologies, products and installation have kept falling. The other big factor, I believe, is the sheer level of innovation and activity going on in the sector; a dynamism that is helping to drive better and more efficient products on to the market. I’m happy to say that a lot of that innovation is being propelled by the copper industry globally. The International Copper Association has been working with research groups and manufacturers, especially in China and the United States, to find more efficient ways for STE-type technologies to work. Of course, most solar technologies already rely on copper pipes, plates, panels or manufactured components to work effectively. One of the most common for instance, is the use of glazed or unglazed solar collectors and evacuated tubes based on a copper absorber plate and copper tubing to route the water. While technical innovation has improved performance, life expectancy and ease of use of many of these systems over the years, copper has stayed one of their most durable and efficient components. That is due, most manufacturers will tell you, to its SOLAR HOT high heat transfer capabilities, WATER IS and resistance to harsh ESTIMATED TO conditions like heat and PROVIDE UP TO water pressure.



The Asia Pacific region is also likely to be one of the globe’s hot spots when it comes to STEs due to a combination of large populations, rapid urbanisation and high solar penetration. China is already a leader and at last estimate had 30 million homes with solar thermal hot water systems; a trend the Chinese Government says it wants to accelerate by pouring billions in to solar technology uptake. But solar thermal energy is also showing signs of bursting out of the purely hot water box. Northern Europe for example, has led the way in the installation of the ‘combisystem’ where solar is used for water heating, as well as space heating and even cooling. Naturally these systems are more complicated (and are usually backed up by an auxiliary non-solar heat source) but can provide anywhere from 10 to 60 per cent—or even higher—of a building’s space heating needs. On the other hand the US and Canada have been more active when it comes to using the sun to heat rooms via ‘solar air heating’ collectors installed on the sides of homes to warm circulating air. The options and savings-multiply however, when many STEs are used in combination with other renewable technologies. One of the latest to surface is geothermal pumps for closed-loop direct-exchange (DX) geothermal heating and cooling from the earth. DX systems consist of a heat exchanger connected to a network of smalldiameter copper pipes buried into the ground.

The ambient, constant warmth of the earth is transferred to a heat transfer fluid that circulates through the tubing then back into the building via heating coils and air handlers. But others are also trying out combinations of hybrid solar thermal and PV systems to meet a much wider cross section of a building’s heating needs. The bottom line with STEs is they are an extremely versatile technology that is not only constantly evolving, but works quite happily with other renewable energy options. The high copper content is not only a guarantee of quality of course, but does mean plumbers really should be looking at these technologies as a way to expand their businesses. Consumers also tell us they are keen to improve their energy performance at home if it cuts costs at the same time. In the end most homes will be nudged by governments into taking action on their energy consumption, and solar-based options are always going to look like one of the most appealing. Government and industry need to play their part here too as this industry will not just happen on its own, or if it does will take decades to really kick in. Incentives and better information for home owners support for the research and commercial sector to try new approaches and establish demonstration projects, and much broader training for new and established plumbers are all essential activities going forward. We know the sun will continue to shine and instead of just feeling the heat lets put it to work in exciting new ways.

For more information visit www. John Fennell Fenn heads the International Copper Association Internation Australia and a can be contacted at john.fenne


MARCH 2013

Sunscreen can damage Colorbond Damage to Colorbond roofing material caused by sunscreen is an emerging problem and is costing the industry thousands of dollars in rectification work.

With this in mind, Red Back Trade Consumables have developed a sunscreen specifically for tradesmen. It is formulated without the presence of any damaging chemicals that can ruin BlueScope’s Technical colorbond roofing. The Bulletin TB-13 warned of product has been tested these dangers; and shows no detrimental affect to roofing material. The formula is as eens r c s n u s effective as any nd that metal een fou g b n s ti a c h u other sunscreen, It d ” n semi-co e (TiO2) g id x in io in d ta with a SPF30+ rating, con tanium uch as ti celerate s c a s e n a id c x 4 hours of water o O) terials xide (Zn a o m c ic in z n resistance, and is and of orga radation g e .” d s e m th syste g paint includin


fragrance free. It complies with AS/NZS 2604:1998 and is proudly Australian made. Industry experts recommend Red Back Sunblock to prevent roof damage and expensive call backs to damaged roof installations.


For wholesale enquiries contact Aquarius Distribution Phone 03 9763 0044 Email




employee vs


THE RULES Despite the fact that subcontracting has been a common and long-standing feature of the building and construction industry, many parties struggle to appreciate the proper legal and practical implications for businesses and individuals.

Recent changes to legislation and reporting mean that failure to establish effective contracting arrangements could expose your business to significant risks, including back payment of entitlements and harsh penalties for tax evasion or breach of employment law.



Subcontractor = Contractor

Determine where the control and responsibility lies

Subcontracting The first area of misunderstanding arises from the notion that subcontractors are an individual category with a special set of rules. Subcontracting is simply another name for contracting. This includes sole traders.

Employee v Contractor There is no specific legislation or list of criteria which identifies the Employee v Contractor relationship. The true nature of the relationship will be determined by the actions of the parties. Specifically, which party has the overall control or responsibility. Contracting – “Contract for Services” Contracting is the act of deferring work, responsibilities or operational requirements of the business to another independent business entity. The Contractor is engaged to perform a specific task or function. A contractor assumes the full responsibility and costs of undertaking the work which they will be performing.

