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plumbing AUSTRALIAN

I N D U S T R Y

M A G A Z I N E

your industry magazine

The Safety issue tips for a safer week at work

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M A R C H

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welcome. f r o m

the

E dit o r

Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine 15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T (03) 9329 9622 F (03) 9329 5060 E info@plumber.com.au www.plumber.com.au 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: 100019076 ISSN: 1325-6289

Master Plumbers Association Locations Head Office 15/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T (03) 9329 9622 F (03) 9329 5060

Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre

Welcome to our first issue of 2015 and my first issue as the Editor. 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.

this is issue is dedicated to all things safety

Unfortunately, many tradespeople have the “it will never happen to me” attitude, taking a relaxed approach to safety gear and personal protection.

It is 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. There is nothing more important than making it home safely and in one piece at the end of the working day, being vigilant about health and safety is a key success factor in achieving this. Regular, open communication with staff about the importance of health and safety and promoting best practice are steps in the right direction to creating a safer workplace.

4 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

Our major safety feature with Charlotte Roseby looks at the top hazards in plumbing and how to make your workplace safer. We cover hand injuries, eye injuries, slips and trips and manual handling. This issue we cover safety in several areas including; gas, heavy lifting, bullying, mental health and when working with apprentices’. On 25 April 2015 we mark the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli. It is the day on which we remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. In this issue we meet Master Plumbers Ian Lees and Maxwell Lees: the son and grandson of Master Plumber and Gallipoli survivor, Norman Lees. Also in this issue: photos from the 2014 Master Plumbers Christmas celebrations; important information on drug and alcohol policies; articles on time management, insurance and more; and all our regular industry and product news. Happy reading!

Elaine

Elaine Mathews Editor Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine

6/306 Albert Street Brunswick VIC 3056 T (03) 9356 8902 F (03) 9356 8929

Contacts Publisher The Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA)

Editor Elaine Mathews T (03) 9321 0703 E publications@plumber.com.au

Advertising Elaine Mathews T (03) 9321 0703 E elaine.mathews@plumber.com.au

Suppliers Salt Creative www.saltcreative.com.au Printgraphics www.printgraphics.com.au Direct Mail Corporation www.directmail.com.au


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contents.

36 From the CEO / 8 A message from our CEO and the Association’s President

Member news / 10 The latest news from Master Plumbers

26 Heavy Lifting Safety – Lifting Aids / 32 Gas Safety / 34 Plumber at War / 36

Industry news / 18

Charlotte Roseby meets the son and grandson of Master Plumber and Gallipoli survivor, Norman Lees

Training Update / 25

Safety in the Workplace / 38

The latest training news from Master Plumbers at PICAC

Road blocks to good health and safety / 40

Member profile: The Drain Man / 26

Time mastery: take care of the rocks first / 41

Charlotte Roseby meets the man behind The Drain Man

Apprentice Safety / 42

How you can have a safer week / 28

Pics from our annual Christmas cocktail party page 10

10 Unfair Dismissal: Drug Tests and Breaching Employer Policy / 46 Duct Association echoes calls for tightening up compliance / 48 The right cover / 50 Having the right insurance is one of the most important aspects of running a small enterprise

Workplace bullying / 52 Mental health and safety / 53 Product news / 55

Copper redux / 44 A rapidly changing building market and smarter products are giving copper plumbing a whole new edge says John Fennell

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.


as a business owner you have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for your staff

Welcome.

from the President and CEO

An exciting year ahead

Change and the need for involvement

It was great to catch up with so many members at the Association’s Christmas Cocktail Party in December. And what a great summer night, it was fantastic that so many of you turned up to celebrate the end of another year. You can see photos from the event on page 10 and 11 of this issue.

In the plumbing sector we seem to be subject to constant change. There are new products, new building requirements, new standards, new regulating bodies and new governments.

The Christmas party was also an opportunity for us to recognise Stephen Atherton and his contribution to the Association and our industry. Stephen was presented with presented with Life Membership. The Atherton Family have played an important role in the Association since its inception in 1891. Earlier in the year the Association called for nominations for several positions on the National Council, which is a key component of the Association’s governance structure. By having frequent and regular elections, we hope to provide a greater range of members with an opportunity to get involved, contribute and help steer the direction of the Association in the future. If you’d like to get involved, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or one of my fellow National Councillors, to see how you can help shape our Association. In this issue of Australian Plumbing Industry we cover all things safety. Safety is such a critical part of business, and as a business owner you have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for your staff. But aside from the legalities, creating a safe and healthy workplace is simply the right thing to do.

Philosophers have long pointed out that change is inevitable and it gives you choices. You can chose to resist and argue for the existing situation, or you can accept that the change will occur and that it can be adapted to give opportunities to your business and industry. We probably need to do both depending on the issue, but we also need to make sure that we are well placed to influence the outcome. In Australia we have a lot of elections at the national, state and local government levels. Our representatives can make many decisions that impact on the plumbing and construction sectors specifically and business generally. We need to make sure that the representatives understand our industry and the needs of business. Our Association works with many Politicians to try and ensure this. From recent issues such National Licencing and roofing, it is clear that Association members contacting their Local Member directly has a significant effect. I encourage everyone reading this magazine to get to know your Local Member and to remind them of the importance of plumbing.

A safe work environment impacts a projects bottom line both directly and indirectly. When a worker is injured on the job, the business pays in lost work hours, increased insurance rates, compensation payments and possible litigation. It has also been shown that when people feel like they have a good, safe working environment there are fewer staff absences, less staff turnover and an improved quality of work. As a plumber signing off on work, it is essential that you consider the health and safety of your customers and the wider community. Plumbers play a vital role in safeguarding public health, so please ensure that you are always complying with the relevant standards and supplying your clients with quality products. Don’t forget to test your work before you walk away from it. If you are keen to expand your skills, head over to the PICAC website, picac.vic.edu.au, and check out the courses on offer – remember, members can access great discounts on training.

Scott Dowsett President, Master Plumbers

8 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

Ken Gardner CEO, Master Plumbers


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Christmas party The balmy weather ensured an excellent turn out for the annual Christmas cocktail party on 4 December. Around 200 members attended the event, held at the rooftop bar at Rydges on Swanston. Members celebrated the end of another year and long-time Master Plumbers member, Stephen Atherton, was presented with a Life Membership in recognition of his ongoing contribution to the Association and the plumbing industry. Read more about Stephen on page 12 of this issue. The party was a great opportunity for members to network and catch up at the end of another busy year and it was great to see so many people there.

10 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015


www.plumber.com.au | 11


member news

Welcome New Members

Stephen Atherton presented with Life Membership Master Plumbers’ Life Membership Awards are presented to members who have made an ongoing and valuable contribution to the Association and the community. At the 2014 Christmas cocktail party, the Association presented long-time member Stephen Atherton Life Membership Award. The Atherton family has been part of the Association since 1891, when 57 plumbing contractors each paid a £5 entrance fee and a £1 subscription to enable the establishment of the Associated Master Plumbers of Victoria. Alfred Atherton, Stephen’s great grandfather, was one of these founding members. Since then the Atherton family have maintained a constant and active role within Master Plumbers, serving on committees, the Board and supporting training through the Alfred Atherton Educational Award.

Atherton has been operated through five generations of the Atherton family and over 120 years the company has made a significant contribution to the Master Plumbers Association and the industry. Stephen was Chairman of the National Plumbing and Mechanical Construction Industry Association during the 90s and later was Chairman of the Construction and Heating and Cooling Divisions.

Master Plumbers welcomes the following new members, affiliates and corporate partners who have joined the Association since December 2014. Suburban Gas and Plumbing Geelong Industrial Plumbing Pty Ltd Faulkner Roofing

Stephen was appointed to the National Council in early 1999 and in June that year was made a Board Member. In 2000 Stephen was elected to Vice President of the Association and served in this role for ten years.

Prime Roof Plumbing

In 2011 Stephen was elected president and for two years worked to promote the important role Master Plumbers plays in representing businesses and individuals to both the government and consumers.

Alpha Air Pty Ltd

Stephen has served on the Plumbing Advisory Council since 2012, helping to provide advice about the plumbing industry to the Minister for Planning and the Victorian Building Authority.

Pro-Active Plumbing

Motion Plumbing (Vic) Tait Plumbing Pty Ltd Hydraciv Plumbing Pty Ltd

JD’s Prestige Plumbing Property Profiled Jag Solutions Pty Ltd

A&B Allen Plumbing

The Board and the Association thanks Stephen for his significant contribution to our organisation and to the industry.

Unit 15, 306 Albert Street, Brunswick

Master Plumbers is moving! Early in 2014 the Board resolved to sell the existing Association offices at King Street (West Melbourne) and purchase a new administrative office in the Albert Street (Brunswick) complex. This move allows Master Plumbers training and head office facilities to be more closely linked and creates a ‘plumbing hub’. 12 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

We will be relocating in March. Members are welcome to visit our new offices at any time. We are located just beside PICAC, at Unit 15, 306 Albert Street, Brunswick.


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member news 2015 is great year to be a Master Plumber! Master Plumbers received an overwhelming response to our Annual Membership Survey (distributed in late 2014). Here’s what you told us you want… • You would like to attend membership meetings close to home. • You would like a less formal meeting format with information that will help you save time and money. • You are very interested in attending business breakfasts with business coaches to help your business grow. • You want discounts on your fuel and purchase of new vehicles – see previous page for details! • You want banking solutions that will give you freedom with cash flow and discounts on every-day banking products. • You have also asked that we communicate with you more often. We have taken your suggestions and comments on board and have put together a strong membership benefits and events program for 2015. We will be communicating with you through different mediums and have committed to calling every member this year, to see how we can help support your business.

New website and membership portal We are pleased to announce that in 2015, we will be launching our new Master Plumbers website in conjunction with a strong ‘Find a Master Plumber’ campaign targeting consumers across Victoria. More information regarding our consumer campaigns will be sent to you shortly. Our recent survey identified a number of core issues with our current find a plumber search function, so we are making improvements to our Find a Master Plumber search function that will allow you to: • Update your business details in real-time • Add up to three post codes that your business is able to service We have also updated the search function so that it will: • Randomly list plumbers on every search (meaning that the same business is not listed at the top of the search page every time)

Membership go-to-guide You will receive a membership go-toguide that will explain how to log on to the membership portal to update your details, customise your preferences and manage your Find a Master Plumber profile. The membership portal will also provide the following functionality: • Show you how many people have viewed your business details through the ‘Find a Master Plumber’ search • Allow your administration team access to a number of templates to assist with running your business • Provide you with links and information on how to access our discount and benefit schemes • Manage the type of communication that you receive from the Association If you would like further information regarding how we can help you get the most out of your membership, please feel free to contact Samantha Russell via samantha.russell@plumber.com.au or call 03 9321 0798.

• List the selected post code up the top of the page and surrounding suburbs below.

VALE Peter Pratt 1932 – 2015 Our sincerest sympathies to the Pratt family for the loss of Peter Pratt who was a valued Life Member of the Master Plumbers’ and Mechanical Services Association of Australia. Growing up Peter had always wanted to be a Plumber, but due to lack of materials following World War II he found it difficult to secure an Apprenticeship, but Peter never gave up on his dream. Instead he began working as a Counterhand in a plumbing supply shop in St. Kilda, cycling over 15km from Fairfield each way. Peter met lots of Plumbers every day and managed to secure an Apprenticeship with one of the regular customers. Peter was very passionate about the advancement of younger generations

through the industry. He played an active role on different Master Plumbers’ committees, one to note was his involvement in ‘The Wylie Trust’. This trust acknowledges and assists plumbers who are keen to turn the dream of running a successful business into a reality by acknowledging their efforts through the Pursuit of Excellence Leadership and Mentoring Program. Peter also had a keen interest in the advancement of Indigenous Apprentices in the plumbing industry. The Pratt family and their business PBA Safety have

sponsored the Indigenous Apprentice Award at the Master Plumber Gold Medal and Training Awards for a number of years. This Award is offered to the top Indigenous apprentice to encourage apprenticeship studies in all areas of plumbing. Peter made a significant contribution to the Plumbing Industry through many years of dedicated service to the Association, his smile and laughter will be greatly missed.


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Pressure test plugs Quick leakage checks made easy: the pressure test plugs from Viega help to check sections of pipe-work effortlessly – and being reusable, they are a highly effective and cost efficient solution. The alternative would be to use permanent end caps which would be cut out and thrown away after testing. That’s both time consuming and expensive. The bronze test plugs from Viega can be reused thousands of times. They come in a range of dimensions from DN15 to DN50 and have a pressure rating of 1600 kPa max. They also have an integrated valve for bleeding lines. The test plugs can be used with all Viega Propress fittings. They are designed to be inserted into an un-pressed Propress fitting end for pressure testing and can then be removed after testing, leaving the Propress end usable for a final press connection. Viega. A better idea!


member news News from Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association of Western Australia Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association of Western Australia (MPGA) is the voice of the plumbing and gasfitting industry in WA. Along with the MPA Skills Training and Apprentice Employment, MPGA forms a division of MPA Group, established to be the single point of call for the plumbing industry in WA. MPA Skills is a Group Training Organisation and Registered Training Organisation, employing over 300 plumbing and painting apprentices and providing training to over 1,200 students. We provide school based trade training in partnership with three secondary colleges and their feeder schools. Additionally, The MPGA we conduct multiple believes that pre-apprenticeship a strong programs annually united voice at and provide training national level to approximately 60 is paramount percent of metropolitan in protecting plumbing apprentices.

Every year the MPGA provides plumbers, gasfitters, apprentices and manufacturers in WA the opportunity to showcase their skills and receive the rewards and recognition they deserve through the Awards for Excellence Program. Nominees are required to submit an application addressing key criteria relevant to running a successful plumbing business. These points include information about staff, training and development, sales and marketing, occupational safety and health, workmanship, industry support and community involvement.

Implementation of the Plumbing Code of Australia

Apprentices were required to attend a theory session where they were asked a series of technical and general knowledge questions. The top 20 scoring candidates from these theory assessments were interviewed by a panel of experienced industry judges. The top 12 scoring candidates from these interviews then had to compete on competition day. They had to undertake an eight hour project and were assessed on a broad range of trade skills including water supply, gasfitting, welding, brazing and sanitary plumbing.

Master Plumbers Australia

We believe excellence in plumbing is achieved by relentlessly improving the holistic technical and business support we offer our members and apprentices throughout their careers. It will also result in regulatory compliance and successful member businesses.

The MPGA is highly involved in the national Master Plumbers Australia (MPA), with representatives Noel Abercromby, Samson Plumbing & Gas Pty. Ltd. as Director Chairman of the MPA and our very own CEO Murray Thomas as the Alternate Director of the MPA. Murray is also the Plumbing Industry representative on the Australian Building Codes Board. The MPGA believes that a strong united voice at national level is paramount in protecting and developing our industry, now and in the future.

The staff at the MPGA are currently working towards the “Hug a Plumber Campaign” on World Plumbing Day, 11 March. We encourage the people of WA to say thanks to the hardworking “sanitation guardians”. There are currently more than 7,000 registered plumbers in WA and approximately 1,200 apprentices, making World Plumbing Day an important day on the local calendar.

Careful planning and consideration for the future – combined with the tremendous effort by the Executive team, staff and membership body – has been the hallmark of MPGA.

Should you ever consider to live and work as a plumber in WA, visit our Job Box page, www.masterplumbers. asn.au/job-vacancies/default.aspx .

Industry based, Industry driven and Industry focused!

16 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

A commencement date of 1 May 2015 for the implementation of the PCA is anticipated and the Building Commission will be partnering with the MPGA in a series of training forums commencing in March 2015.

World Plumbing Day – Say thanks and hug a plumber!

and developing our industry, now and in the future.

The MPGA remains the only dedicated organisation concerned with the future viability of the plumbing industry in WA. With over 100 years of success behind us, continual improvement of our industry is our goal for the future not only in Perth but also in regional WA.