RULE 2 ABN & Contractor Common Myths Other common misconception include: ™ ^[Vc^cY^k^YjVa]VhVc6jhigVa^Vc Business Number (ABN) for the purposes of GST, they are automatically contractors ™ i]ZhigjXijgZd[i]ZXdcigVXidg¼h business ™ i]Z^cXdggZXiVeea^XVi^dcd[i]Z 80/20 rule (derives for the Personal Services Income tax ruling) ™ i]ZV\gZZbZci^h^clg^i^c\ ™ i]ZXdcigVXidgdcanldg`hl]Zc needed ™ i]ZXdcigVXidgeZg[dgbhldg` for other entities


A Contractor: ™ l^aaYZX^YZ^[i]Znl^h]ideZg[dgb the work and how/when the work will be completed ™ WZVghgZhedch^W^a^in[dgi]ZXdhid[ any damages, repairs or re-work ™ ^heV^Y[dgi]ZXdbeaZiZYldg`dgiVh` ™ bV^ciV^chi]Z^gdlcZfj^ebZci and supplies own materials ™ ]Vhi]Zg^\]iVcYY^hXgZi^dcid undertake work for any party as they see fit ™ bVnYZaZ\ViZi]Zldg`idVcdi]Zg party (e.g. employee or another subcontractor) ™ ]daYhgZhedch^W^a^in[dgaZ\^haVi^kZ requirements associated with running a business including (but not limited to) insurance, tax and employment


MARCH 2013

Employment – “Contract of Services” Employees are the responsibility of the employer. Whilst the employer sets the standards of conduct and performance required by their employees, the employer will have ultimate responsibility for the actions of their employees (“vicarious liability”). The employer contracts the ongoing services of the employee. An Employee: ™ eZg[dgbhldg`Z#\#]dl! when, where, what) under the specific control and direction of the employer ™ ^heV^YVlV\ZdghVaVgn relative to the hours worked ™ YdZhcdi$^hjcVWaZ to undertake work for another party ™ l^aacdiWZ responsible for the costs associated with errors, damage or re-work* ™ l^aaWZXdkZgZY by the employer’s insurance policies ™ l^aa]VkZiVm deducted and superannuation paid and managed by the employer ™ l^aaWZegdk^YZYl^i]iddah! equipment and materials necessary for the completion of work * Exceptions may apply in cases of negligence

In our Mastering Workplace Relations series, Sharon Kraemer (Master Plumbers Workplace Relations Adviser) explores various elements of Australian workplace law and how to effectively manage risk in your business.

performance management




Ignorance is not an excuse

Information regarding actual business practices will be visible to regulatory bodies

Forewarned is forearmed

Sham Contracting Sham Contracting is used to describe the practise of engaging individuals (who ought to be treated as employees) as contractors. Sham contracting generally applies where a person is coerced or influenced (either directly or indirectly) into forfeiting their entitlements. The so-called contracting relationship has the effect of the business avoiding it’s obligations under law. The use of sham contracting arrangements can result in costly and time consuming disputes or legal actions for both individuals and businesses including: ™ WVX`eVnbZcid[ZbeadnbZci entitlements e.g. underpaid wages, leave entitlements; ™ WVX`eVnbZcid[iVmZh^cXajY^c\ superannuation); ™ ^cVYZfjViZ^chjgVcXZXdkZg e.g. workers compensation, public liability and defects liability; or ™ kd^Y^c\lVggVci^Zh#

Taxation and Superannuation The Taxable Payments Annual Reporting requirements came into effect from 1 July 2012. Commencing in July 2013, businesses that operate in the building and construction industry are required to report the: ™ 67C0 ™ CVbZ0 ™ 6YYgZhh0 ™ <gdhhVbdjcieV^Y[dgi]Z financial year (including GST); and ™ IdiVa<HIeV^Y0 for each contractor that performed building and construction services for the business in the preceding 12 months. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has made considerable investment into their information management systems. The information provided in the annual reports will be matched against data reported from other sources including tax returns, GST and superannuation areas. The ATO will investigate discrepancies and potential non-compliance with taxation law and could determine that there are outstanding taxes (including superannuation). Where a contracting relationship cannot be established, the business could be responsible for back payment of superannuation entitlements.

Tips for Compliance Businesses are encouraged to review current practices and seek assistance from appropriately qualified professionals as early as possible. Open discussions with contractors (including subcontractors) will also be important in maintaining effective and productive relationships during any transition process. As a minimum: ™ ZchjgZi]ViVYZiV^aZYlg^iiZc contract is in place between the parties ™ kZg^[ni]Z6jhigVa^Vc7jh^cZhh Number (ABN) ™ ZchjgZi]VindjgXdcigVXidgh]VkZVc Australian Company Number (ACN) ™ kZg^[nkVa^YfjVa^ÃXVi^dch E.g. registration or licences ™ dWiV^cegdd[i]Vii]ZXdcigVXidg]daYh valid insurance policies – public liability, defects, personal injury/ illness and/or workers compensation relevant to the work to be performed ™ dWiV^cZk^YZcXZd[Xdbea^VcXZl^i] superannuation and employment laws e.g. records of contributions In the absence of the above practices, Master Plumbers recommend that business consider options for the direct employment (including casual employment) of such individuals.

Master Plumbers’ members can access information, advice and resources relating to workplace relations and contracting matters. Our dedicated Workplace Relations Adviser can help clarify your obligations in relation to employment, contracting, rights and responsibilities and provide template contracts. Please contact us on 03 9329 9622 or 1800 133 871 or refer to our website for more details.

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LEGISLATION UPDATE Over the past year, there has been a significant amount of activity in the area of employment law. Master Plumbers actively follows these developments and pursues the interests of members. Fair Work Act 2009 The review of the Fair Work Act 2009 was conducted by an independent panel to consider whether the Act was achieving its objective. Master Plumbers made submissions on behalf of members highlighting concerns about inconsistencies within the workplace relations framework and the limited support/flexibility available to small and medium business. Following the review, the government introduced changes which primarily addressed technical issues with Award and Agreement making, structural amendments for the operation of administrative and tribunal bodies and an extension of time for unfair dismissal applications (to 21 days). Overall, business and employer groups were disappointed with both the outcome of the Review and the Government’s response. Master Plumbers anticipates that the Commonwealth Government will pursue further changes in 2013.

Modern Awards – two year review Using information collected from our member survey, Master Plumbers have made submissions relating to the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010. It is our understanding that the award review process will be limited to technical problems arising from the modern award making process (e.g. is not intended to consider claims to vary the terms and conditions of employment). As part of the award review process, union groups have made applications to vary apprentice employment conditions. Notably, significant pay increases and arrangements for attendance at off-the-job training. The Fair Work Commission will hear these matters together in a full bench hearing. Master Plumbers has been working with other employer groups to negate proposed changes. Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2012 The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Act requires, registered industrial organisations, such as employer associations and unions, to implement appropriate policies and procedures relating to expenditure, financial responsibilities and disclosure of information. These changes are likely to have a limited impact on Master Plumbers.

Master Plumbers members receive regular communications on topical issues via Master Plumbers Member News. Please contact Membership Services on 03 9329 9622 or 1800 133 871 or visit for more details.




MARCH 2013

employee vs

subcontractor Superannuation Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Amendment Act 2011 will increase the compulsory employer contribution from nine to 12 per cent from July 2013-14 to 2019-20 and remove the employee age limit on the employer requirement to make contributions. The Government is also pursuing other changes to superannuation including, payslip reporting, management of contributions, funds regulation/management, dataflow, low income superannuation contributions, and caps on tax concessions. Code Compliance National – Master Plumbers made submissions to support the retention of the existing Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 and the Australian Building and Construction Commission powers without change. Notwithstanding, the government passed legislation repealing the penalties for unlawful action within the industry and controls relating to employment practices. Victoria – Master Plumbers made comments on the Implementation Guidelines to the Victorian Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry (“the Victoria Code”) which will affect building and construction businesses who tender for state government funded projects. The intention of the Victorian Code is to retain flexible employment practices and control costs to government spending. At the time of writing, the Minister for Workplace Relations had released a revised National Code of Practice. The new Building Code takes effect from 1 February 2013 and intended to override the effect of the Victorian Code.


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drugs + alcohol an update from Incolink During summer, the warmer weather means more parties, barbeques and gatherings with friends and family. Over this period it is important to be mindful of safe alcohol consumption.

INCOLINK’S TIPS FOR BEING SAFE WHILE CONSUMING ALCOHOL INCLUDE: 1 Quench your thirst with water before you start to consume alcohol.

2 Limit the amount of alcoholic drinks per hour. 3 Think of yourself as an individual and only drink as much as you decide is appropriate. Try to avoid getting involved in “shouts”. 4 Do think about the possible consequences associated with your drinking. 5 Plan ahead for your drinking session and try to eliminate as many risks as possible.

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE THINK YOU KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT ALCOHOL? TAKE THIS TRUE OR FALSE QUIZ: 1 A bottle of full strength beer (375ml) is classified as a standard drink

2 Australian guidelines recommend that men and women have no more than 2 standard drinks a day 3 You can sober up by drinking coffee 4 You can dilute the alcohol in your bloodstream by drinking water 5 Most of the alcohol leaves your body through your urine

DEALING WITH ISSUES Don’t wait until you are in a crisis to talk to someone. Act early! Whatever problems you may be experiencing, it is always good to seek help early. Often issues can be managed so they don’t reach crisis point. They may even be solved completely. Nearly everyone experiences difficulty at some point in their life. It’s normal. The key is how you deal with it. The best approach is to prevent difficulties becoming major problems by addressing them early. You don’t need to wait until your relationship is at breaking point, or your house is going to be re-possessed, or ill-health is stopping you from doing what you want to do before seeking advice or assistance. This can be as simple as talking to someone. What is important is that you to talk to someone about how you are feeling and what’s going on.

FINDING ASSISTANCE You might want to start by talking to those closest to you – your partner, family and friends. Or talk to your co-workers, union representative, TAFE teacher or employer. It can also be helpful to talk to your GP or other health professional as they can help you identify appropriate steps you can take. Don’t forget, Incolink provides free and confidential services to members in a range of areas including personal, financial and health. If you are, doing it tough, call Incolink: 03 9668 3061

Answers 1. False, full strength beer contains approximately 4.9% Alc./Vol and therefore 375ml is 1.5 standard drinks; a pot of full strength beer – 285ml is considered 1 standard drink 2. True 3. False, it takes a healthy liver at least one hour to break down a standard drink. Sobering up takes time 4. False, while water can help hydrate you and minimise the effects of a hangover, it does not dilute the alcohol in your blood alcohol content 5. False, once consumed alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and then most of the alcohol (91%) is broken down by the liver.



MARCH 2013

INCOLINK’S S DRUG + ALCOHOL PROGRAM Incolink provides a FREE and confidential counselling/support service for members and their families experiencing difficulties with their drug and/or alcohol use. Incolink’s Drug & Alcohol Support Workers provide confidential counselling and deliver the Industry Drug & Alcohol Program. Gary has worked as a counsellor in the Construction Industry for 10 years, with more than 20 years experience in the Drug & Alcohol field. His strengths based, harm minimisation approach is focussed on helping members change the negative behaviours associated with alcohol and/or drug abuse. David Clark has been supporting apprentices with drug and alcohol issues for over 8 years. Along with counselling and support, David delivers Drug and Alcohol education to apprentices in TAFEs. David has a background in youth work with extensive experience in the D&A sector. Lewis joined the Incolink team in 2010 and has been working alongside Gary in delivering our Drug and Alcohol Program. He has been in the Drug & Alcohol field since 2006. He has experience working with young people and also with those involved in the criminal justice system. Most recently, Steve Cornell has begun work on the new Risky Drinking Program that is being delivered to apprentices in TAFEs and across the industry as a whole. Steve had been working as a Counsellor at Incolink before taking up this position. He has background in the drug and alcohol field with extensive experience in the building and construction industry. Incolink offers members and their families a huge range of benefits and services – free of charge. This includes personal and relationship counselling and support services, drug and alcohol support, financial rights support services and more. To access Incolink Member Services visit: or call Member Services Direct on 03 9668 3061