The Building Commission in WA is working towards the adoption of the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) as the new compliance standard for water supply plumbing, sanitary plumbing and drainage plumbing in WA.

We hope to see you one day, here in the West! The 12 apprentice finalists at the 2014 Apprentice of the Year Competition Day

Petra Wouters Communications Coordinator www.masterplumbers.asn.au


News from Master Plumbers Tasmania Welcome Tas Master Plumbers to our first edition for 2015! Firstly, our sincerest thanks to Crisp Ikin Agencies, Milwaukee Power Tools, Reece, and Claudia Jewellers for their sponsorship of our Christmas Dinner 2014. It was a great night had by all at Pierre’s Restaurant in Launceston. Moving on from our Christmas/New Year break and our first order of business has been to address the Tasmanian Government’s review into the Building Regulatory Framework. This review commenced in 2014 and we have been present at the table representing the plumbing industry and our members’ commercial needs in Tasmania throughout the process. The Review has focussed mostly around legislation and policies affecting the building industry in Tasmania and in particular the roles of building surveyors, builders and permit authorities. Arising out the review process has been a suite of recommendations made by the Director of Building Control, Mr Dale Webster for consideration by the relevant Minister. Contained within these recommendations are two of particular importance to MPAT those being: 1 Introduction of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for plumbers; and 2 Clarify the ‘role of the roof plumber’ We support CPD for our members, and the industry as a whole, as long as the CPD is meaningful and keeps our practitioners up to date with plumbing standards, technologies, new products and skills. If we are going to be a part of the CPD regime we need to be serious about it and ensure that our members get the very best information for their ongoing professional development. We intend to play a significant part in this area if the recommendation is implemented by offering some high quality and accessible learning opportunities.

The second recommendation – clarify the role of the roof plumber – is of significant concern to our membership and the plumbing industry in general. Roof plumbing in Tasmania is currently classified as ‘prescribed plumbing work’ under the Occupational Licensing Act 2005 and therefore work which must be undertaken by a licensed plumber (with a certain level of exemption outside of the major metropolitan areas of Tasmania). The State Government has been lobbied by sectors of the building and construction industry to remove this requirement and allow builders to undertake roof plumbing under a restricted license regime. Master Plumbers Association of Tasmania (MPAT) does not support this move at all and we are very concerned that this recommendation is implemented it will give rise to a range of negative outcomes for consumers and the building and construction industry in general.

There is a significant difference in the practical application and experience of roof plumbers who perform roof plumbing daily, on residential and commercial premises, as opposed to a builder who, under this proposed change, may do roof plumbing a few times per year. We believe that this is not an acceptable risk to be taken in order to combat perceived shortages in licensed and qualified roof plumbers. So watch this space for further updates and hopefully a conclusion that strengthens the role of the roof plumber and not one that weakens it! Very special thanks to our Roofing and Cladding Division Members and in particular John Roberts (Chairman RC&D) who attended meetings and took the time to have their say on the matter – great stuff! Yours in plumbing Angela Ayling Executive Officer

In our response to State Government on this matter we very clearly highlighted the areas of risk that we believe must be carefully considered prior to any legislative change to roof plumbing, those being building / structure integrity; public health; and work health and safety. MPAT does not accept that builders, operating under a restricted licence and or RPL regime, would have the technical ability, knowledge, skills and experience to ensure building integrity and associated public health risks were not negatively compromised. Additionally, roof plumbing requires considered attention to a range of work health and safety risks including working at height, asbestos etc – again our members have integrated the management of these hazards into their everyday work activities and whilst we cannot say that all risk has been completely eliminated, we have, as a specific trade, invested our resources into safe systems of work. Is someone who does roof plumbing occasionally going to invest the same level of commitment to WHS? We don’t think so!

www.plumber.com.au | 17


industry news PICAC news part of a commitment to provide access to quality plumbing training across regional Victoria.

Greater Geelong Region PICAC Centre of Excellence Phase one well underway for the new plumbing training centre of excellence for Geelong The PICAC expansion is now well underway with phase one in motion for the development of the Geelong training facility at Breakwater. The site, located near the Geelong Racecourse, was acquired by the Master Plumbers and Plumbing Trades Employee’s Union (PTEU) in late 2013. PICAC will establish its first satellite campus as

“The new Geelong development will make world class quality training available and ensure that highly skilled plumbers are developed right across Western Victoria,” said Shayne La Combre, CEO, PICAC. The centre will significantly open up training opportunities extending out to Ballarat, Colac, Warrnambool and the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. PICAC is a unique industry led training collaboration through the partnership of the Master Plumbers, PTEU, National Fire Industry Association and the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association. “This new purpose built centre will provide access to much needed skills development opportunities for the region. PICAC’s industry focused training will encourage industry participants, to upgrade their skill set throughout their careers to meet the ever evolving demands of industry,” said Ken Gardner, Master Plumbers.

World Plumbing Day 2015 at PICAC World Plumbing Day is held on 11 March every year to celebrate the important role plumbing plays in the health, safety and sustainability of our community.

Plumbing and Sprinkler Fitting Apprentice Skills Competitions

Plumbing Industry Forum

Leading apprentices from across Victoria will display their skills and knowledge of plumbing, mechanical services and fire protection in a practical demonstration.

18 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

For details on upcoming PICAC courses, visit www.picac.vic.edu.au.

Designed to update you on the significant changes in Regulation, Training and Technology

PICAC is hosting a day of celebrations in Brunswick and event highlights include:

Industry Stakeholders are invited to attend an industry forum with speakers focusing on ‘Impacts on the future of the plumbing industry – risks, challenges and opportunities’. The keynote speaker is The Hon. Steve Herbert, Minister for Training and Skills. This will be followed by a free luncheon at the Trades Expo.

It is anticipated that this new Institute will provide up-skilling and competency development to over 200 plumbing industry entrants, year on year. Courses currently available at PICAC in Brunswick will also be delivered in Geelong with training delivery scheduled to commence mid 2015.

Plumbing Trades Expo Sponsors and other organisations will set up displays of industry innovations, cutting edge products and sustainable solutions for guests. The theme of impacts on the future of the plumbing industry will continue in this area.

Plumbing Careers Expo Students who are considering a future in the plumbing industry will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Registered Training Organisations, TAFE institutes, group schemes, employers and others involved in vocational education and training. To find out more about this significant event, visit www.picac.vic.edu.au or head to www.worldplumbing.org to see what’s happening around the world.


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industry news 2015 National Construction Code Information Seminars

Energy Efficiency Scheme To Reduce Bills, Support Jobs

Featuring presentations by the ABCB and Standards Australia

Energy and Resources Minister Lily D’Ambrosio has announced that the Victorian Government will retain the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme and save 2000 jobs.

Don’t miss out the NCC takes effect on 1 May 2015

The ABCB is finalising updates to the 2015 National Construction Code (NCC) and will be hosting a series of Information Seminars in capital cities across the country.

It will also be an opportunity to hear about: • Verification Methods being introduced • the new NCC Performance Requirements extract publication • the new Guideline for performance based design To register and find out more information visit abcb.gov.au.

The VEET scheme helps participating households and businesses save money by improving energy efficiency. The target for the scheme for 2015 will be 5.4 million Victorian energy efficiency certificates. Each certificate represents a tonne of greenhouse gas emissions that will be avoided. Energy retailers are required to provide incentives to Victorian households and businesses for undertaking improvements such as installing energy efficient appliances.

Worksafe brand restored Victorian Minister for Finance, Robin Scott, has announced that Victorian WorkCover Authority will return to the WorkSafe banner. “Worksafe is back. Victorian workers and their families can be confident they’re in the hands of the experts they know and trust,” said Minister Scott. “It made no sense to tear up the proud name of a world-renowned organisation that’s helped save so many lives.” Since it was launched in 2001, WorkSafe has made its mark through powerful awareness and advertising campaigns and the highly-visible presence of Inspectors who make over 40,000 workplace visits every year. Victoria continues to have the safest workplaces of any state in Australia, with injury rates improving over the past decade to a record low of 7.37 injury claims per million hours worked in 2013/14. Workplace injuries not only cost Victorian employers more than $1.7 billion each year, they have a major effect on the lives of injured workers, their families, friends and workmates.

20 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015


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industry news World Plumbing Council News 2014 WPC Education and Scholarship winner announced Mr Abede Mack, Training Specialist, National Training Agency, Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago was awarded the 2014 WPC Education and Training Scholarship, valued at up to US10,000.00.

WPC unveils research database A new research database has been unveiled by the World Plumbing Council (WPC), which will allow users to check up on what is happening across the world in relation to plumbing and other water supply-related issues. It’s hoped that the tool can be used to help interested organisations and individuals collaborate over and learn about various research projects taking place in specialised areas. The database allows users to put forward their own ideas and recommendations for future topics of study, with the idea that this will help researchers focus their efforts into finding out what those who will use the information actually want to know. The WPC hopes this resource will reduce duplication of research efforts, resulting in a more efficient global effort in compiling data for the plumbing sector. WPC chairman Sudhakaran Nair said: “This is a fantastic initiative and I commend all involved in its development. It provides a unique research portal for individuals, industry associations and manufacturers across the world to access and upload valuable research information.” The ultimate success of the project will depend entirely on how often people see fit to use it; in order for the database to flourish, as many people need to get involved as possible. Access the WPC Research Database at worldplumbing.org/research/ tiki-index.php

22 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

WPC Chairman, Sudhakaran Nair sincerely congratulated the successful applicant who is clearly very passionate about the difference his studies could make in his home country. “The information, learning and knowledge transfer would be remarkable. This will assist in producing the next generation of plumbing professionals in my homeland, a group of practitioners that are highly skilled and highly committed to the work they do.” Adebe wishes to visit Germany to review their TVET system and take his information, knowledge and learning back to Trinidad and Tobago to develop better plumbing systems there.

He also wants to assist in improving water efficiency and environmental sustainability for the benefit of future generations. The WPC initiated the Education and Training Scholarship in 2003 as a response to their mission to “unite the world plumbing industry and promote the role of plumbing in improving public health and safeguarding the environment”. It has proven to be one of the most beneficial programs offered by the WPC to the global plumbing community.


people don’t realise the risks involved in DIY!

Ozwater’15 12-14 May – Adelaide

The Australian Water Association will be once again be bringing together the brightest minds and greatest innovators of water and wastewater solutions from across Australia and the world. This is 2015’s greatest opportunity to share ideas, gain business opportunities, renew relationships, and make new ones across Australia’s water industry.

Australia’s worst DIY plumbing disaster unveiled With over 25,000 Australians hospitalised from DIY related injuries, the onslaught of home renovation shows has ensured a steady increase in DIY projects, with sometimes humourous, sometimes harmful results. And just when you thought DIY plumbing disasters couldn’t get worse, Reece has announced the winner of its renowned DIY Disasters competition for 2014. And this one’s a doozy. “The man had performed this ritual every night, without the use of safety switches. If the element had slipped off, the electricity would have gone straight into the water. He is lucky to have come out unscathed,” Matthew said. This discovery is one of the worst DIY plumbing disasters Matthew has witnessed in his 10-year career, but alarmingly, he comes across varying levels of disastrous DIY jobs at least once a month.

In addition to the comprehensive conference program, there will be seminars, workshops, networking functions, and of course Australia’s largest water trade exhibition. This year the conference agenda is particularly full, with additional streams relating to current key issues including water in agriculture, water in the resources sector, and building an innovative Australia.

“We see crazy things all the time, but people don’t realise the risks involved in DIY. They try to save a dollar, but the safety implications are not worth the money saved,” he said.

The Trade Exhibition is free to attend and will showcase water products, services and innovations from over 170 local and international suppliers. Also, for the first time AWA will be hosting a Water Regulators Forum, bringing together Australia’s regulators across economic, environmental and health to discuss the need for harmonisation in water regulation for better outcomes for industry and customers. Find out more at ozwater.org 

The unexpected discovery of a contraption made from an element connected to a plank of timber in the bath of a 98-year-old man, used to heat his bath water, has secured South Australian plumber

Reece Plumbing’s Business Development Manager and judge Adam Watson has seen hundreds of entries over the years, with this year’s competition bringing in the most entries to date. He says the competition remains an integral part of Reece’s efforts to educate would-be amateur plumbers on the frightening implications of going it alone on plumbing jobs. “DIY plumbing is extremely dangerous, and depending on the application, could cause anything from a small injury to, in the worst case, death,” he said.

Matthew Logmans the 2014 DIY Disasters competition title and a $5,000 prize. Matthew found his winning entry when his client’s daughter called him in to install a hot water service in her father’s home. Having had no access to hot water for 20 years, it was taking the elderly man nearly two hours to heat his bath with his homemade device, not to mention the imminent danger of electrocution.

www.plumber.com.au | 23


industry news Rolling Stones inspire loo design A urinal inspired by the Rolling Stones’ iconic lips logo won a Sydney restaurant and bar the title of ‘Best Bathroom’ at the Australian Hotel Awards recently. The iconic design was created by Dutch artist Meike van Schijndel and has been featured in trendy restaurants and bars all over the world. In fact, the urinal is so famous it even has a Facebook page with over 31,000 fans dedicated to the big red lips!

Dates for your diary

The Backflow Association of Australia (BPAA) – Backflow Prevention Workshop The BPAA is a professional body specifically dedicated to Backflow Prevention. It is a volunteer organisation made up from members across all aspects of plumbing and the water supply industry. Members have access to a range of benefits and to leading edge changes to in the backflow industry. In line with our aim of adding value and educating the industry we would like to present the Backflow Prevention Workshop

Venue: PICAC 6/306 Albert Street Brunswick Date: Saturday 21 March 2015 Time: 8.00am – 1.00pm This will be a great opportunity to get some hands on experience in testing, servicing, and the inner works of different makes and models of all backflow valves. All Backflow manufacturers’ representatives will be present with their product range on the day. Free Sausage Sizzle Mystery Door Prize Value $1,200 Business Card Entry for Prize Cost of Entry is $5 for Non Members of the Association, this will be refunded if the Association is joined on the day. For further information visit www.bpaa.org.au

Dates for your diary International Women’s Day 7 March World Plumbing Day 11 March World’s Greatest Shave 12–15 March St. Patrick’s Day 17 March Water Innovation Forum 18–19 March National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence 20 March World Water Day 22 March Earth Hour 31 March Good Friday 3 April Easter Sunday 5 April National Youth Week 10–19 April Safety in Action Exhibition, Brisbane 22–23 April 2015 Anzac Day 25 April World Day for Safety and Health at Work 28 April Mother’s Day 10 May Ozwater’15 Adelaide Convention and Exhibition Centre 12 – 14 May

24 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015


Master Plumbers

Training update. Cradle to grave training with Master Plumbers Master Plumbers has been developing its training programs in a number of different directions over recent years to meet our goal of providing lifelong learning opportunities for members and the broader plumbing industry. From February 2015 Master Plumbers will be delivering preapprenticeship, apprenticeship, post trade industry and environmentally sustainable plumbing technology training – a ‘cradle to grave’ approach to industry development to meet all your training needs. All Master Plumbers training courses are delivered from our state-of-the-art training facility in Brunswick, the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC). Development work at both the Albert Street and Phoenix Street campuses of PICAC during 2014 has seen the addition of a number of new, fully equipped classrooms as well as building works in the practical workshop areas to prepare for the commencement of apprentices.

Preapprenticeship and apprenticeship training The Master Plumbers and the Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) have formed a partnership to deliver industry based preapprenticeship and apprenticeship training. Training delivery will be overseen by the board of a new company, Plumbing Industry Training (PIT), which consists of representatives of Master Plumbers and PTEU.

Preapprenticeship training The Preapprenticeship program has been running for two years, with more than 50 successful graduates. We have two intakes a year; February and July. The course is growing in popularity and competition for a place is strong. The entry process involves an application and an interview. The 13 week course is full time and preapprentices are expected to undertake work experience each Wednesday with a host employer. The course is delivered in streams that reflect the different registration areas of the plumbing industry, including mechanical services and sprinkler fitting. This delivery

approach provides learners with a solid overview of the plumbing industry and ensures they are ‘work ready’ when they complete the course.