IT WASN’T A GOOD DAY TO LEAVE A WHITE CAR IN OUR CAR PARK. We had never cut more than five. But since we are obsessed with relentlessly improving our blades, we wanted to see if we could improve our records as well. And if any blade could do it, it was the LENOX T2™ Demolition. It’s engineered to deliver the longest-lasting, fastest-cutting performance in the industry. The result? We ran out of cars before the blade was done cutting. Anyone want to go for nine?

LENOX Demolition Reciprocating Saw Blade / Model: 960R

Don’t believe us? Go to to see the “making of” video and get a trial blade so you can take the UpBlade™ Challenge yourself.



We all hear stories of incidents happening in the workplace and at home, from slipping on tiles, to falling off ladders. While you can implement safe work practices, occasionally these incidents are unavoidable, and can result in serious injury. As a sole trader, have you thought about how a broken leg or serious illness could affect your personal finances, and ultimately your livelihood? These events may not be limited to the physical injury or sickness itself, there can often be financial consequences. It may be worthwhile for you to consider arranging a personal accident and sickness policy, to seek to minimise the financial burden that can be caused from long term absence from work. This type of policy can respond as a specified weekly benefit providing financial compensation for a percentage rance of your former earnings. The insurance ther a 52 or can provide the option of either 104 week benefit period, in the event of ered by the an accident or sickness covered g conditions). policy (excluding pre-existing To find out more information on how plumbers can benefit from ma personal accident and illness policy, contact Marsh today: Phone 1300 300 511 com Email



MARCH 2013

CASE STUDY Jeremy, a sole trader operating in the plumbing industry, twisted his knee whilst completing a job. The injury was severe, and required surgery. Jeremy was entirely and continuously unable to attend work for a total of 10 weeks following the accident. After the 14 day waiting period, Jeremy was able to claim 85 per cent of his pre-disability earnings g (as calculated by the insurer in accordance ccordance with the policy) for the remaining eight weeks he was off work.

IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF AUSTRALIAN PLUMBING Look out for Marsh’s article in the June edition of the Australian Plumbing Magazine, which will focus on the importance of asbestos and demolition liability insurance.

DISCLAIMER Marsh Pty Ltd (ABN 86 004 651 512 AFSL 238983) arrange the insurance and is not the insurer. The personal accident and illness policy is underwritten by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s (the Underwriters) and arranged through AFA Pty Ltd (ABN 83 067 084 333, AFSL 247122) who has been given a binding authority to issue, vary and cancel this insurance on behalf of the Underwriters. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by Marsh, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. The case study contained herein is for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon as governing any specific facts or circumstances. All policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions are subject to individual underwriting review and are subject to change. Marsh cannot provide any assurance that insurance can be obtained for any particular client or for any particular risk. This article contains general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions exclusions and limitations of insurance cover and before decided whether a policy suits your needs please refer to the specific Product Disclosure Statement which is available from Marsh Pty Ltd.

ABOUT MASTER PLUMBERS INSURANCE BROKERS Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (MPIB), a trading name of Marsh Pty Ltd, in conjunction with our endorsed sponsor the Master Plumbers & Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA), were established in 1996 to accommodate the Victorian Plumbing Industry’s mandated Public Liability Insurance requirements. Today, MPIB has significantly expanded its client base, and are now known as a nationally recognised brand that caters specifically for the insurance needs of the Australian Plumbing Industry.

As an MPIB customer you can benefit from: ™ 8jhidb^hZY^chjgVcXZYZh^\cZY especially for plumbers ™ D[[Zgd[adlZgegZb^jbh/ saving you money ™ 7gdVYXdkZg/hV[Z\jVgY^c\ndj and your business ™ Fj^X`VcYh^beaZegdXZhh/ no need to fill out forms – cover arranged over the phone As a plumber you can select the relevant cover you require from our range of trade policies to suit your business needs, all at competitive prices.

Our “one-stop” insurance solution provides protection for: ™ EjWa^XA^VW^a^in ™ 9Z[ZXihA^VW^a^in ™ BdidgKZ]^XaZ ™ >cXdbZEgdiZXi^dc ™ Iddahd[IgVYZ ™ 7jh^cZhhEVX` ™ >cYjhig^VaHeZX^VaG^h`h ™ <gZZceajbWZgA^VW^a^in ™ 8dcigVXiLdg`h

FOR MORE INFORMATION Call 1300 300 511 Email Visit

UNDERSTANDING THE INSURANCE NEEDS OF PLUMBERS IS OUR BUSINESS. Marsh Pty Ltd, trading as Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust), has been operating in the plumbing industry for over 10 years. We have been working closely with Master Plumbers to provide insurance solutions tailored to the plumbing industry. For your insurance needs, contact Marsh, the preferred insurance broker to Master Plumbers & Mechanical Services Association of Australia. For obligation-free quote, call 1300 300 511 or email Marsh Pty Ltd (ABN 86 004 651512 AFSL 238983) trading as Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (“MPIB”) arranges this insurance and is not the insurer. The MPIB name is owned by the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) and used under licence by Marsh. MPMSAA receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by MPIB, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. This ad contains general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For further information about Marsh, visit 11/0204

Partnering for impactSM Marsh is one of the Marsh & McLennan Companies, together with Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman.

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Basement bars are very popular, especially when they’re in a thriving inner city location. Take the popular Sweatshop – the basement bar at Seamstress in fashionable Lonsdale St Melbourne. On a Friday night it can see up to 250 people come through its doors. Catering to this many patrons requires smart, reliable infrastructure to be in place. None the least of which is plumbing. “We needed both sewerage and general waste to be pumped from our basement,” explains Tally Konstas, owner of Sweatshop. “It’s always a difficult task. So we asked our builder to recommend a professional and robust system.” That recommendation was Saniflo’s Sanibest Pro®. Sanibest-Pro is an all-new versatile macerator system designed to accept waste from a WC, plus a choice of other gravity fixtures. Waste is pumped away in 20mm pipe-work up to seven metres vertically or 100m horizontally (or lesser combinations of both). The new grinder macerating action and heavy-duty motor are designed specifically for intensive usage and perfect for a commercial operation. “We’ve had it installed for four years,” adds Tally Konstas, “and it’s been a very effective, reliable and robust solution.” With over five million units sold worldwide and over 50 years experience in delivering innovative plumbing solutions, you can rely on Saniflo to assist you in your commercial requirements. To find out more about Sanibest-Pro and the al full range of commercial and domestic productss “We ha d could pl no idea how we available, contact bar. Fo umb our base rtunat ely Sani ment flo did.” 9 Saniflo on 1300 554 779 ” or visit Saniflo Case Stud y.

Seamst ress Res taurant

Basement bars are Especially very popu when they’ lar. Take the re in a thriving Lonsdalepopular Swea inner tshop the basem city location. through St Melbourn e. its ent bar infrastruc doors. Cate On a Friday at Seam night ring ture to stress in fashi be in place to this many it can see up “We need onable patro to 250 . None people basemented both sewe the least ns requires come rage smar of whic difficult ,” explains Tally and gene h is plum t, reliable ral wast task. So Kons bing. robust e system.” we asked our tas, owner of to be pump ed from Swea builder That recom our to recom tshop. “It’s mendation always mend Sanibest-P a profe a was Sanifl ssional ro is o’s waste an all-n and Sanibest from a Pro.® WC, plus ew versatile away in mace 20-m a choic combinatio m pipee of other rator syste work m desig gravi ns of up to motor are desig both). The new 7m vertically ty fixtures. Wastned to accep t comm ned spec or e is grinder ercial opera ifical maceratin100m horizontal pumped tion such ly for inten “We’ve ly (or lesse g actio sive had n as the very effec it installed Sweatshopusage. Maki and heavy-dut r ng it perfe tive, reliab for four y . years,” With over ct for a le and adds robust delivering 5 million units solution.” Tally Konstas, sold “and it’s innovative you in been a plumbingworldwide and your comm over 50 ercial requi solutions rements. you can rely years experienc Saniflo on e in Sanifl lets you o to assis you choo install t wet area se. To find out s and the more abouanywhere full rang products e of t Sanib available, commercia est-Pro 1300 554 l and dome contact 779 or stic visit sanifl Saniflo on Yes.

Hot Water Professionals are experienced leaders in the hot water industry. Hot Water is what they know! Hot Water Professionals have been operating in Melbourne since 2000, and are highly regarded as specialists in their field. They supply customers with new gas, solar and electric hot water systems, as well as servicing and repairing existing systems. They also carry out some general maintenance plumbing. Hot Water Professionals employ a team of highly skilled and experienced staff who work closely with home owners, property managers and body corporate mangers to provide the best service and complete solution to their clients. Hot Water Professionals are expanding their network and are looking for qualified plumbers to be a part of this exciting opportunity. Joining the team will enable you to build a valuable asset, and benefit from ongoing support and guidance that the franchise group offers. Hot Water Professionals provide a full induction and training program, comprehensive business systems and processes, group marketing initiatives, and a centralised call centre. To find out more visit or call 1800 610 510



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MARCH 2013

HUNT HEATING LAUNCHES EXTENSIVE NEW RANGE OF DESIGNER RADIATORS Australasia’s leading supplier of hydronic central heating systems has launched a new and extensive range of designer radiators. Hunt Heating, based in Keysborough, Victoria, now markets more than 1700 such products, providing comprehensive choice and specifications, from aluminium hydronic radiators to cast iron sections and bench seats. The company makes all its sectional designer radiators to order within 48 hours and supplies them alongside the products of other leading exclusive brands, such as Delonghi and Jaga. Paul Linley, Hunt Heating general manager, said: “The launch of the new designer radiator range has been well-received by our customers. “We’ve invested heavily in new product development to create a range that delivers outstanding levels of versatility and energy efficiency. Hunt Heating delivers a level of service second-to-none within the Australian hydronic heating market, a standard which will definitely apply to our designer radiators.” Hunt Heating operates through a network of independent hydronic heating specialists, with a proven history of quality workmanship and customer satisfaction, who can provide obligation-free quotations from plan drawings or site visits. Hunt Heating supplies throughout Australia, to Melbourne and Victoria, Sydney and New South Wales, Adelaide and South Australia, Perth and Western Australia, Tasmania and Central Queensland. To find out more, visit or call 1300 00 1800