Apprenticeship training In February the first group of apprentices commenced. The apprenticeship program will train Plumbing Apprentices Victoria group scheme apprentices who have completed a preapprenticeship. The course design was influenced by feedback from group scheme hosts, plumbing employers, members and industry stakeholders and will provide skilled apprentices to the industry at all year levels. We offer three skills stages; Stage 1 Foundation plumbing skills (including a six week ‘bootcamp’ block) Stage 2 Installation plumbing skills Stage 3 Trades plumbing skills

Post trade industry training Master Plumbers continues to offer a wide range of post trade training for members and the plumbing industry. Our courses include backflow prevention, thermostatic mixing valves, disconnect/ reconnect electrical appliances, Type A gas and Type B gas appliance servicing. These courses are designed for experienced plumbers who want to further develop their existing expertise or obtain a licence in a new area. In 2015, the gas training room at PICAC will be upgraded to offer a new range of equipment and improved training facilities for both Type A and Type B appliance servicing courses. We will also be offering a suite of short, ‘just in time’ training courses in niche areas such as single check detector valves. Master Plumbers offers a number of licence level courses in the evening for plumbers who are applying for their licence. We currently deliver three common units which focus on workplace risk control, costing and estimating and small business management. We also deliver mechanical services for licence. By mid-2015 we envisage the commencement of water, gas and roofing licence training. Wait lists for

these new courses are open now. Contact training@plumber.com.au.

Sustainable plumbing training Master Plumbers has long been known for its GreenPlumber training program, which provides plumbers with skills and knowledge in environmentally sustainable plumbing techniques. In late 2014 the existing GreenPlumber course was redeveloped in line with industry trends and will be relaunched in the second half of 2015 under the new name Course in Environmentally Sustainable Plumbing Technology. Training delivery will continue to make use of the state of the art facilities and demonstration equipment available at PICAC but will also include some additional opportunities for hands on installation.

WHS and high risk training at PICAC In addition to the courses delivered by Master Plumbers, there are a range of WHS, high risk and specialised industry training courses available for members at PICAC. These courses are provided by our industry training partners including CEPUTEC, Fire Industry Training, AMCA and PICAC. Courses include; • Confined space entry • Safe work on roofs • Forklift, boomlift and scissorlift training • Construction Induction card • First Aid (Level 1-3) • Medical gas training • Asbestos removal (Class A and Class B)

The Master Plumbers Training and Industry Development team looks forward to helping you and your employees develop your skills this year. For a full list of all the training opportunities available, including schedules and fees, download the PICAC training calendar from picac.vic.edu.au or contact PICAC on 03 9356 8902 for more information.

www.plumber.com.au | 25


Pipe

Charlotte Roseby meets the man behind The Drain Man

Brendan Dover is the drain man, sorry, The Drain Man. His specialised plumbing company has cleared more drains and sewers than you have had hot dinners. Until 2000, Brendan was a maintenance plumber running a business with his brother. “I wasn’t enjoying being all things to all people,” says Brendan, “so I simplified it.” Why did he decide to focus on drain clearing? Surprisingly, Brendan says he simply enjoyed it the most, although “found it more satisfying” is probably more accurate: “I enjoyed getting a result for people who were frantic. When you’ve got excrement overflowing out the side of your house, it’s not a pleasant experience. When you clear blockages which haven’t been able to be cleared before, people are very, very grateful.”

The specialist will see you now

That’s a gas!

Brendan sees his specialisation as a natural extension of the plumbing career. A general plumber is like a GP, says Brendan. They handle all plumbing problems. “We are more like highly trained medical specialists who use the most advanced equipment available and constantly keep ourselves at the forefront of our industry.”

The Drain Man has discovered many strange things blocking drains and sewers. Recently The Drain Man was called to inspect what they expected was a regular, blocked sewer drain. After their camera inspection they discovered a large mass of tree roots growing through the drain. They immediately started clearing the tree roots with a drain-clearing machine and a high-pressure water jetter.

As The Drain Man, Brendan quickly found himself tackling some of the most complex blockages around town. “From my experience clearing blockages is just not the favorite work of the plumber. Most plumbers do good work, but sometimes they get beaten by a job if they don’t have the right equipment or the particular know-how.” Taking on the tricky jobs became the best move for his new company. Now The Drain Man works ‘business to business’, and are working on bigger and bigger projects. Recent examples include storm water drains that have been blocked for five or six years, which no-one has done anything about, says Brendan, and clearing and relining drains under major hospital buildings. “We are now renowned as being the drain clearer that other people refer their tough jobs to, and we have many plumbers who give us clearing jobs. They’re often at their wits’ end. I get a buzz when I get told that the job isn’t possible, and then my team do it without any fuss.” “We have a zero percent failure rate. If we make a mistake, we fix it for the customer at no extra cost. We never walk away from our problems.” “We will also never walk away from a job without offering the customer a solution. Sometimes a customer will walk away from our solution because they think it is too expensive, which is fine. However, I say we’re not expensive; we’re very good value. One of my mottos is: ‘It’s easier to be cheaper. It’s much harder to be better’.”

26 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

The core of the tree root was strangely tough to cut through – but the greater problem was the smell of gas. Not the usual “sewer gas”, but real, actual, flame-burning gas. The plumber stopped work and called the gas company who raced to the site and confirmed that the “tree root” in the sewer was actually a gas pipe. Someone, many years ago when the gas lines were laid, had simply drilled a hole through the sewer pipe and laid the gas pipe right through it. Over the years, tree roots entered the sewer around the hole caused by the gas pipe and these roots had wrapped themselves around the pipe, completely encasing it and making it look like a thick tree root. The leak was sealed and the fire brigade came to clear out any gas from the sewer network.

Technology: discovering relining Brendan scours the world for the latest advances in technology: cameras, compressed air excavation, jetting nozzles, jetting hoses and drilling equipment. “That has now enabled us to remove obstacles in a drain in a third of the time it used to take us. What we can do today we couldn’t do even two to three years ago.” The technological advance that really transformed Brendan’s company was relining. They have embraced the technology and its ability to repair any broken, cracked, disjointed and collapsed pipes, with no digging.


dreams. The secret: surrounding yourself with the right people In their ‘NuFlow’ method Brendan’s team start with an InDrain camera inspection, then mix a two-part resin and pour it into a measured section of liner. They then inflate a bladder in the middle of the liner, which pushes the resin to the edge, creating a smooth surface. The resin is left to harden and the bladder is removed. This leaves a newly formed pipe, which is stronger than the original, impervious to tree roots. “The process is faster and cheaper than digging up your drains,” says Brendan. “And there’s a 40-year manufacturer’s warranty on the relining material.” The Drain Man specialise in lateral lining, the branches off the main line, and smaller dimensions: below 300 mm diameter, down to 40 mm. Of course, the smaller the diameter, the more difficult it is; these plumbers like a challenge! “It’s a green solution,” says Brendan. “There’s no longer a need to dig up gardens or trees, meaning it’s a big hit with home owners, facility managers and councils who are keen to preserve their existing gardens and trees, not to mention driveways and paths.” The technology has also become a favorite of the National Trust, who manage and operate historic properties and heritage sites. They discovered Brendan’s company when The Drain Man was called out on a Sunday to clear a blocked drain that threatened to stop a wedding in Ripponlea, one of Melbourne’s iconic properties with magnificent gardens and significant, deep-rooted trees. They managed to clear the blocked drain, the wedding went ahead, and this event led to an extensive relining program under the historic mansion. This was the start of an ongoing partnership with the National Trust, and The Drain Man now offers special rates on drain and sewer clearing and relining for National Trust members.

Brendan now makes a habit of forming alliances with other companies and businesses, and has employed someone specifically to build relationships. This has been one of Brendan’s super-smart strategies, although he is quick to credit the people around him for The Drain Man’s success. “My strategy is to surround myself with people smarter than me! I just keep hunting for what I need, like a dog with a bone. ”The company has a Business Coach, Development Manager, an Account Manager as well as people with expertise in marketing, finance and digital technology. “I’m learning to become a better business owner all the time,” says Brendan. “I have to work harder on myself than I do anyone else. I’ve been learning what is urgent versus what is important. It’s not easy to change; I’ve learned that I used to get caught up for a long period of time on what is urgent.” Since the days of his first radio ads on 3AW, which sent his phone switchboard into a frenzy, Brendan has also embraced web technology, social media and highly targeted marketing.

One member of Brendan’s team described it like this: “This place is much more than a place to work. It is a family and sometimes you don’t like it – just like your family. But, because you love it, you find a way to make it better and move on with a positive outlook.” It is enough to make a business owner weep with pride! However, not everyone can take the pressure, says Brendan. Drain clearing and relining is not an easy job. The customers are frantic, watching the plumber, watching the clock and putting on the pressure. In the meantime, The Drain Man plumbers are focused on “fixing it for good”, creating and engineering a long-term solution that prevents the blockage ever happening again. To help relieve some of the pressure on the team, The Drain Man employs three full time supervisors to travel from job to job to solve problems, supervise safety, but also to, “make sure everyone is maintaining the company standard, the standard that our own people, our team, have set themselves.” “To see people grow is the thing that makes me proud,” says Brendan. “It makes me emotional just to think of it, I just love what I do. I don’t clear drains. I don’t reline pipes. I grow people and I am growing my business.”

Building a strong team These days, Brendan devotes most of his energy to building and supporting his plumbing team and he is really devoted. “This business is nothing without its staff, literally nothing. We put a lot of effort into our people. Money is only one part of it. If you’re not dedicated to the training and development of people, it’s not going to work.

www.plumber.com.au | 27


How you can have a

safer week.

Safety is an everyday, all day thing. Although we’d like to let up on the worry, and let down our guard, safety in the plumbing industry requires constant attention; after all, this can be a dangerous business. Charlotte Roseby reports.

1 Improving safety often means stepping back and re-assessing your risks. It might mean getting back to the basics of safety like housekeeping and supervision. Sometimes it means reminding yourself of your hierarchy of risk control – elimination, substitution, isolation, engineering, administrative and personal protective equipment – and making sure you’re implementing the controls. We’ve chosen a few simple reminders to help you have a safer week – and to come home safely. (Unfortunately we can’t cover everything here. 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. There is a lot of help and guidance available for your particular situation.) Consultation is the first step in developing your risk controls. Talking to your team about safety is a legal requirement. But it is also smart management. Your workers can make a significant contribution to improving workplace health and safety. Regular, proactive consultation can help identify issues in the workplace and build a strong commitment to health and safety. – WorkSafe Victoria worksafe.vic.gov.au

Wear your gloves

Hand injuries are a total pain – they not only stop you from working, but they affect your ability to do absolutely everything else. (Ever tried getting dressed with one hand?) Hand injuries are among the most common injuries to plumbers (11 per cent of injuries, according to WorkSafe). Plumbers run the risk of broken or crushed fingers, fractures, bruises and lacerations from both powered and unpowered hand tools: nail guns, hammers, hand drills, circular saws, and chainsaws. Plumbers are also susceptible to hand injuries because they are constantly handling roofing and guttering materials with sharp edges, says Rod Tresidder, Master Plumbers’ OHS Officer. Plumbers laying, installing or fitting pipes in the ground can get their fingers crushed, and often get cuts from pieces of glass or metal hidden in the soil. Rod monitored Master Plumbers’ plumbing injury statistics to young workers over a period of six years, and made some startling discoveries: • Of the injuries experienced by Master Plumbers, 33 per cent were hand injuries • Of these hand injuries, 78 per cent were cuts • Of these cuts to the hand, 50 per cent became lost-time injuries. The risk of hand injuries is dramatically reduced with gloves. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it, but some plumbers – particularly older plumbers who have habits that are harder to break – are still resisting the change. If that’s you, what you need to know is that glove technology has made some impressive advances. Gloves now have a

much higher level of touch for “bare handed” precision. They are more lightweight, flexible and more tactile for better handling. There are now products specifically designed for plumbing work: some for general protection (e.g. Ansell’s 11-618) and some specifically for mechanical protection (e.g. Ansell 97-005). They are cut-resistant, have knuckle guards and other impact protection built in. They also feature better grip for less slip when plumbers slide pipes and other materials in their hands. The good news is that, when it comes to wearing gloves, there has been real cultural change among young plumbers. Apprentices actually like wearing gloves because they actually improve grip and tactility. “Apprentices these days are smart,” says Rod. “They don’t want to damage their hands; they want to look well-groomed outside work. They have become accustomed to wearing gloves. These young apprentices will go out into the industry and become contractors, employers and trainers, and we’ll turn the rate of hand injuries around.”

PPE: just minimising your risk Remember personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, safety glasses and high-vis clothing is not your first line of defence. (It’s not even the second.) PPE should only be used: • as a last resort, when there are no other practical control measures available • as an interim measure, until there’s a more effective way of controlling the risk • as a back-up to other measures.


2

3

Wear eye protection

It’s time to pay attention to your eyes. Because they’re often minor and unreported, eye injuries have been a bit of a forgotten hazard in the plumbing industry. However, there can be very serious consequences; the eye is extremely delicate and permanent vision loss can result from a relatively minor injury. Most eye injuries in plumbers are associated with a foreign body – an object in your eye that shouldn’t be there.

Wearing eye protection, appropriate for the task, dramatically decreases the risk of sustaining an eye injury. Ordinary eyewear such as prescription glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses don’t reduce the risk – you need eye protection as well. (Always buy eye protection that complies with Australian Standards.)

What are the rules?

Symptoms of a foreign body in your eye include pain, burning, irritation, a scratchy feeling, blurred vision, loss of vision, sensitivity to bright lights and bleeding into the white of the eye.

Safety glasses or goggles are compulsory in designated eye protection areas and when using power or machine tools and pressure equipment. You may also need to wear a face shield when handling acids and chemical. (It’s very important to refer to the chemicals manufacturer’s material safety data sheet [MSDS] to control all the hazards related to chemicals.)

Don’t try to remove it yourself. Do not rub your eye. Do not wash or flush your eye. Gently cover the injured eye with an eye pad or shield secured with tape. Go straight to your doctor or the nearest hospital emergency department for help.

You need suitable welding goggles for gas welding and cutting, and welding helmets for electric arc welding. You need to use welding screens to protect the eyes of other people from welding flashes.

Got a foreign body in your eye?

– Better Health Channel Plumbers are particularly susceptible to eye injuries when drilling overhead, using a jigsaw or angle grinder; eye injuries are caused by pieces of material flying off while being cut or ground. A foreign body, even if it’s tiny, can penetrate the surface of the eye with high impact force generated by grinding, drilling or cutting. Even the impact of steel hitting steel can break off tiny particles. A small particle may not always be obvious but can do serious damage.

Look after your back, shoulders and knees

Manual handling and manual task injuries to backs, shoulders and knees cause a lot of pain and anguish to plumbers and the people around them. These injuries result in a huge loss of work time and productivity. Manual handling injuries are the most frequent reason plumbers are off work – they account for around 45 per cent of all injury claims, according to WorkSafe. Plumbers are at risk of traumatic joint injuries; muscle stress and strain to your back, shoulders, knees and wrists; and hernias. The typical plumbing injury profile is a 40–54 year-old man with a chronic back or shoulder injury, says Rod. Manual handling injuries are the reason why many plumbers quit the job. 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 (and that’s bad news for the plumbing industry). Manual handling injuries are also the reason why many younger workers fail to complete their apprenticeship. 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. Watch out for these particular 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.

www.plumber.com.au | 29


3

continued

Even a toolbox becomes a manual handling risk when it’s overloaded or has tools spilling out. A large toolbox, or one badly or messily packed, can be awkward to lift. You can strain your back or slip a disc – resulting in pain, medical costs and lost work time – getting one of these out of your work van. Rearrange your gear into the right-sized toolbox, and pay attention to your safe lifting.

Are your knees trying to tell you something? Plumbers do a lot of kneeling, squatting and twisting without even realising. You risk knee injuries with sustained and awkward postures, and repetitive movements. What you do now with your knees will affect your ease of movement in the future – so you need to take special care of them, along with your back and shoulders. Reduce the time you spend in a stooped or crouched posture by completing work on a workbench instead of on the ground. Use tables, benches or stands to bring work to waist height or use tools with extension handles (e.g. nail guns, caulking guns) to avoid bending. You also run the risk of lacerations when you’re kneeling. Make sure your worksite is clear and invest in a set of knee pads. Make sure everyone is wearing a long-sleeve shirt and long pants to minimise cuts and lacerations.

30 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

Eliminating hazardous manual handling As an employer, you have a specific duty to identify any tasks that involve hazardous manual handling. If the tasks pose a risk of musculoskeletal disorder, you must eliminate the risk as far as practicable. Automate any task if you can. Use mechanical lifting and handling equipment and mechanical excavation. Get your goods delivered directly to the point of use to eliminate multiple handling. Substitute heavy items with those that are lighter, smaller and/or easier to handle, and replace hand tools with power tools to reduce the level of force required to do the task. Think about a trencher rather than a spade. 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. If you can’t eliminate the risk completely, use control measures to minimise the frequency, magnitude and duration of your movement and postures. Rotate your plumbing team through a variety of tasks so they use different muscles and are not holding the same postures for a long time. 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. Look after younger workers.

How good are your tools? Hand tools should be designed to: • be held in a neutral wrist or handshake position • allow the hand to retain a comfortable grip span • be well-balanced (the heaviest part of the tool needs to be behind the wrist) • be suitable for use by either hand • provide a good grip surface • prevent a worker from adopting a pinch grip with high force or for prolonged periods. Minimise the level of muscular effort, particularly of the shoulder and wrist, needed to use hand tools by: • using power tools where possible • suspending or supporting heavy tools where they are used repetitively and in the same 
place • counterbalancing heavy tools that are used repetitively and need to be kept away from the body • using trigger locks where the grip has to be sustained for more than 30 seconds • holding the work piece in place with either jigs or fixtures • selecting tools that produce the least amount of vibration • reducing impact shocks • limiting torque or ‘kick back’ reactions. – Hazardous Manual Tasks Code of Practice, Safe Work Australia 2011


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Avoid the pitfalls – slips and trips

Slips and trips are another highfrequency hazard for plumbers. You run the risk of back or neck injuries, torn ligaments, lacerations, fractures, broken bones and concussion. The injuries are not life-threatening, but they can certainly be permanent – and a slip or a trip can be a career-ender. Then there are the additional hazards: tripping and falling into excavations, trenches, holes, pits or shafts. Working on uneven ground makes a slip or trip more likely. Also be aware that carrying awkwardly shaped or heavy materials and tools can make you more distracted and at greater risk. Using ladders inappropriately for the task or using ladders incorrectly are another common cause of injury. Bending, twisting, reaching, lifting, pushing or pulling while standing on a ladder is hazardous and should be performed on a proper work platform instead. 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.

How is your housekeeping? Most often, slips and trips are caused by poor housekeeping. Plumbers often find themselves tripping over pipes or slipping on debris. Many a plumber has, unfortunately, cut a leg open on a pipe offcut left lying around. Building rubble is another classic trip hazard.

Good housekeeping doesn’t just happen, says WorkSafe Victoria. They are running a Back to Basics campaign to improve basic site safety, particularly in the housing and construction industry.

Slips, trips and falls: a few safety tips

Everyone on site needs to do their bit, says WorkSafe. Each trade needs to be responsible for their own equipment and tools. Make sure that, in your team, everyone cleans up as they go.

• Remove unwanted material and construction waste regularly from site so it does not accumulate.

You also need to plan for basic site safety. Set some housekeeping rules for your team, and set them in stone. You can include housekeeping in your: • Contracts – State in the contract that each trade is responsible for cleaning up after themselves and that penalties might apply if they don’t. • Site rules – Before work starts, develop site rules that include housekeeping responsibilities, and make sure everyone on site knows them. • Safety plans – Ensure the site layout supports good housekeeping e.g. designated delivery and storage areas, waste management, walkways and vehicle parking.

• Working at height? Use the highest level of falls protection such as guard railing, scaffolds, physical barriers or elevated work platforms.

• Ensure construction materials, power leads, tools and equipment are handled and positioned carefully to avoid creating tripping hazards. • Work at ground or floor level rather than a ladder. • Cover excavations or install temporary barriers to prevent falls into an excavation.

To find out more about safety in the workplace, visit safeworkaustralia.gov.au to find the regulator in your state. To see how Master Plumbers can help you with your safety requirements, visit plumber.com.au

And “supervise, supervise, supervise!” says WorkSafe. Regularly inspect your site to ensure everyone in the team is following the rules, including keeping the workplace tidy and correctly storing materials.

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Heavy Lifting Safety Lifting aids Manually lifting equipment, such as air conditioners and extractor fans, to be mounted on a roof? Workers are at risk of being injured by overbalancing and falling from the roof or ladder and being struck by dropped equipment. The public is also at risk from falling equipment. What is a solution? The risk of injury can be reduced or eliminated by using mechanical aids to assist in lifting equipment onto roofs, such as; ladder hoists, other portable lifting devices or mobile cranes. We take a look at two innovative lifting aids to assist in lifting safety.

GEDA Lift

MightyLift

the lifting concept for safe, economic transport of materials

combining innovation, health and safety

The GEDA Lift provides the ideal vertical transport hoist for safe transit of materials on site. Known for its robustness, GEDA have become the market leader in Europe with more than 70,000 units sold so far. You can save unnecessary maintenance time due to the high quality materials that have been used in the construction of the unit including an excellent working drive mechanism. The GEDA Lift is the inclined hoist for everything that has to be transported up or down.

Using ladders, ropes and manpower to manoeuvre heavy equipment onto single or double roofs can be cumbersome and dangerous.

They are easy to assemble, and offer a quick and reliable means of transport for materials that need to be lifted to elevated work platforms, thus making the system a perfect tool for access for materials to balconies, scaffold platforms and roofs etc. The GEDA Lift can offer the appropriate load receptacle for any kind of building material and any kind of use. Using a GEDA Lift saves you time and the risk of injury when trying to load goods manually. The two speed GEDA Fixlift 250, which is available in addition to the one speed GEDA Lift 200 Standard and GEDA Lift 250 Comfort. The load bearing capacity depends on the type of the aluminum ladder sections, their inclination as well as the total length. You can choose between a ladder section with a useful load of 200 kg or the reinforced ladder sections with a load bearing capacity of 250 kg. The GEDA Lift hoist is a favourite of plumbers because of its fast erection and dismantling procedures. The light-weight Aluminium parts can easily be assembled by one person and it is easy to transport requires minimal space to erect and operate. This is why it can be erected in areas of limited access. Highly sensitive solar modules and photovoltaic panels can be lifted safely onto the roof with the GEDA Lift with its smooth start the use of this lift increases the operator’s safety and significantly diminishes his risk of accidents.

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For further information contact 0439 955 267, esw@esw.net.au or esw.net.au

The MightyLift is a product designed specifically for plumbers, electrical contractors and other trades people who install equipment on roofs or in roof spaces. 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 first prize in the 2008 work safe awards. Investing in a lifting aid like the MightyLift will allow you to complete lifting jobs quickly, easily and safely. With a reach of just over six meter, the MightyLift can conquer most installation jobs quickly and easily. The equipment can be carried on most roof racks and can be installed by one person in just minutes. 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. 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 www.mightylift.com.au


GEDA Lift

The GEDA Lift provides your Company with a safe working environment for the vertical transport of all goods to elevated work platforms. There is a 200KG and 250KG model available with a range of attachments designed for the lifting of all types of products. It is easy to assemble saves time and money on installation and avoids costly expenses due to injury caused by incorrect materials handling. Please contact, Energy Smart Water Pty Ltd for more information and be sure to watch our video to see how easy it is to assemble as well as the many applications for use.

NEW!

The GEDA LIFT movie! Now on www.geda.de!

0439 955 267 | info@esw.net.au | www.esw.net.au www.plumber.com.au | 33


ESV has a broad role in relation to the use of gas in domestic and commercial applications. We provide various services and support to gas professionals, including technical resources to help you do your job. We carry out inspections and investigations; we issue notices, prepare technical information sheets and deal with industry and public enquiries. We also provide information on certified gas appliances, repairs and installations and ensure that work carried out is safe and accepted. We liaise with the Victorian Building Authority for plumbing and gasfitting work, TAFE colleges, Registered Training Organisations, gas distribution businesses and Government departments. It is also ESV’s role to ensure certain requirements are met for the safe design, sale, hire and installation of gas appliances. ESV has a strong involvement in the development of gas safety standards and where difficulties of interpretation may exist we are always willing to provide assistance. The new Gas Installation standard, AS/NZS 5601:2013, has a number of changes in relation to the protection of combustible material using fire resistant materials in domestic and commercial installations.

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Now, combustible materials near gas appliances will often require either minimum clearances from hot surfaces or the combustible materials will require additional protection to reduce the risk of fire and damage. Minimum clearances are generally specified in the manufacturer’s installation and operating instructions. Commercial catering appliances and domestic gas cookers have further minimum clearance and protection requirements and these are mandated in AS/NZS 5601. Gasfitters should also be aware that the requirements for fire resistant materials have changed. Generally, to be accepted as a fire resistant material the material must have evidence that it is noncombustible as well as having sufficient thickness and insulation to prevent heat flowing through to underlying combustible surfaces.

Maintaining appropriate clearances to combustible materials or providing adequate protection against combustibles is critical to ensure the risk of fire or injury is minimised. In the area of investigations and assistance there was an incident in early January where a gas hot water service exploded. ESV investigators assisted Victoria Police to help identify the cause and track the chain of events that led to the explosion. Considerable property damage occurred and there was the potential to cause serious injury or even death. One side of the house was totally demolished and debris was strewn over a wide area. The explosion caused the hot water service to shoot off like a rocket and landed 100 meters away, in another street.


The importance of working safely around gas With their many and varied roles, and a wealth of experience and diversity, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is working towards a safe and sustainable gas industry. Michael Weber, Technical Communicator at ESV tells us more.

The occupant admitted to Police that he modified the gas hot water service. This modification changed a safe installation into a very dangerous installation. What had happened was the leaking temperature pressure relief (TPR) valve was replaced with a standard tap fitting. In effect this simple operation removed a safety critical feature and allowed excess pressure to build-up. With nowhere to go, the steam built up in the hot water tank and caused it to explode. All this could have been avoided had the occupant engaged a qualified plumber to fix the leak in the first place. This incident identifies the need for the public to be aware of the dangers of carrying out plumbing work by themselves. It is against the law and it is dangerous. The health of gasfitters is also our concern, especially when it comes to carbon monoxide exposure.

Exposure occurs during gas appliance testing, such as gas heaters. Gasfitters may test a number of heaters in a working day and as a result will build up an accumulated exposure to carbon monoxide. ESV has issued an information sheet with worked examples to help gasfitters identify when they are approaching their limit of daily exposure. This sheet: • provides information about CO exposure • explains the need to keep exposure under check • provides worked examples to calculate exposure to carbon monoxide.

Searches can be conducted by date range for certificates and status of the certification. Additionally searches can be made by certification number or a model number, trade name or product description. Details such as total gas consumption, type of flame supervision and ignition may also be obtained. In addition annual energy consumption and star ratings are provided for products such as water heaters, space heaters and ducted heaters.

For further information visit esv.vic.gov.au

According to Safe Work Australia the maximum recommended exposure to carbon monoxide gas, measured over an eight hour period, is 30 ppm (parts per million) based upon a Workplace Exposure Standard. To assist gasfitters with gas appliance and component identification, ESV has developed a National Database for certified gas appliances and components. Gasfitters are now able to check online whether a product is certified while they are on the job. This database provides a complete listing of gas appliances and components certified by nationally recognised certification bodies.

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Remembering

Norman Lees Master Plumber, Gallipoli veteran

In 1914 Norman Lees was a young plumbing apprentice when the war interrupted his plumbing training. He signed up and joined the 8th Light Horse Regiment based in what is now suburban Broadmeadows in Melbourne. Initially, the Light Horse was considered unsuitable for the action in Gallipoli but in May 1915 they were sent to Gallipoli by boat without their horses. “They became foot sloggers,” says Norman’s grandson Max. The 8th Light Horse Regiment took part in what was to become the disastrous and horrific charge on a narrow ridge on the Gallipoli Peninsula called “The Nek”. This charge is depicted at the end of the unforgettable 1981 film Gallipoli.

This year we mark 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli in the First World War. Charlotte Roseby meets Master Plumbers Ian Lees and Maxwell Lees: the son and grandson of Master Plumber and Gallipoli survivor, Norman Lees.

It is a tragic story, by all accounts. The shelling was supposed to give the foot soldiers a chance to reach the Ottoman trenches, but there was a miss-timing, says Norman’s son Ian. The bombardment finished too early, allowing the Turkish troops to load their machine guns and rifles ready for the waves of soldiers who were about to go over the top. First over the top was the 8th Light Horse regiment, and they were immediately mown down. “Their instruction was to run across an area as big as two tennis courts and bayonet the enemy in the trenches,” says Max. “So they had to just run and dodge the bullets. They were armed just with bayonets. It was suicidal.” The Turkish were pleading with them not to charge, says Ian. “They all became pretty friendly when they stopped to bury their dead. Then they’d go back to their trenches and start again. It was such a shocking waste.” Norman was one of the few to survive the charge. “He went over the top in the charge together with a friend. When they were called back, his friend wasn’t with him. So Norman went back into No Man’s Land between the waves of charges and got him,” says Max. The remaining soldiers in Norman’s regiment travelled to Egypt and joined the forces in the Sinai Desert. Norman returned to Melbourne with his regiment in 1919.


Plumbers at war Do you know of a plumber who served in the First World War? Do you have a family member who joined the defence forces or perhaps volunteered as a nurse? We are collecting stories of plumbers at war, and we would love to hear your story. Contact Elaine Mathews on 03 9321 0703 or elaine.mathews@plumber.com.au.

The after-effects of the war The conditions in the trenches of Gallipoli were appalling, and Norman’s time spent in the harsh desert conditions of Egypt would have been incredibly difficult, but Ian says his Dad never talked about it. Humour was his response and a typical survival mechanism for returned soldiers. Max remembers asking his Grandfather about the war when he was a kid. “I asked him why he had a bullet hole in his hat,” says Max. ”He said ‘I wasn’t tall enough for them to get me!’.” Ian remembers a similar conversation: “He told me ‘I was lying behind a chap who was much bigger’.” It was dismissive humour, says Max, because he just did not want to talk about it. “I’m sure he suffered quite a bit,” says Ian, recalling his dad: “Whenever it looked like there was going to be a storm he’d always come home, go straight into the bedroom, shut the door, pull the curtains, and lie on the floor until it was all over. When there was thunder and lightning, that was the end of him,” says Ian. “He never said anything, said Ian. You’d just see him walking down the street and he’d come in and lie down. That went on for the rest of his life.” We now know that this was part post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD as it is known. Many returned servicemen and women suffered like this. The effects of war are deeply felt at home. What did Ian think of his Dad’s behaviour at the time? “You grow up with it and you don’t realise at the time – well, you never realise, because they don’t say anything. Mum used to say ‘Dad’s not feeling well, go and play,’ so you’d know to disappear.” What got Norman through, says Max and Ian, were his fellow veterans. Ian remembers his dad’s mates from the war coming into the shop: “They’d stay for half an hour and, after they’d gone,

Dad would be so pleased. It was quite noticeable … It was surprising the number who would come in and chat. There was incredible comradeship.”