An Australian Tradition just got re-invented

Introducing Faster, Smarter Copper Connections Follow us on

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Australian Pump Industries invented the Aussie Cobra drain cleaning jetter and put high pressure drain cleaning on the map. The company has now signed an international distribution arrangement with the giant Rothenberger Group. Rothenberger are regarded as being leaders in plumbing equipment technology and operate a worldwide distribution network. The company has factories, branch offices and distributors across the globe. The initial agreement involves the manufacture, by Aussie Pumps, of advanced design drain cleaning jetters. The equipment is customised to Rothenberger’s specifications and meets their stringent quality requirements. “Rothenberger is famous for its relentless pursuit of quality and comprehensive after-sales support program,” said Aussie Pumps’ Product Manager, Adam Scully. “At Aussie, we brought to the table 20 years of design and manufacturing experience. That’s backed by an incredible R & D program that’s delivered state of the art designs and will ensure future innovative advances!” he said. Rothenberger is working with Australian Pump to develop a dedicated team of sales and service stations around the country. They will be able to provide plumbers fixed price servicing and fast after sales support. To find out more visit the Rothenberger website or call 02 9899 7577

Bostik Australia has been manufacturing PVC Pipe cements and primers for over 40 years, and offers an extensive range of products specifically formulated for the plumbing market. Bostik is pleased to announce their new innovative one step applicator from Bostik. Now available in Bostik Plumb-Weld® Priming Fluid Red & Clear the Bostik one step applicator. With the Bostik applicator you won’t have to worry about messy application. The Bostik applicator makes application a breeze for small and large diameter pipes, and no need for messy rags. No more HR issues on site using the Bostik applicator as this is the safer alternative to rags. Bostik Plumb-Weld® is WaterMark certified and independently tested to Australian Standard AS/NZS 3879. It is also approved for potable water applications (AS/NZS 4020). Ask for Plumb-Weld® the trusted brand from your local plumbing retailer. To find out more visit




MARCH 2013

VIEGA PROPRESS: YOUR REPUTATION, YOUR PIECE OF MIND It can happen, despite every precaution being taken, a drinking water installation starts to leak a few days or weeks after commissioning, due to a fitting that was mistakenly left un-pressed. This is despite the use of fittings that according to the manufacturer’s details should demonstrate the quality “will leak when un-pressed”. Such “mishaps” are prevented by the patented Smart Connect feature with Viega fittings. Normally when systems are tested, the pressure applied is static, so there are no pressure surges which occur during normal system operation when taps are turned on and off etc. To add to this there is usually a pressure differential between floors such that a five storey apartment may have a 130kPa pressure difference between the top and bottom floor. Leakage in an un-pressed state is achieved when using the Viega Smart Connect feature via a channel in the fitting. In the un-pressed state, water can flow into the channel through the sealing element and leak out (Fig. 1). In contrast, once the fitting is pressed in accordance with the specifications, the channel in the Smart Connect feature is permanently closed (Fig. 2). In non Viega Propress fittings the omission of pressing may go unnoticed during the leak test. Leakage with resulting damage may occur if there are pressure surges whilst the system is in operation. Un-pressed Viega Propress fittings are guaranteed to leak over the widest possible pressure range; from 100 kPa – 650 kPa in a wet test and between 2.2 kPa – 300 kPa in a dry test. This allows for a central leakage test of the entire system rather than testing of individual sections. To find out more call 1800 484342 (1800 4VIEGA) or email



When it comes to super, you can rely on

At Cbus, we make meeting your super obligations easy: Easy online contribution payment options, including the Cbus Clearing House which will allow you to pay your employees’ super into multiple funds using the one system. No fees or charges for employers. Workplace financial advice for your employees. Regular communications.

At Cbus we invest back into the building and construction industry as part of our investment strategy, thereby creating jobs for our members and employers.

Greg Keyte, Cbus Member, VIC

Read the relevant Cbus Handbook (Product Disclosure Statement) to decide whether Cbus is right for you. For a copy: call Cbus on 1300 361 784 or visit Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.

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Grundfos Pumps Australia has launched a new look website providing visitors with a refreshing online experience and a central hub for all pump and application information. The website now features enhanced search functionality, improved selection tools and access to a variety of case studies from around the world. The website aims to enhance the user experience with an updated look and feel. The redesign features a new bold scrolling bar at the top of the page, new branding and more intuitive navigational tools. Amongst all the new improvements on the site, one very long-time favourite tool remains. WebCAPS, Grundfos’ online computer aided product selection tool and technical catalogue, is still a key feature of the Grundfos website. The two most significant improvements of the site are the ‘Find Product’ function and ‘Search’ tool, which have both proven popular with online visitors. The ‘Find Product’ function allows users to simply and intelligently search for pumps by specifying an industry and application, while the user-friendly ‘Search’ function provides results based on users’ key word searches. Visit the new website today –

Damage to Colorbond roofing material caused by sunscreen is an emerging problem and is costing the industry thousands of dollars in rectification work. BlueScope’s Technical Bulletin TB-13 warned of these dangers; "It has been found that sunscreens containing semi-conducting metal oxides such as titanium oxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) can accelerate the degradation of organic materials including paint systems." With this in mind, Red Back Trade Consumables have developed a sunscreen specifically for tradesmen that is formulated without the presence of damaging chemicals. The product has been tested and shows no detrimental effect to roofing material. The formula is as effective as any other sunscreen, with a SPF30+ rating, four hours of water resistance and is fragrance free. It complies with AS/NZS 2604:1998 and is proudly Australian made. Industry experts recommend Red Back Sunblock to prevent roof damage and expensive callbacks to damaged roof installations. Tradies Red Back Sunblock is available at all good trade outlets. To find out more contact Aquarius Distribution on 03 9763 0044 or visit

SELF EMPLOYED? READ THIS! The government announced a number of super reforms to improve the superannuation system, which means that you may need to make some changes to the way you pay and report Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions. 2013 Super Changes Raising the SG age limit from 70 to 75 Employers will have to make super contributions on behalf of eligible employees under the age of 75 to a complying super fund, from 1 July 2013. Increasing the SG rate from 9% to 9.25% To help grow Australian workers' savings for retirement, the compulsory SG rate will gradually increase from 9% to 12% between 1 July 2013 and 1 July 2019. If you make super payments on behalf of your employees based on the minimum 9% SG rate, you will need to increase this rate to 9.25% on 1 July 2013. The SG rate increases are shown in the table below. YEAR 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20

SG RATE 9.00% 9.25% 9.50% 10.00% 10.50% 11.00% 11.50% 12.00%

When it comes to superannuation you can rely on Cbus, Australia’s largest national industry super fund for people in the construction, building and allied industries. For superannuation advice and information, call Cbus on 1300 361 784 or visit Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262. Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you.