1920: Cook, Lees – and Ginger Ian thinks Norman Lees befriended fellow First World War returnee Stan Cook at trade school after he returned home. The well-known plumber and plumbing teacher Albert Edward Smith (AE Smith) had taken both of them in for a refresher course at Swinburne, says Ian. “He put them through their paces and they got their licences.” Norman and Stan started their Kew plumbing business Cook & Lees in 1920, and they quickly became central figures in their community. In some streets of Kew, says Ian, they worked on every house in the street. “They were quite well-known around the town.” What also endeared Norman and Stan to the residents of Kew, was the four-legged member of the business: Ginger Meggs the chestnut horse. It is hard to imagine now, but it was horse and cart for plumbers in those days; you only got to drive a truck if you were doing really well, says Max. Stan and Norman started out with a four-wheel wagon and when “they got a bit more financial,” says Ian, they had a two-wheel jinker specially built by the local bodyworks, which served them for many years. Some of Cook & Lees earlier customers remembered the fateful night when Ginger hurtled down the steep hill of Princess Street and straight into the intersection at the bottom of the hill. It was a wet night in the wintertime, says Ian, and the roads were slippery with diesel. “Of course, there is no brake on the cart. You were relying on the horse to put his back feet down and skid and he skidded all right!” A tram driver saw the horse careering down the hill and stopped still. The horse finished up with his head in the tram.

“Ginger Meggs finished up with his feet on the step, and his head in the smoking compartment,” laughs Ian. The story goes that Ginger ended up with his nose busily perusing the form guide of the Sporting Globe. The horse and tram passengers survived the encounter. Ginger brought in a lot of business, in actual fact, says Ian. “People would ring up and make sure the horse was coming up, because they had a carrot or a bit of apple to give Ginger. It was quite a good deal, really.” Norman and Stan blackened and combed their beloved horse everyday and, in return, the horse helped out when the plumbers needed a new paintbrush: “They’d cut his mane whenever they needed a bit of hair for a spirit brush. The mane ended up quite short … fortunately they never started in on the tail,” laughs Ian.

The next chapter Stan Cook died in 1950 leaving Norman to run the substantial business by himself. After an apprenticeship with AE Smith & Son, Norman’s son Ian joined and eventually ran the company. Norman died in 1966. Ian and Max remember him as a very quiet man with many friends, and a dedicated and talented plumber who was adored by his customers. Although they are without a horse these days, Cook & Lees is still going strong after 95 years. Norman’s grandson Max , a third-generation Master Plumber, is now at the helm. After a highly successful science career Max took over the business in 2005 and he now also teaches Advanced Roofing at Holmesglen, for students sitting their roofing licence. Cook & Lees still garners great respect in Kew and surrounding suburbs, and stands just 100 metres away from Norman’s original shop.


Safety in the workplace. WorkSafe Victoria’s Director of Hazardous Industries, Ty Graham looks at some common risks faced by plumbers, and how they can be minimised. Whether it involves working at heights, the everyday use of power tools, working in trenches or confined spaces or handling awkward, sharp or heavy materials, plumbing work is high-risk. Unfortunately, all too often plumbers come to the attention of WorkSafe because of a serious workplace incident. In almost every case, the resultant investigation uncovers poor onsite work practices that have ignored known hazards and therefore have compromised safety. It shouldn’t be that way. Careful planning and supervision, and an understanding of the potential risks associated with the work being undertaken, will help prevent serious injuries – or worse. Here are some common risks faced by plumbers, and how they can be minimised.

Working on roofs Not surprisingly, falling from roofs can be one of the most dangerous risks any plumber can face if the work is not managed effectively. Plumbers are not only at risk of falling off the exterior edge or down voids but also through the roof itself as skylights and old roofs have the potential to give way under the plumber’s weight. Whether it’s a five-minute job, or a long-term project, there are four key elements to reducing risks associated with working at heights: • Plan the work to be done by identifying all potential falls risks and develop a safe work method statement (SWMS). The SWMS should be completed in consultation with the people doing the work. • Train workers so they are competent to perform the work and to operate any required equipment. Workers should also be provided with the necessary information and instruction to enable them to perform the work safely. • Implement fall protection measures listed in the SWMS, such as guard railing and scaffolding. • Supervise the work to ensure it is done safely, and ensure the SWMS is being followed and is effectively controlling the risks. While it is mandatory to develop and follow a SWMS for high risk construction work, it is also effective in managing the same risks for routine or minor, maintenance and repair work.


Working in trenches Working in trenches and other excavations to lay pipes or to complete water and sewerage connections is an integral part of the plumbing trade. Trench work, if not properly managed, can pose a significant risk to plumbers. Generally speaking, the deeper the trench, the greater the risk of ground collapse. However, even a metre-deep trench can pose a significant risk to plumbers, especially to plumbers who are below the ground level to work on pipes or other services. Before entering a trench: • Ensure appropriate engulfment protection, such as trench shields, has been installed. • Develop a SWMS for a trench deeper than 1.5 metres. • Have an emergency response plan (ERP) in place to deal with any potential incidents, such as worker rescue. When undertaking trenching work, ensure: • A competent person, experienced in trenching works, supervises and monitors the work. • Workers are instructed on the ERP and SWMS (and it is followed). • Workers never work ahead of the engulfment protection or remove it prematurely if protection is being progressively installed. • Materials, spoil and plant are kept away from the edge of the trench. • Workers not involved with the work and members of the public can’t access the trench. • Where there is a risk of children or other members of the public accessing the work area, ensure secure and stable site fencing is provided to prevent access. While the trench remains open, plumbers should ensure the trench and site security is inspected regularly – and as soon as possible – after any event that could affect the safety of the trench.

Working near overhead power lines Although we all know power lines are there, they’re not always easy to see. They can often blend into the background, especially when workers are focusing on other tasks. This can have tragic results. Often, it’s the simplest of tasks which can pose the greatest risk, such as: • Setting up and operating elevated work platforms. • Manoeuvring lengths of spouting or long roofing sheets into position. • Lifting ladders or lengths of metallic pipe in the air. • Loading materials on and off vehicles. Making contact with live power lines is never going to end well. Death, or horrific burns and internal injuries are clear reasons to effectively manage the risks. If the plumbing work to be undertaken near power lines is high risk construction work, a SWMS must be prepared to control the risks and then followed. As this activity will always present risks, plumbers should consider developing a SWMS whenever they work near power lines.

Transporting gas cylinders Plumbers use oxy-acetylene and other flammable gasses in their work every day. That means plumbers are often not only required to work with it, but also routinely transport cylinders to and from the worksite in their vehicles. The greatest risk is if a gas cylinder leaks into the vehicle. Because flammable gases do not disperse quickly, any leak has the potential to accumulate and ignite, causing an explosion. This can result in serious injury or even death. In many gas explosions, a vehicle’s electrical system has been the ignition source. When transporting gas cylinders, it’s important to secure the cylinders in an upright position, in a cargo compartment with adequate ventilation. Gas cylinders should not be stored in the cabin of the vehicle.

Working with angle grinders Angle grinders are one of the most common hand held power tools used in plumbing work. But, angle grinders have the potential to be fatal if not used correctly. Serious injuries occur when flying projectiles, such as shattered discs, strike the operator or nearby workers, or when the angle grinder blade kicks back and strikes the operator. Employers should determine what tasks can be performed safely with angle grinders and what tasks are best left to alternative equipment. Training workers on how to safely use and work around angle grinders is essential. Workers should be instructed on the tasks appropriate to be completed with angle grinders and have an understanding of the angle grinder’s kickback quadrant and how to position themselves out of the line of fire. The 9” angle grinder should not be the default tool for cutting steel or masonry. Workers should consider instead, using nibblers, metal shears, concrete pipe cutters and metal cold saws. If an angle grinder is the most appropriate tool for the task, ensure the smallest grinder practicable is used, any discs fitted are good quality and comply with the angle grinder manufacturer’s specifications (such as having the correct RPM rating and mounting hole) and are suitable for the materials being cut.

Working with sheet metal Working with roofing iron and other sheet metal means plumbers are particularly at risk of cuts to the hand. Fortunately, there is a cheap and easy way to reduce hand injuries – rip resistant gloves. These are not old gardening or riggers’ gloves but purpose-designed work gloves. The new generation of gloves provide improved grip and hand protection without significantly reducing dexterity.

For further information and to access guidance material visit worksafe.vic.gov.au

If you cannot avoid transporting gas cylinders in closed-type vehicles such as a van, a gas storage cabinet that is vented to the outside of the vehicle and is vapour-tight from the cabin must be fitted. The cabinet door must be securely sealed whenever cylinders are stored in the cabinet.

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Road blocks to good health and safety With several decades experience working in the occupational health and safety industry Angela Ayling, Executive Officer, Master Plumbers’ Association Tasmania takes a look at recurring problems she had found in all workplaces that struggled getting WHS right! Suffocation by paperwork If you do not have this problem, no doubt you would have seen it. It is that pulp mill of WHS paperwork. It is the policies, procedures, forms, SWMs, SWATs, SWA, JSAs, registers, risk tables, flow charts, MDSs and the list goes on. Yes we need the right information and we do need to document it, however, if we spend more time producing the print material on work health and safety than actually doing it we have got problems. The road to good health and safety can quickly become blocked by a pulp mill of paperwork. As adults, our learning capacity deteriorates and most of us need to hear things at least three times before it sinks in. Firing reams of WHS paper work off to employees and asking them to sign that they have read it is often a good way to guarantee failure. As adults, we learn best by being shown and practical experience; make the time for this way of learning. Tool box and staff meetings work well and give employees the opportunity to ask questions and raise WHS issues that they normally may not.

Focus on what is important and accept the bad news Workplaces can quickly become obsessed with wanting to know how ‘good’ their work health and safety is and measure this ‘goodness’ by what are commonly referred to as ‘positive performance indicators’. Statistics related to Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates, reduced accident free days and reductions in workers compensation premiums make for good reading. The biggest problem with this sort of measurement is that it focuses on the slips, trips and fall types of hazard and not the big hazard that happens very rarely, but results in serious injury and or death. 40 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

These measurements also rely on employees reporting, which is problematic in itself. Too often employees do not report accidents, injuries or illness because they have a perception that it will go against them in their employment. Additionally some workplaces have incentive or bonus schemes that reward a reduction in reporting. In these sorts of situations what is most likely to happen is that employees will not report hazards, near misses, injuries and illness. It is that quiet mumbling that goes on at smoko time about the trench that nearly caved in, or the near miss on the roof that employers need to tap into. It is that ‘bad’ news that we need to know about and talk about. It is the near misses of today that we do not talk about that sadly and frequently become the fatalities of tomorrow.

Do not rely on common sense Another road block to good WHS is the ‘common sense’ myth. Sadly common sense is often not common and rarely sensible. I remember one workplace that considered the operation of a particular piece of equipment to be ‘common sense’ until a new employee, only 18 years of age, operated that equipment on his second week at work and was killed. What had been considered ‘common sense’ was very quickly debunked in the coronial proceedings that followed. In a decision handed down in 1994 (Cream vs Port of Napier Ltd 1994), District Court Judge A J Adeanne stated: ‘Any system of work in which workers are subject to no precautions but those arising from the workers’ common sense, is liable, if not certain, to be condemned as unsafe by any measure.’ I think there is a message in that for all of us!

So, is there any simple answer to guarantee good health and safety? No there is not, but there are some tips to help you on your way. 1 Focus on what counts by encouraging frank, open and honest conversations about health and safety. Make time to listen and make sure WHS is a regular item in staff/toolbox meetings. 2 Encourage the election of health and safety representatives or, in larger workplaces, the formation of health and safety committees. 3 Do not use ‘common sense’ as your health and safety system. 4 Make your WHS info understandable and practical. Do not get confused or spend your time setting up WHS roadblocks. It really is simple. It is about sending your employees home, free from workplace injury and illness. It is about encouraging and rewarding the ‘bad news’ so that you can turn it into good WHS news, this is the ultimate goal of good work health and safety.


Time mastery:

take care of the rocks first Brett Burden from Action Coach discusses how making better choices will help you achieve time mastery. Time management is a popular topic in and around business circles, but the truth is nobody (at least mortal) can actually “manage” time. Therefore if you’re trying to implement such a strategy in your life/ business, then I’d suggest you stop now before you do irreparable harm to your ego due to constant failure. The good news is there is no need to manage time, you just need to know how to manage YOU. Once you do that TIME MASTERY will come about. Quite simply if you find yourself using the old worn out phase “I just don’t have enough time”, or something to that effect, you need to stop, as it has little to do with not enough time and everything to do with choices and priorities. The solution is simple: better choices = more time to do what’s really important (to you or your business). The comment I often get from clients is “That’s fabulous Brett, except I haven’t had a lot of success in the past when it comes to making better choices, otherwise I wouldn’t still be so time poor”. It’s a valid comment, and fortunately there are many solutions available. But first I’d like to share a great anecdote about choices and priorities. A professor stood before his philosophy class sipping from his customary morning coffee. When the class began, wordlessly, he put down his coffee and pulled from under his desk a four litre, wide mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. From under his desk he then produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he then asked the students if the jar was full. With a unanimous “yes” they all agreed it was.

“Really?” he asked. He then reached under the desk and produced a bucket of pebbles. Pouring its contents carefully into the mason jar the professor would stop occasionally and shake the jar to ensure the pebbles would work their way down into the space between the big rocks. He continued this same process until there was no space left. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. And once again they all agreed it was. He then brought out a bucket of sand and started the same process all over again, pouring in sand until the jar was just about overflowing. “Now”, said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things, your family, children, health, passions, dreams and so on. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full”. “The pebbles are the other things that matter – like how you spend your day and how you earn an income to live comfortably and afford the passions and dreams. The sand is everything else – the small stuff.” If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for life.” Simply put, the moral of this tale is that many of us spend our time and energy on the small stuff, leaving little room for the things that are really important. Earlier I mentioned the solutions for gaining mastery over time, so let’s explore those. There are many different tools available, but the three we most commonly use together are: the time audit, the time target and the default diary.

Here’s a quick overview of each one… • The time audit is quite simply a record of how you currently spend your workday broken down into 15 minute intervals. Each activity is then given a rating based on their ROI (return on investment). • The time target is used to further analyze the time audit and to classify entries into one of four areas (Zone, Demand, Delusion, and Distraction). This step is a crucial in the process. • A default diary is then created from the outcomes of the time target exercise and becomes a visual representation of how we should spend each day if everything went to plan. Unlike a normal diary (or calendar) the default diary doesn’t change from week to week. The goal now is to do everything possible to stick to it. This takes us back to choices and priorities. You can take the attitude that “It all sounds too hard” or you can make the choice to give it a go. What have you got to lose? Not time that’s for sure!

Where to from here? I would suggest you start writing a list of the things that are critical to your happiness and success – identify your big rocks. Examples might include: Life priorities: Spending time with your partner, or finding a partner! Picking up the kids from school or getting involved with their sports. Getting fit and eating healthy. Taking up golf or learning to dance. Business priorities: Planning your exit from doing the day to day stuff. Developing a safety culture that leads to zero incidents and improved productivity. Perhaps it’s setting up systems that allow you to take regular holidays or learning more about business in general. If the list you were able to come up with isn’t motivating then there is no need to do anything. And remember, take care of rocks and pebbles because the rest is just sand.

Case study: KC Roof Plumbing By changing the way he spent his time, over eight months small business owner Casey from KC Roof Plumbing has gone from working flat out on the tools and “having no time” to being able to take an extended Japanese snowboarding holiday whilst his business operated seamlessly. By his own admission Casey didn’t follow the time plan 100 per cent, but just by doing portion of it he has dramatically improved his business and made life so much more interesting. Casey is now planning take time off in May and June to pursue a lifelong ambition of securing his commercial helicopter ticket.


To help reduce the risks faced by young plumbers, it is important that you put processes in place to ensure that they are fully equipped to deal with health and safety hazards in your workplace

Apprentice safety. Rod Tresidder, Master Plumbers Occupational Health & Safety Officer, talks about apprentice safety and your role and responsibilities as an employer. With the new year well and truly underway you may have found it necessary to employ a new plumbing apprentice. Some may be young and inexperienced and if this is the case, you need to be aware that these young plumbers are at greater risk of injury compared to more experienced plumbers. To help reduce the risks faced by young plumbers, it is important that you put processes in place to ensure that they are fully equipped to deal with health and safety hazards in your workplace.


In order to limit the risks to young plumbers and apprentices, you must ensure that you:

At the end of your induction, new plumbers and apprentices should:

• Promote a strong safety culture.

• Have been shown around and introduced to key people, including supervisors, health and safety personnel and first aid officers.

• Provide adequate personal protective equipment and supervision.

• Know and understand the duties and responsibilities of their job.

• Ensure regular consultation.

• Have been provided with information and training on the hazards and risks specific to their job.

• Have safety policies and procedures in place.

• Carry out an induction. An induction program is an important part of any workplace. It allows new workers to quickly understand the responsibilities of their role, the nature of your workplace and your expectations of them.

Prior to commencing work/attending worksite, young plumbers and apprentices should: • Have been issued with his/her personal protective equipment (PPE). • Have been allocated adequate supervision dependent upon their skill and experience.

• Know about any safe work procedures that relate to their job.

• Have attended an induction tailored to cultural and learning needs designed to educate to ensure that they familiar with the work site and any hazards they may encounter.

• Have been informed of your policies, such as anti-bulling or how to raise a complaint.

As an employer it is essential that you ensure the following when a new apprentice commences work.

• Be aware of the process involved to report injuries and hazards. • Know the location of first aid facilities and understand emergency evacuation procedures.

1 Provide adequate supervision

2 Encourage a safety dialogue

Adequate supervision requires you to monitor the young plumber’s work practices as closely as reasonably practicable (particularly when they first commence work with you) so you can correct any unsafe work habits and be available for questions.

Young and inexperienced plumbers may be timid and less likely to speak up about a health and safety concern.

It also provides an opportunity for the plumbing supervisor to lead by example reinforcing safety policies and procedures. Consider the following when deciding on your adequate supervision requirements: • Direct supervision (visual contact and within audible range)

The plumber supervising works with the young plumber, constantly reviewing the work practices and standards of the apprentices work. The plumber supervising shall be readily available in the immediate area, within earshot and where possible, within visual contact of the young plumber.

• General supervision (on-site face-to-face contact all day)

The plumber supervising must be in attendance and to provide face-to-face contact throughout the day. The supervisor should progressively check the work being performed and provide the young plumber with additional instructions and/or assistance as required.

• Broad supervision (face to face contact during the day)

They are more likely to follow a more senior plumber in performing an unsafe practice than speak up and they generally reluctant raise safety issues and/or dobbing on their co-workers. It is important that you emphasise the importance of raising safety concerns and ensure your young plumbers and apprentices: • Know how to report unsafe conditions or hazards in the workplace. • Encouraged to share workplace health and safety information by participating in toolbox and team meetings. • Encouraged to talk with their supervisor, colleagues and other health and safety representatives. • Encouraged to speak up.

3 Provide adequate training and promote a safety culture You must ensure all your workers have appropriate information, instruction and training to ensure that their work is done safety and their health is not put at risk. Show young workers how to use any necessary equipment, and how and when to use any personal protective equipment such as gloves or goggles. It’s a good idea to get apprentices to demonstrate their competency before starting work and especially before commencing a new task. Demonstrate your commitment to health and safety with your own consistent and safe work practices. Emphasise that unsafe work practices are unacceptable and respond to all health and safety concerns and act promptly. Encourage other employees to support young workers by keeping an eye out for them. Implement a “buddy” system by pairing up young workers with experienced, safety-conscious employees who are good role models and clear communicators (but remember a buddy does not replace the daily responsibility of the supervisor).

Master Plumbers can assist with all your workplace health and safety needs. Our Safety Plan and Work Health and Safety Workshop can help you create a safe workplace To find out more contact Rod Tresidder on 03 9321 0745 or email rod.tresidder@plumber.com.au

The plumber supervising does not need to provide constant attendance but needs to provide face-to-face contact on site to check on the young plumber and the work being carried out. www.plumber.com.au | 43


Copper redux

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A rapidly changing building market and smarter products are giving copper plumbing a whole new edge says John Fennell.

Nothing is changing as fast as the Australian building industry as the focus shifts from single houses to higher and higher apartment blocks. That’s putting a lot more focus on plumbing systems that can handle all that height and all those homes. That’s been good news for copper as alternate systems like plastics have struggled to handle the complexities of taller, multi-residential buildings. Apart from the system pressures generated by high rises, the special installation requirements for alternate products either haven’t been well communicated to plumbers or there’s limited training options around. For example current commercial building designs provide little room for service ducts for pipe work and limited post construction access, but copper’s compact nature and ease of installation means that’s not been a stretch.

The emergence of solar heated hot water is another factor. Only copper or stainless steel pipes are approved for connecting the solar collector and storage container because of potentially extreme temperatures (up to 120°C). Same story when connecting to electric or gas water heaters, metallic pipes must be used between the isolation valve and the inlet to a water heater or within 1 m of the outlet of a water heater. (See AS/NZS 35500.4)

4

Smart, simple and swift Another major reason for the resurgence of copper plumbing is the introduction of the press-fit joining system to the Australian plumbing industry.

Some alternate products also have severely limited life expectancies when exposed to hot water temperatures greater than 70°C or cannot be exposed to direct sunlight and ultraviolet light. Not a problem for copper either.

Press-fit has been used in Europe and the USA for more than 30 years. This flame free connection system is fast and easy to use providing a high quality joint guaranteed up to 1,600kPa for hot and cold water. One of the major advantages of press-fit is that each supplier’s product can be used with any WaterMark compliant copper tube and most have the ability to use one type of pressing tool irrespective of the brand of Press-Fit fitting being used.

The fact that plastic pipes need increased support with bracketing up to 3 times greater than metallic piping is another market opportunity that’s opened up for copper in the new building market. Expansion and contraction is a major issue in hot water lines with plastic pipes expanding significantly (up to 10 times) more than metallic pipes.

There is an extensive range of press-fit fittings that are fully certified and WaterMark approved for most sizes of copper tubes. With all products there are helpful hints to ensure they are used correctly. Press-fit is no different and although it is being taught to the current apprentices, experienced plumbers need to ensure they follow the following hints:

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Press-Fit-Perfecting your press Action

Why?

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Deburr the inside and outside of all tube.

This is critical for press fitting connections, as any burrs on the tube can damage the O-ring and cause failure of your connection. It also minimises turbulence and pressure loss.

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Mark the insertion depth on your tube by lining up the fitting side by side with the tube. When the fitting is inserted onto the tube, the outer edge of the fitting must line up with the marking.

Correct insertion depths are fundamental to a perfect press. Incorrectly inserted tube can lead to failure of your connection.

3

Ensure you have the correct fitting for the application. Do not swap O-rings between fittings

Press fittings are currently available for different applications and are identified by three different O-rings: • Water Black O-ring • Gas

Yellow O-ring

• Solar Red O-ring Not all O-rings are suitable for all applications, choosing the correct fitting is critical to the integrity of your press connection. Refer to product literature or contact your supplier for application suitability. Swapping O-rings can increase the risk of damaging the O-ring and may also void product warranties.

4

Ensure O-rings are present and in good condition.

Missing or damaged O-rings will lead to a failed connection. The O-ring is integral to a complete press connection.

5

Ensure the inside press jaw profile is free of debris, grease or damage. Jaws should be cleaned after every use.

Any debris, grease or damage on a jaws inside profile can lead to damage to the fitting upon pressing.

6

When closing the press jaw onto the fitting, ensure the jaw is straight and the raised bump in the fitting rests inside the grooved profile of the jaw.

A misalignment of the jaw and fitting can lead to a failed press connection. Jaw and fitting should always be aligned prior to activating the press.

7

Visually inspect all fittings to ensure the press has been completed.

An incomplete press will lead to a leak in your connection. Pressed fittings will display indents on the fitting and no gap between the fitting and tube.

cbus When it comes to super, you can rely on

At Cbus, we make meeting your super obligations easy:

• We have a range of online contribution payment options. • Access to financial advice for Cbus members. • Regular communication with members and employers. At Cbus we invest back into the building and construction industry as part of our investment strategy, thereby creating jobs.

Call Cbus on 1300 361 784 or visit www.cbussuper.com.au Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Contact 1300 361 784 or visit www.cbussuper.com.au for a copy. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.

www.plumber.com.au | 45


Unfair dismissal: drug tests and breaching employer policy Phil Eberhard, Master Plumbers Senior Workplace Relations Advisor, discusses several recent decisions by the Fair Work Commission relating to drugs and alcohol. Over the past couple of months the Fair Work Commission (Commission) has handed down three decisions; the central feature of which was that the employee involved was found to have had a positive drug test and as a consequence of such, breached their employers’ drug /alcohol policy. In all three instances the employee concerned had been dismissed from their employment. All three employees had applied to the Commission claiming that their termination was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. The first of the three decisions was a decision by Senior Deputy President Richards in Mr Christopher Collins v Lyndons Pty Ltd T/A Lyndons ([2014] FWC 5903, 1 September 2014)(Lyndons). The second was a decision of a full bench (Senior Deputy President Drake, Senior Deputy President Hamberger and Commissioner Johns) in Harbour City Ferries Pty Ltd v Mr Christopher Toms ([2014] FWCFB 6249, 12 September 2014) (Harbour City Ferries). The full bench proceedings followed an appeal from a single member (Deputy President Lawrence). The third decision was a decision by Commissioner Cambridge in Tara Leigh Cunningham v Downer EDI Mining Pty Limited ([2015] FWC 318, 14 January 2015)(Downer).

Lyndons In summary, the Commission determined that:

The application was dismissed. In reaching this decision, the Commission determined that:

“The Company’s drug and alcohol policy states its purpose in generic terms, such as ‘maintaining a work environment and workplace in which the safety and optimal performance of work is not adversely affected by the use of alcohol or other drugs’.” “The policy does not state that the Company maintains a zero tolerance approach to drugs and alcohol generally. Instead, the policy has an objective … and preserves for itself a range of options for responding to positive tests (which include dismissal).”

“The policy does not set out whether an employee, upon returning a non-negative result, will be stood down on pay or without pay or will be required to access their accruals.”

”The policy permits the employer to require an individual to undergo drug and alcohol testing upon reasonable suspicion that they may be under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”

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“the Applicant … presented an unmanageable workplace health and safety risk to his employer, and the Applicant’s dismissal was a reasonable and defensible course of action open to the Company in the circumstances … In the end, however, the Applicant’s lifestyle choices (or the legacy thereof) could not be reconciled with his duties as a driver and the obligations upon his employer to provide a safe workplace.”

“The policy does not state that any breach of the policy will result in dismissal. The drug and alcohol policy states, instead, as follows: If an employee is found to have breached this policy, they may be subject to disciplinary action. The type and severity of the disciplinary action will depend upon the circumstances of the case and the seriousness of the breach. In serious

cases, this may include termination of employment.

Examples of disciplinary action that may be taken include (but are not limited to):

1 performance counselling; 2 a formal warning; 3 suspension; 4 demotion; 5 termination of employment on notice; 6 summary termination of employment; and 7 referral to an employee assistance program (EAP) and/or some other referral source, for counselling, treatment or rehabilitation for drug or alcohol dependency.”

“The circumstances of this matter, when taken together, provide a reasonable, defensible and sound basis for the Company’s decisionmaking, and are sufficient when viewed on an objective basis to establish that the Company had a valid reason for the dismissal of the Applicant ...”

“The Company drug and alcohol policy – either in its comprehensive form or in its summary statement – does not articulate a zero tolerance approach to a non-negative/positive drug test results nor does it mandate automatic dismissal upon a breach. The policy is couched in flexible terms to allow the Company to deal with situations it encounters on a case by case basis.”

The Commission expressed a concern as to how the employer reacted to the employee’s positive test. The Commission expressed the following view:

“I think, in the circumstances, knowing the Applicant had disclosed a chronic drug use problem, the Company ought to reasonably have given him an opportunity to set out in full how he intended to respond to his problems over time.”


mastering workplace relations

Harbour City Ferries

Downer

Summary

In the original decision, Deputy President Lawrence found that whilst there was a valid reason for the termination of the employee’s employment, the termination was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. Deputy President Lawrence ordered that the employee be reinstated.

In summary, the Commission found that:

These three decisions clearly demonstrate that drugs (and alcohol) at work do not mix. There are obligations under the relevant OHS Legislation for both an employer and an employee. Such obligations cannot be ignored by either the employee, nor the employer.

Harbour City Ferries appealed the decision. The full bench granted permission to appeal and allowed the appeal. Deputy President Lawrence’s decision was quashed and the application was dismissed.

In reaching this decision, the Commission determined that:

“The lack of any impairment arising from drug use, the absence of a link between drug use and the accident and the absence of substantial damage to the Marjorie Jackson are not factors relevant to the ground of misconduct identified as noncompliance with the Policy. The fact is that Harbour City required its policy complied without discussion or variation. As an employer charged with public safety it does not want to have a discussion following an accident as to whether or not the level of drug use of one of its captains was a factor. It does not want to listen to the uninformed in the broadcasting or other communications industry talk about drug tests establishing impairment. It does not need to have a discussion with any relevant insurer, litigant or passenger’s legal representative about those issues. What it wants is obedience to the policy. Harbour City never wants to have to have the discussion.”

“The applicant was dismissed for breaching what the employer has described as a cardinal rule involving attending the workplace under the influence of a non-approved drug. Consequently, the reason for the dismissal of the applicant must be considered in the context of a serious breach of a workplace alcohol and drug testing regime.” “Workplace drug and alcohol testing regimes are mechanisms which improve safety for workers. Individuals who attend a workplace like the Mine under the influence of drugs or alcohol endanger the lives of other workers.” “Workplace drug testing regimes will operate with enhanced success if any disciplinary consequences arising from specific test result failures are applied firmly but fairly. The circumstances of each individual case should be considered on its own facts and merits without the adoption of an inflexible zero tolerance approach.”

The decisions also demonstrate the various competing interests that exist when seeking to introduce a drug and /or alcohol policy. These competing interests should be taken into account when drafting a drug and alcohol policy. As in all unfair dismissal applications, the facts of the particular case will be the ones that are examined and considered in determining whether or not the decision to terminate the employees’ employment was in fact harsh, unjust or unreasonable. It is therefore imperative that an employer provide the employee with a fair go all round. However, each of the decisions provides an insight into the things that should be included in any drug and alcohol policy.

The application was dismissed.

In summary, the Commission found that:

“The core issue, the valid reason for termination of Mr Tom’s employment was his deliberate disobedience, as a senior employee, of a significant policy.”

Master Plumbers members who require health and safety advice about introducing a drug / alcohol policy please contact Rod Tresidder, Occupational Health & Safety Officer, on 03 9321 0745, 0406 996 301 or rod.tresidder@plumber.com.au. To access industrial relations advice about introducing a drug / alcohol policy please contact Phil Eberhard, Senior Workplace Relations Adviser, Master Plumbers, on 03 9321 0720, 0425 790 722 or phil.eberhard@plumber.com.au. www.plumber.com.au | 47


Duct Association

echoes calls for tightening up compliance ADMA says it’s time all duct manufacturers adhere to the standards In response to the recent survey of insulated flexible ducting by Insulation Australasia (IA), which revealed that not all nine samples achieved its stated R1.0 performance, the Australian Duct Manufacturers Alliance (ADMA) has echoed calls for greater compliance and enforcement of standards. According to ADMA Chairman Paul Sterling, the Association has been aware of the issue for some time. “ADMA has been long aware of the confronting claims and performance discrepancies present in the flexible duct market. It has been an ongoing concern throughout Australia and it was the primary driver behind the incorporation of ADMA as an Industry Association,” he says. Sterling suggests that all flexible duct manufacturers have a responsibility to adhere to standards. “While ADMA is not a regulatory authority and therefore does not have the ability to police the industry, members of ADMA and non-members alike have the responsibility in ensuring that the final product that is produced and sold to the Australian public meets the Australian Standards. For this reason, ADMA will work proactively with its members in ensuring that the standards are understood,” explains Sterling.