MARCH 2013



POLYSLAB PIZZA BASE (NLU\PULVULZPaLĂ&#x201E;[ZHSSZSPTSPULIHZL 7VS`ZSHI7PaaH)HZLZVMMLY[OLPUZ[HSSLYHNLU\PULVULZPaLĂ&#x201E;[ZHSS product through an innovative and durable snap-away design saving time, inventory space, and money. Pizza Bases are suitable for indoor or outdoor use and, due to their slimline design, are great for all safe tray applications. Made from 100 per cent recycled materials any excess from the snap-away process can be recycled, meaning no wastage. Designed and engineered to meet ASNZ3500.4 (prescribed HPYĂ&#x2026;V^Z\WWVY[YH[PVZ

POLYSLAB HOT WATER SYSTEM BASE 3PNO[^LPNO[HUKK\YHISLWVS`TLYKLZPNU Detailed structural engineering and analysis continues to be fundamental in maximising the strength-to-weight ratio of the entire Polyslab range. Polyslab is the innovative, lightweight, user-friendly alternative to a concrete plinth, slab or paver. Polyslab is made from highly durable, UV stabilised, recycled materials and is Australian made and owned. Polyslab Hot Water Systems y Bases are 51mm thick, designed and engineered to o meet ASNZ3500.4.

AVAILABLE IN: LARGE 690 x 690 x 51mm - 2.5kg SMALL 500 x 500 x 51mm - 1.6kg

EVO-CRETE LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE 7YLJHZ[ISVJRZZSHIZHUKIHZLZ Evo-Crete is an ultra-lightweight concrete three times lighter than standard concrete, OPNOS`YLPUMVYJLK^P[OH\UPX\LISLUKVMWVS`VSLĂ&#x201E;UĂ&#x201E;IYLZVMMLYPUNZ[YLUN[OHUK durability. Evo-Crete has been embraced by plumbers and other trades right across Australia as a durable and lightweight alternative to dangerously heavy concrete plinths, slabs or pavers. Available in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit any HWWSPJH[PVUPUJS\KPUNĂ&#x2026;H[HUKYPWWSL[VWWYLJHZ[ZSHIZ4HU\MHJ[\YLK[V(:5A

EVOLVE COMPOSITES PTY LTD P 07 3283 1196 | F 07 3883 1560 | E PO Box 3077, Clontarf MDC, Qld. 4019, AUSTRALIA

For more information, please visit us at


news GO PREMIUM, GO ELITE, GO BOSCH The Bosch Solar Hot Water range combines 30 years of global solar product experience with the Robert Bosch quality promise, providing the most practical and cost-effective way of harnessing the sun’s natural energy for Australian homes. Bosch provides high quality and reliable solar hot water systems and is committed to providing sustainable solutions with one of the largest gas continuous flow hot water product ranges on the market today with the Solar Hot Water range including Elite and Classic systems. The Elite Series is a premium solar system featuring frost protection, suited to frost-prone climates, and available in Split or Rooftop Solar Systems while the Classic Series is suited to mild climates and heats water directly via roof-mounted solar collectors and a ground-located storage cylinder. Water heating is responsible for 25 per cent of energy usage and 23 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions in an average Australian home. The installation of a more energy-efficient hot water appliance, such as a Bosch Solar Hot Water System, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money on energy bills. Manufactured to the highest possible standards using premium quality materials, Bosch’s expert systems are fitted with an electric or gas booster so that hot water is guaranteed regardless of the weather outside. For more information on Bosch Solar Hot Water Systems, visit



MIGHTYLIFT: COMBINING INNOVATION, HEALTH AND SAFETY The MightyLift is a powerful lightweight lifting device that is designed to be versatile, portable, strong and most of all safe. The beauty of the MightyLift is that it is designed to lift plant and equipment in a safe and responsible manner. The MightyLift is an approved health and safety product which won 1st prize in the 2008 work safe awards. The MightyLift is simple to erect, non-motorised and suitable for single or double story work. It can also lift up to 120kgs; considering it weighs only 95kgs this makes it perfect for Hvac and Solar applications. New health and safety regulations make it mandatory that you provide a safe working environment for yourself and your employees. The MightyLift ensures both your employees are safe from harm and you are compliant. MightyLift will help keep you and your staff safe. To find out more visit

UNICO AIR CONDITIONER Finally, an air-conditioner that comes with no outdoor unit. With the Olimpia Splendid Unico the outdoor compressor is completely eliminated, yes that's right the all new Italian designed and manufactured Unico is the first fixed air-conditioner without the outdoor unit. Climate control now comes without external pipework or condensors and makes installation a breeze. The Unico comes with both inverter and fixed speed technology enabling it to deliver great performance. With the capability of delivering cool clean air in summer and warm fresh air in winter the Unico is perfect for any aspect of climate control. One of the Unico’s other is great benefits is it’s extremely silent making it ideal for bedrooms in fact you could call it perfectly noiseless. For more detailed information on the unique Unico contact Noirot Australia on 03 9563 2778