48 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

However, one of the biggest challenges in trying to ensure compliance in the industry is the lack of available resources for on-going testing. As a memberfunded organisation, ADMA’s resources are limited according to Sterling.

Should flexible duct be added to the E3 star rating scheme, any manufacturer wishing to have their product ‘Star Rated’ under the scheme will require all performance claims to be validated by E3’s internal auditing process.

“The Department of Industry has been approached on many occasions to help with the funding requirements for testing and policing but we have had very little, if any, response. This has made it difficult in continuing to move forward as support from The Department of Industry is required for both financial and legislative backing.”

This process includes that the product will not only have to comply with the relevant Australian Standards and NCC requirements but also has to be independently certificated and accredited by the regulators nominated third party.

ADMA has been working hard in the background gathering information and pushing the envelope in terms of Australian standards to make changes within the industry. In 2013 ADMA was able to push the National Construction Code (NCC) to introduce labelling requirements for duct that is being used in the market. He explains, “Although this change is an obvious one, it is a necessary step in ensuring that the flexible duct industry moves in the right direction. This ensures that during installation and after completion, the distributor of the product in question is held responsible for the product that is installed. This is the first step of streamlining the market.” In other recent developments, ADMA has been approached by the E3 Committee, the body responsible for star rating of whitegoods/appliances. E3 is considering expanding its current ‘appliance only’ scope to include non-energy consuming products that get connected to energy consuming products, like flexible duct, which in turn have a significant bearing on the efficiency of the energy consuming product .

According to Sterling, the NCC’s thermal testing methodology for flexible duct is another area, which requires review. “ADMA believes that the current thermal test method of flexible duct is inappropriate and misrepresentative of how the product preforms in the real world, and ADMA supports the introduction of a new test method which more appropriately represents installed performance.” Furthermore, in an effort to assist installers and surveyors better understand the required practices of duct installation; ADMA is also launching an interactive installation certification system for flexible duct in early 2015, the first of its kind in the industry. ADMA will continue to work on such programs to do their part to ensure Australian consumers get what they pay for. ADMA invites any concerns or feedback regarding flexible ducting, which can be communicated by visiting www.adma.net.au


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www.plumber.com.au | 49


Public Liability overview Arranging insurance for your business can often be considered a chore, a task that you put aside for another day. However, what many don’t realise is that having the right insurance is one of the most important things in running a small enterprise. You’ve worked hard to build up a customer base and establish yourself as a respectable plumber. Should someone make a claim against you that sees you pay out five, or six figure sums, could your business sustain such a loss without adequate insurance? An annual or monthly premium payment can not only cover you for financial loss, but it also takes away that worry of being uninsured. Public liability insurance is designed to cover personal injury or property damage caused by an occurrence in connection with your business, including the cost of any damages awarded and costs to defend the claim. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are complexities in who and what your public liability insurance might extend to. Depending on the structure of your business and the type of work you engage in, there are add-ons that you should consider that might best suit your individual requirements. For more details about this cover it’s always best to consult with your broker first and read the insurance policy wording.

Sub-contractors It is common for many plumbing contractors to engage the services of subcontractors when the work is short-term and expert trade’s skills are needed for a certain period or when additional workers are required to complete a particular job. As sub-contractors are not employees of your business, should they cause personal injury or property damage through their negligence resulting in a third party making a public liability claim, your business may be legally liable to pay such claims as the sub-contractor was completing work on your behalf. It is extremely important that you ensure that: • All sub-contractors have a current public liability policy, and they provide you with a copy of their policy in the format of a Certificate of Currency

Victorian plumbers March proves to be a busy time for plumbers based and/or operating in Victoria as you prepare to get your paperwork in order to renew your license. Make sure your insurance is current with public liability and defect warranty to meet licensing requirements and submitted with your renewal. When renewing with Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers, we take the liberty of submitting your insurance documentation to Victorian Building Authority on your behalf. To avoid any delays in receiving your plumbing license renewal, it’s important to organise your insurance paperwork as early as possible. That means: • reviewing your documents so you understand what you are covered for. • contacting your broker if there have been any changes to your working circumstances so new details can be updated and accurately reflected on your insurance documents. • importantly, paying your insurance renewal on time to avoid any delays in receiving your proof of insurance or Certificate of Currency.

• Your current public liability policy includes appropriate provision for vicarious liability and/or sub-contractors Noticing recent increases in sub-contractor claims, it’s important that you notify your broker if you hire sub-contractors so they can advise of a suitable insurance solution for your needs.

To find out more about obtaining business insurance, call Marsh today: Marsh Pty Ltd trading as Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) can arrange insurance for all of the aforementioned risks, and a number of other products designed to cover you and your business, including:

• • • • • •

Income Protection Insurance Motor Vehicle Insurance Business Insurance Machinery Insurance Household Insurance Tools Insurance

Please contact a Marsh representative to discuss your individual needs: Call 1300 300 511 Email mpib.australia@marsh.com Visit www.marsh.com.au

About Marsh Advantage Insurance: About Marsh Advantage Insurance: Marsh Advantage Insurance is a leading provider of insurance broking services for businesses across Australia. Our company is built on a culture dedicated to understanding the risk and insurance needs of local and national businesses that operate in our cities, regions and communities. We are driven by a commitment to deliver industry leading service and value for our clients. Marsh Advantage Insurance sits alongside Marsh as part of Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global team of professional services firms offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. 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 Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303 AFSL 238369) arrange the insurance and is not the insurer. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by Marsh Advantage Insurance, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry.

50 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015


IS IT TIME TO RENEW YOUR PLUMBING LICENSE? Contact Marsh Advantage Insurance for a competitive quote and join the 4000 plumbers across Victoria already with us. We can arrange public liability insurance starting from $589*, and email your certificate of currency directly to the VBA. To get a quote, call 1300 300 511 or visit trades.marshadvantage.com.au/plumbers *Premium includes statutory charges and broker fee and is based on two licensed plumbers on domestic plumbing work with turnover less than $200,000 per year with nil previous claims. Acceptance of cover is subject to underwriter guidelines. Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (MPIB) is a trading name of Marsh Advantage Insurance. The MPIB brand name are owned by the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) and used under license by Marsh Advantage Insurance. Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL No. 238 369) arranges this insurance and is not the insurer. MPMSAA receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by us, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. Public liability insurance is underwritten by Vero Insurance Limited (ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230 859). This page contains general information and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is available from Marsh Advantage Insurance.


Workplace bullying. Workplace bullying can have a profound effect on all aspects of a person’s health as well as their work and family life says Bully Zero Australia Foundation’s CEO, Oscar Yildiz. Did you know that one in eight Australian employees are bullied? Bullying has significant flow-on effects for the community and the economy, with the Productivity Commission estimating the total cost of workplace bullying in Australia at between $6 billion and $36 billion annually. Depression and anxiety are hidden factors that cost Australian businesses around $10.9 Billion a year. Victoria is the only state in Australia that enacted laws in 2011 that make workplace bullying a crime, punishable by ten years jail. Workplace bullying can have a profound effect on all aspects of a person’s health, productivity, family life, peace of mind and can lead to severe psychological and emotional problems.

The impact on organisations can include: lower productivity, reputation damage, disruption and low efficiency, increased absenteeism, presenteeism, high staff turnover and stress. If this does not alarm you, think of the direct costs of dealing with complaints and costs associated with potential litigation and the stress related costs via workers compensation with resultant increases in insurance premiums and/or rehabilitation costs. Bully Zero Australia Foundation was launched by The Hon Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 16 March 2013. The Foundation has prevented the suicides of 18 lives via its 24/7 Bully Hotline 1800 0 BULLY (1800 028 559) and educated over 65,000 students, parents, teachers, employees, apprentices, trainees, sporting clubs and community groups Nationally. The mission of Bully Zero Australia Foundation is to provide genuine and enduring care for bullying victims and their families. We exist to identify and empower bullying victims, to support and stand side by side with them, their families and friends in taking action and creating permanent positive change. In two short years the Foundation has achieved so much and is working towards achieving its vision to protect and empower Australians to live a fulfilling life free from all forms of bullying.

Did you know as an employer you must: Train staff on the topic of workplace bullying prevention and management. Be aware of and identify bullying behaviour. Provide a safe and bully free workplace. Provide policies and procedures to prevent bullying. Take reasonable actions to prevent bullying. Respond to any complaint immediately. Keep abreast with changes in law.

Bully Zero Australia Foundation delivers half day or full day Programs in your workplace. As an employer you benefit by: Identifying bullying and its varied forms; including cyber bullying Being aware of the symptoms of bullying. Being aware of the effects on the workplace environment and culture. Understanding what actions can be taken – formal complaints, reporting. What victims can do about and where to seek support. Understanding strategies to manage bullying.

For further information visit bzaf.org.au or call 03 9094 3718.

52 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015


Mental health and safety Suicide Awareness Training for a safer work place Incolink has 15 years experience working to reduce suicide in the building and construction industry. The program has been developed for the industry and in consultation with key representatives from major industry bodies and involves both training sessions and counselling. Incolink is offering sessions to industry and can come to your office or worksite to deliver this training free of charge.

Why should you take advantage of this free work place safety training? Everyone has times in their life when they experience an event that temporarily increases their stress long enough to have a negative impact. This does not mean they are weaker than others or lack good coping skills. A person who experiences some of the changes in behaviour mentioned below is not necessarily at risk of depression or thoughts of suicide. However, on average 2,250 people die by suicide in Australia each year. Four times more men die by suicide than women. The reasons people decide to take their own life are many and complex. An unexpected event or critical incident can be a trigger to the feelings that may lead to thoughts of suicide.

A person who is suicidal may have the following signs and symptoms: • Increased stress – usually from a single event but can also be the pressures of everyday life being allowed to build up to an unmanageable degree. A low level of stress can have beneficial effects by increasing your energy, stamina and concentration. Too much stress can lead to lack of concentration, poor decision making, fatigue, absenteeism and physical symptoms such as sweating and headaches.

• Increased alcohol and/or drug use – Someone who has feelings of hopelessness that depression sometimes brings may try to numb these feelings by increasing their intake of drugs and alcohol. Someone who begins drinking more often than usual may experience negative effects on their health, their sleep, their mood the day after and, in severe cases, their attendance. • Changes in behaviour – A previously friendly co-worker may withdraw from group conversations; a normally calm manager may be quick to anger or become irritable over small matters. • Physical changes – After a few weeks of feeling depressed the person may start to take less interest in their general health and wellbeing. Their appearance may start to change; they may not be sleeping well and changes in appetite can lead to a change in weight. • Talk of suicide or feeling hopeless and worthless.

Who can most benefit from this training? The Incolink training has been developed to suit workers and managers in the industry with no previous experience in this area. The sessions are informal and interactive and are designed to provide each attendee with basic skills and knowledge to assist someone who is in need of support. The more people in a workplace who are capable of providing support and information about available resources, the more likely a person is to get the immediate support they need. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing any of the above signs its important to talk to someone. Talk to a friend, family member or trusted colleague. And call Incolink on 9668 3061.

If you need to talk to someone urgently call: Incolink counsellor 0419 568 605 Lifeline 13 11 14

Supporting Members The role of the Incolink Member Services is continually expanding to meet the needs of members, apprentices and their families, with key services in: Counselling & Support Team • • • • •

Critical Incident Response Personal & Relationship Counselling Grief & Crisis Support Terminal Illness Support

Drug & Alcohol • Counselling & Support Services • Detoxification Program

Apprentice Support • • • • • • • •

Apprentice Support Programs Life Care Program Apprentice Support Officers Employment And Training Employment Services Career Advisors Out-Of-Trade Apprentices Support Training Advisors & Support

Financial Support • •

Financial Rights Support Debt Crisis & Financial Counselling

Careers and Promotions • • • •

Careers Counsellors & Advice Careers & Promotions Officer Careers Guide Women in Construction – Career Resource

Health & Wellbeing • • • • • •

Life Care Suicide Prevention Problem Gambling Awareness Staying Connected: Support for Separated Fathers Alcohol & Drug Harm Minimisation Financial Awareness Programs Prostate Cancer Awareness

Industry Policies • • • •

Critical Incident Response Alcohol & Other Drugs Policy Industry Liaison Officer Holistic Approach to Support


product news Be impressed with Zetco In the last two decades, press-fit connection systems have gained huge popularity worldwide, and while press-fit ball valves have been available for some time in Europe and the USA, until now, plumbers in Australia have been limited to using press-fit connectors with standard threaded ball valves. After two years in development, Zetco Valves is proud to announce the launch of its new range of press-fit ball valves in sizes 15mm to 50mm, specifically designed for Australian copper tube sizes. With the press-fit connections built into the valve, Australian plumbers can now enjoy the benefits of faster, flame-free installation and fewer joints that press-fit connections provide, whilst doing away with tape or other sealants, saving time and money. The Zetco press-fit valves can be used with existing V-profile tools from Viega®, Rothenberger® and KemPress®, offering flexibility while avoiding costly outlay on new tools. The new press-fit range is manufactured to Zetco’s high standards in Italy, where it has undergone rigorous design and testing procedures to ensure that every valve in the range is of premium quality. The press-fit connections are compliant with AS 3688, valves for water are WaterMarked to AS 5830.1 and gas valves are AGA approved to AS 4617 and tested to DVGW VP 614. Zetco Press-fit is now available at major plumbing retailers throughout Australia.

Sewer I drain cleaning machine Austeck is well known for introducing state of the art trenchless technologies to the Australian market. Keeping with this tradition, Austeck is proud to introduce Sewer I’s range of drain cleaning tools. As one of Europe’s pioneering drain cleaning tool manufactures, Sewer I harnesses feedback from their customers to create reliable and practical products that get the job done the first time. One of the many features and benefits the Sewer I range offers is it’s compatibility with the power drill every plumber already owns. With a small investment your power drill becomes a powerful drain cleaning machine. Noisy, expensive water jetters and cumbersome, inefficient electric eels are now a thing of the past as cheap and effective drain cleaning can now be achieved with little to no impact on the environment. Sewer I’s range is also widely used for cutting out old or defective liners and can be used to reopen house connections from the HCB after mainline rehabilitation.

CS65 Reporting Monitor Building upon a proud heritage of delivering innovative tools to the market, Ridge Tool Australia announces the SeeSnake CS65 digital reporting monitor as part of RIDGID’s commitment to continual development of technological precision products. The CS65 monitor provides the complete digital reporting solution to capture video and images onto one or two USBs. The Ridge Tool Company is a world leading manufacturer of professional quality pipe and tube working tools serving the plumbing, mechanical, construction, HVAC, location and facility maintenance industries. The RIDGID® trademark is recognized by professional tradespersons and engineers for uncompromising product quality, performance, durability and service. For more information contact: Ridge Tool (Australia) Pty Ltd 1800 743 443 ridgid.australia@emerson.com www.ridgid.com.au

To see what the Sewer I range can do for your business contact Austeck on 1800 287 835 for a live demonstration, you can also visit our website www.Austeck.com

Find out more at zetco.com.au

www.plumber.com.au | 55


product news KEEFLEX S-Core Series – Gas hoses and connector systems Keefer Brothers is leading the way with its new line of Gas hoses.

Allflo Pumps & Equipment – Keeping Abreast of Current Fire Code Changes

S-Core hoses are already making head way into the Caravan / RV world.

Many readers would already be aware of the recent update in the fixed fire protection pump set Australian Standards. The current code relating to fixed fire pump sets within Australia is: AS2941 – 2013. This code is now in effect and for any new projects and is required to be met for any building development that has received a (CC) Construction Certificate was issued after November, 2013

With this new metallic stainless steel core Keeflex hoses are AGA certified to “best in class” (AS/1869-2012) “Class F” & “Class G”. This new feature also eliminates possible contamination downstream as there is no Phalates or extractables residue in S-core to cause clogging and blockages!

Here at Allflo Pumps & Equipment, we have been working hard behind the scenes to keep abreast of the code changes that directly affect the fire pump sets that we sell nationally to plumbers and fire contactors into the building industry.

With this new flexible triple layer design, consisting of the pressure tight stainless steel core, coupled with stainless steel braid responsible for absorbing mechanical loads you have a very strong combination offering great safety in any tough environment. The PCV “protective” outer layer offers the highest hygiene standard in the market, making the KEEFLEX S-core Series the “Hose of choice” in the food service industry.

Here at Allflo we are competent to supply fire pumps in accordance with, but not limited to the following codes: AS2941 – 2013, AS2914, AS1221, AS2118 as well as FM/UL approved fire pump sets to conform with the regulations of international insurance requirements.

This all makes better sense to our OEM’s also, with S-Core non- kink hoses supplied with matched unions for a perfect seal together with easy installation for plumbers all translates to a totally satisfied customer.

• Fire hydrants

The S-core series contain class leading technology with fully flexible metallic inner core that will not kink and restrict gas flow. Our clients can be sure that they are fitting a quality product that will take anything the gas industry can throw at them.

S-Core hose is definitely at the top of the food chain when it comes to safety, Hygiene, durability and ease of use. For more information contact: Keefer Bros. (aust) pty ltd 03 9580 4777 www.keeferbros.com.au sales@keeferbros com.au

56 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

Allflo Pumps & Equipment produces fire pump systems for the following: • Fire hose reels • Fire sprinklers • Combined hydrant and sprinkler systems • Canopy enclosed units • Acoustically enclosed applications • Multiport units for high rise buildings • Diesel, electric & dual powered units.

We design and build systems ranging from a single diesel drive pump systems on a base frame to fully engineered, packaged systems with relevant control equipment. We are proud to have a vast range of fire pump options available for our clients, and our expertise enables us to engineer, produce, stock, distribute and service our products on a national scale. As a company our focus and commitment on client satisfaction and being able to provide cost effective, simple user friendly products to meet the needs and expectations of our clients. This commitment drives Allflo be a leading fire pump set supplier. We look forward to discussing your fire pump requirements and helping you in the selection of a suitable fire pump system that complies all current standards and other specific requirements. Please note: we also supply booster systems, rain water systems, pump stations for storm water and sewerage and other associated pumping equipment. Our goal is to benefit the installer with equivalent to specified equipment (or better) with cost effectiveness and good customer support built into our package. For more information contact: Allflo Pumps & Equipment 1300760 070 nischefire@allflo.com.au www.allflo.com.au


New S-Core Series Hoses

PUMPS KEEFER S-Core Series gas hoses will result in EXTREME SUCCESS, regardless if you want it or not!! KEEFLEX S-CORE SERIES GAS HOSES (Sizes 6-25mm ID)

✓ AGA Approved – Class F,G ✓ Dual Approval (AS4631 / AS1869)

✓ PVC Coating – Fire

Retardant and Chemical Resistant (Wipe Clean)

Allflo Pumps & Equipment - the manufacturers of NischeFire pump systems for the fire building protection market. NischeFire pumpset packages are all fully compliant with all current Australian Standards and relevant fire codes, including AS2941, AS2419 and AS2118. With delivery, service and commissioning available Australia wide, we are looking to work with plumbers, builders and fire contractors to meet the needs of today’s fire pump market.

TS!! CONTACT THE EXPER

✓ Zero Extractable + Phalates ✓ Kink Proof (Metallic Core) INDUSTRY STANDARD BRAIDED GAS HOSES ✗ AGA Approved – Class F,G ✗ Dual Approval (AS4631 / AS1869)

✗ PVC Coating – Fire

Retardant and Chemical Resistant (Wipe Clean)

✗ Zero Extractable + Phalates ✗ Kink Proof (Rubber Lined)

With Keefer Bros EXTENSIVE and EXCLUSIVE range of S-Core Gas Hoses, you are sure to find what the job requires.

or refer a fire pump Request a proposal ceive a $50 Dan d re enquiry to Allflo an rd oice Liquor Gift Ca Ch st Fir or Murphy’s se. ha rc pu or l ra fer re l with any successfu

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TILL JUNE 30 2015

SCAN HERE TO EMAIL YOUR ENQUIRY TO US - OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE.

T: 1300 760 070 E: nischefire@allflo.com.au W: www.allflo.com.au

Keefer Bros (Aust) Pty Ltd

134 Malcolm Rd, Braeside VIC 3195 Phone: 03 9580 4777 Fax: 03 9580 8011

www.keeferbros.com.au look for us on facebook

Allflo can al with your: so help • Booster Sy st • Rainwater ems Harvest Pumps • Undersink Sullage • Packaged Pump Stations • Hot Water Circulation

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S O LUTIONS www.plumber.com.au | 57


WHAT YOU NEED, ON-SITE AND IN REACH.

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The Dux Plumbers Handbook is a comprehensive product and technical guide. It is a valuable tool which will make it easier than ever to access vital hot water information on-site, right when you need it. The Dux Plumbers Handbook offers:

DOWNLOAD FROM THE APP STORE OR THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE.

58 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

specification details

rough-in diagrams

technical & spare parts information

installation guides and animations


product news Leaks Found Fast Detecting leaks and checking the integrity of water pipes is now simple and quick following the launch of a new portable hydrostatic tester from Aussie Pumps. The 100 bar (1400 psi) electric machine, called the Aussie BB100HTP, is compact, cost effective and set to become standard kit in a plumbers ute. “Leakage from bad joints, corroded pipes or leaking valves can cause a huge amount of damage and cost a lot of money to fix,” said Aussie Pumps product manager Hamish Lorenz. “Detecting leaks in hidden pipes inside buildings or underground is now simple with our new 100 BAR tester. Plumbers looking to expend their business can offer pipe testing as a new service,” he said. The tester consists of a reliable high pressure triplex pump that is easy to service and maintain. The pump is powered by a heavy duty 2.2kW four pole single phase electric motor.

Uni-Orbital Connector Ideal when renovating, retrofitting an existing bathroom or building a new bathroom, the Caroma Uni-Orbital Connector overcomes a common issue with set out compatibility which can sometimes limit the range of options available when selecting a toilet suite. The Uni-Orbital connector is able to extend a toilet set-out to any position by a minimum of 25mm and up to within a 50mm radius, allowing for greater installation flexibility by rotating the upper and lower bodies, so it will suit most set outs. Radial adjustment in the Uni-Orbital Connector means that the wall faced toilet suite can be centred to an inwall cistern, buttons, flush pipes, aligned to tiles or moved to improve the configuration of the space. The Uni-Orbital connector with its fully adjustable design, means the plumber will not need have various straight and offset connectors in the van. The connector has a quick fit connection directly into the drainline which eliminates the need to purchase and

“Being electric is a huge advantage when it comes to use indoors. Power is readily available, the unit is quiet and doesn’t produce exhaust fumes,” said Lorenz. The machine features a double gauge and double valve system that enables the pressure to be locked off in the line after pressurisation. Both the pump and line pressures can be monitored continuously and simultaneously. The testers are equipped with a pressure regulation valve that is infinitely variable. The user sets the pressure the kit is required to reach. Once the system has reached the testing pressure the operator locks off the valves isolating the test piece. After a mandatory period of static test the operator can clearly see if pressure has been maintained.

The testers are built tough with simple instructions and safety features incorporated. They come fitted with safety valves that protect both the machine and operator in the event of an accidental pressure spike. Full information on the new portable hydrotester is available from www.aussiepumps.com.au or a product pack is available free of charge from Australian Pump Industries.

“Proving the system is leak free is just as important as identifying a problem,” said Lorenz.

install a separate pan collar. A fixing plate featuring multiple holes for versatile fixing locations is also included. Allowing plumbers unparalleled set-out flexibility, the Uni-Orbital connector is exclusive to Caroma and can save on time and cost during the installation process. Throughway restriction can be created if the pan outlet spigot is not matched to offset connectors properly. By design, the throughway in the Uni-Orbital connector is maximised throughout its adjustment range, for the avoidance of blockages and siphonage which can occur with other types of connectors.

Balancing high performance and style, Caroma Urbane toilet suites achieve universal design to suit a range of bathroom spaces. Intelligent engineering ensures minimal maintenance, combined with optimal hygiene control. Caroma toilets are stringently tested beyond industry standards, delivering superior performance and increased lifespan. The Orbital Connector is another solution developed by Caroma to make the plumbers’ job easier. To find out more, please visit our website www.caroma.com.au or call 13 14 16.

The Uni-Orbital connector comes in standard and compact versions. Originally only available in the Caroma Urbane Wall Faced Close Coupled and Wall Faced Invisi toilet suites the Uni Orbital connector is now available through all Caroma back to wall suites (with the exclusion of the Caroma Urbane Compact Wall Faced Suite).

www.plumber.com.au | 59


product news More to like in the new Raymor Range

Rheem Stellar® Stainless Steel

Raymor, one of Australia’s most long-standing and trusted bathroomware brands, has undergone a total relaunch, introducing a huge new range of products that will give customers more choice, better warranties and improved availability.

Available in gas and electric, Rheem Stellar Stainless Steel models provide benefits to both trade and home owners. Designed for performance and energy efficiency, with features and aesthetics not forgotten, you will also have peace of mind with a 10 year cylinder warranty1.

During its 67 year history Raymor has built a reputation for innovation, quality and competitive prices. The relaunch introduces more than 140 new items to its existing portfolio of top selling products.

Sleek, modern and durable, Rheem’s stainless steel water heaters are lighter compared to vitreous enamel (the electric models up to 40% lighter than comparable Rheemglas® models), making them easier to handle, transport and install with the added benefit of being able to resist corrosion for longer. Note: stainless steel will last longer in good water quality areas.

The Raymor range includes innovative new features such as basins with a waste hair catcher, and new mixers constructed with one-piece bodies with pex line tails to eliminate leakage and reduce the risk of bursting. The range has been handpicked for the trade, making it perfect for plumbers and builders alike. All Raymor products are supplied by a specialised group of manufacturers who have undergone a series of rigorous quality assurance assessments. Raymor offers above market standard warranties on each of its products – from seven years on sanitaryware to up to 15 years on mixers. In addition, Raymor has built large stock buffers on all products while maintaining the highest level of quality. Raymor Product Specialist Gordon Evans said the brand relaunch is the first stage of an exciting program of expansion, with more revamped products with new features to come later this year. “This relaunch of Raymor is the culmination of more than 12 months of rigorous planning, sourcing and quality assessment. We look forward to providing new and existing customers quality products, with greater flexibility and choice to meet their job needs.” said Mr Evans. The new Raymor range – with a tagline of Raymor – more like you – is available exclusively though Tradelink and Northern’s Plumbing Supplies branches nationally.

Rheem Stellar Electric® Stainless Steel models perform up to 24% better than Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS)2 and are available in a range of sizes – from 80 – 315 litres. The Rheem Stellar® Gas 330 stainless steel model is 5 Star energy efficient, for reduced energy costs, and offers up to a massive 390L first-hour hot water capacity.

Key features include: Rheem Stellar Electric Superior energy efficiency: reduces running costs compared to conventional electric water heaters Perform up to 24% better than Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS)2 Available in a range of sizes – 80L, 125L, 160L, 250L and 315L 160L models and up are suitable for connection to economical off peak tariffs Doesn’t require a sacrificial anode for protection, thus long term maintenance and service costs are reduced Top mounted water outlet, providing the hottest water available in the tank to the tap Higher thermostat setting to 75˚C maximum Water heater is up to 40% per cent lighter than comparable Rheemglas models; easier to install and handle 10-year cylinder warranty1

Rheem Stellar Gas 330 stainless steel 5 Star energy efficiency, for reduced energy costs Up to 390L first-hour hot water capacity Superior recovery, for that extra hot water when it’s required: - 185L of mains pressure hot water recovery every hour - Up to 50L additional recovery available via the inbuilt useradjustable mixing valve Mains pressure to power many hot water demands at once, enough for the largest family Doesn’t require a sacrificial anode for protection, thus long term maintenance and service costs are reduced 10-year cylinder warranty1 Note: stainless steel will last longer in good water quality areas (i.e. water which contains low chlorides and is relatively pH neutral). For information on whether these products are suitable in your area refer to www.rheem.com.au/stellar or call Rheem on 131 031. 1 Conditions apply, see the Rheem warranty set out in the product Owner’s Guide or view it at www.rheem.com.au/ warranty. 2 Performance varies by model.

60 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015


think drain maintenance equipment? think

call now to speak with a consultant on 1800 816 830 www.sewerquip.com.au www.plumber.com.au | 61


product news State of the art showroom and exclusive manufacturing partners equal mind blowing experience!

Save $$$ with the Toyota Gold Fleet Discount!

Friday 30th January marked the official opening of the new Hunt Heating dual fuel, hydronic and electric heating showroom.

The unique and contemporary designs by Matteo Thun, Antonio Rodriguez and Francesco Lucchese to name a few, open the mind to endless possibilities.

Master Plumbers and Toyota National Fleet are proud to announce a new partnership that will offer even more benefits to all Master Plumbers members!

The $100,000 investment provides more than 60 individually designed radiators and towel rails from the world’s leading designers and manufacturers, Antrax, Jaga, Zehnder and Delonghi.

Open to trade professionals and public with no appointment necessary.

From now until 30th June 2015, all Master Plumbers members are entitled to full Gold Fleet Discounts with Toyota, saving you thousands on models right across the range.*

Come in, enjoy a coffee and the unique experience that remains unrivalled and unmatched anywhere in Australia!

Toyota Fleet is the number one fleet brand in Australia and the dominant provider to all segments of the Australian fleet market.

How much you can save? As an example, you can save a minimum of $3,150 on a Hilux 4x4 model. To find out how much you could save on the vehicle that is suited to you, please contact your preferred Toyota Dealer to find out the discounts available as a paid Master Plumbers member.

How does it work? Simply contact your preferred Toyota Dealer and make sure you mention the discount and provide proof of paid membership when you order your vehicle – it’s that easy. To find out more visit toyota.com.au or call 1800 444 847 to speak to a dedicated Fleet Call Centre who can find a dealership close to you and provide you with any further information on this offer or answer any questions you might have. *Excluding special edition models

Compact electric hydronic solution Electric Hydronic boilers are certified and now in stock. Hunt Heating’s exclusive new range delivers an 8kw single phase option as well as 12, 18 & 24 kw 3 phase options, all complete with Grundfos pump, expansion tank and 3 bar pressure relief valve. Made in Europe, the EKCO boiler comes with a 2 year manufacturers

62 | Australian Plumbing Industry Magazine | March 2015

parts and labour warranty and is the most compact electric powered hydronic boiler in the market. For more information please call Hunt Heating on 1300 00 1800 or visit www.huntheat.com.au


Our Continuous Flow range has more stars than Hollywood. Australia’s broadest 6 Star range comes with no less than 8 models. Which means when it comes to hot water efficiency, we’ve more stars than Hollywood. • The first 6 Star Continuous Flow range • 12, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 27L/minute capacities • All 50OC models now temperature adjustable • Display monitor for easy servicing

THE MORE STARS, THE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT

GAS ENERGY RATING USE THIS LABEL TO COMPARE DIFFERENT MODEL WATER HEATERS COMPARATIVE ENERGY CONSUMPTION

18674

MJ PER YEAR

WHEN TESTED TO AS 4552

• Rheem quality and national support

ACTUAL ENERGY USED WILL DEPEND ON WHERE YOU LIVE AND HOW THE APPLIANCE IS USED APPLIANCE RUNNING COST INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE FROM YOUR LOCAL GAS SUPPLIER

For more information, visit rheem.com.au/products/continuousflow

COMES ON STEADY, HOT AND STRONG

INSTALL A AUSTRALIA’S NO. 1

Australian Plumbing  
Australian Plumbing  

March 2015