MARCH 2013

ELECTROLUX IN THE HOT WATER MARKET Australia’s leading whitegoods company, Electrolux Home Products, is strengthening its presence in the hot water market this year through the new Kelvinator hot water systems. The comprehensive range comprises a total of 36 models spanning heat pumps, solar electric and gas boosted and gas continuous flow hot water systems. Matthew Spinks, National Sales Manager – Hot water Systems said that Electrolux had spent two years in the planning and development of the products and service offer before recently completing its extensive national distribution and operations network. “We’re now ready to fully engage with the industry across the states and in the different channels,” Mr Spinks said. “And the wide range and variety of models has been designed to cater for Australia’s diverse climatic conditions and availability of different energy sources. The hot water business represents the first time in many years that Electrolux has expanded into a new product category, to be called Watercare. The company chose the Kelvinator brand for the hot water range because of Kelvinator’s 90 year history and reputation in Australia. “The Most Trusted Brands poll rated Kelvinator highly while the Electrolux consumer insights research found the brand was synonymous with dependable refrigeration and heating and cooling appliances designed for the harsh and variable Australian climate,” Mr Spinks added. To find out more visit or call 1362 26





Hot Water Professionals are experienced leaders in the hot water industry. Hot Water is what we know! We are expanding our network and are looking for qualified plumbers to be a part of this exciting opportunity. You have the opportunity to build a valuable asset, and will benefit from: U Professionally developed franchise system U Proven Business Model with comprehensive systems and processes

UÊÊՏÊˆ˜`ÕV̈œ˜Ê>˜`ÊÌÀ>ˆ˜ˆ˜}Ê«Àœ}À>“ UÊÊ"˜}œˆ˜}ÊLÕȘiÃÃÊÃÕ««œÀÌÊ>˜`Ê`iÛiœ«“i˜Ì UÊÊÀœÕ«Ê“>ÀŽï˜}ʈ˜ˆÌˆ>̈Ûià UÊÊiÞÊÃÕ««ˆiÀÊÀi>̈œ˜Ã…ˆ«ÃÊ܈̅Ê>VViÃÃÊ̜ʫÀiviÀi˜Ìˆ>Ê«ÀˆVˆ˜} UÊÊ i˜ÌÀ>ˆÃi`ÊV>ÊVi˜ÌÀi Areas available throughout VIC, SA, WA and QLD

Register your interest at under Franchise Information

RMIT PLUMBING APPRENTICES – READY FOR YOUR BUSINESS RMIT's Plumbing apprenticeship is designed and delivered to address workplace trends and employer needs. It is nationally accredited and developed in close consultation with industry. Classes are delivered by teachers with up-to-date industry experience, using first class facilities and equipment. This ensures your apprentice will be familiar with industry standards and be well prepared for a variety of different tasks and projects. RMIT can help develop a program to suit the specific needs of your business. Flexible study options include online and block release (one week - six times or more

a year). All classes are conveniently located in the Melbourne CBD. Programs include: ■ Cert II in Plumbing (pre-apprenticeship) ■ Cert III in Plumbing ■ Cert IV in Plumbing and Services TAFE programs are delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth funding for eligible students.


Enrolments are accepted throughout the year. For more information phone 9925 4468 or email

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wpc news F R O M





INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP TO THE WORLD PLUMBING COUNCIL GENERAL At General Meeting of the World Plumbing Council held in Brisbane, Australia the nominated country delegates voted overwhelmingly to introduce a new category of membership to the World Plumbing Council. Following the vote the WPC Bylaws will now be amended the Bylaw to read: Article III – Membership Membership is available in three categories: a Full Members are members which are bona fide representative organizations (including trade associations, professional bodies, trade unions, registration/licensing bodies and manufactures/wholesaler organisations) involved in the plumbing industry, support the objectives of WPC, and which have a right to vote at WPC General Meetings, except with respect to issues specified in Article XII of the Bylaws. b Affiliate Members are members which are other organizations or companies in the plumbing industry, which wish to be associated with and support the objectives of WPC but which have no vote at WPC General Meetings. c Individual Members are members who are natural persons with an interest in the plumbing industry and support the objectives of WPC, but which have no vote at WPC General Meetings. Individual Members may include but not be limited to officers, members or employees of a Full or Affiliate Member.

DON’T FORGET World Plumbing Day March 11 every year everywhere!



MARCH 2013

Mr Henry Hung, a former WPC executive board member and deputy chairman was declared by the meeting as the first individual member by acclamation. Some 20 delegates also submitted applications for individual membership, creating further firsts for the World Plumbing Council; > Carmel Coate became the first woman to be an individual member, Carmel was at the meeting representing the Plumbing Products Industry Group from Australia; > The first father and son combination became individual members with WPC executive board member, Shayne La Combre, submitting an application for himself and on behalf of his father, Lindsay, a long serving plumber from Victoria, Australia. The WPC website will be changed shortly advising of the new individual membership category, providing a downloadable membership application and eventually an ability to pay online by credit card direct or through PayPal.


World Plumbing Day 2013 is destined to be bigger and better than ever as the world plumbing industry comes together to celebrate and recognise the role of plumbing. To find out more visit

10th World Plumbing Conference New Dehli, India 14-15 November 2013 Early bird registration has been extended to 31 March 2013. To find out more visit or call 02 9663 0411

At the 30th June 2013, all individual members at that date will be entered into a draw, free of charge, to win: > A return international economy/coach flight for two people to the 10th World Plumbing Conference in New Delhi India to be held on the 14th – 15th November 2013, from the nearest international airport; > Three nights accommodation at the Grand Hotel, New Delhi; > Delegate and partner registration for the 10th World Plumbing Conference; plus > Travel by train through the desert state of Rajasthan, exploring the colourful town of Jaipur and Amber Fort before heading to Agra and the majesty of the Taj Mahal, includes three nights accommodation, transfers and sightseeing. To find out more about membership visit

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