Tags: Climate Change / Sustainability, Codes, Standards & Regulation, Disease outbreak / control, Industry Training, Research & Knowledge, Australasia Page 1 of 6 | Single page
Launched on World Plumbing Day 2012, The role of plumbers in managing current and emerging public hazards covers a range of topics, including a brief history of plumbing, the challenges of achieving safe plumbing throughout the world, and the future direction of plumbing.
The booklet was tabled in September 2011 at the World Plumbing Council Conference in Scotland and is a reference for all plumbing professionals, apprentices, the plumbing industry and consumers to put into context the contribution of plumbing to community health and the importance of ensuring well-designed, installed and maintained plumbing systems.
Jonathan Jackson (JJ): What was the reasoning behind the creation of The role of plumbers in managing current and emerging public hazards?
Shayne La Combre (SLC): Two things came together at the same time. The first is the emergence of World Plumbing Day and a global desire to better understand the contribution of plumbers to community health. We wanted to send a positive message that the principles of plumbing, including access to fresh water and sanitation, are for the greater good. No matter whether you are in a developed or developing nation, or whether you have no, simple or advanced systems, the role of the plumber is to understand and maintain those systems to preserve public health. So this book is about promoting the principles of good plumbing and the contribution of plumbers in optimising what is available. We also wanted to get the message out there that people should not be interfering with those systems; to do so would risk serious consequences such as the outbreak of disease or other illness. That is why plumbers and the broader community need to understand the importance of good plumbing.
The second issue we wanted to tackle was the lack of understanding among many plumbers about the importance of their role. Plumbing systems have been around for a long time and plumbers have been servicing those systems in that time, however sometimes it is not always clear what are the reasons why certain things work in a certain way. Helping plumbers to be re-educated about the reasons why they do certain things is important for the community, the plumbing industry and regulators in terms of compliance. It is one thing for us to sanction plumbers if they do something wrong, but we believe the more effective action is to help them understand the reasons behind certain practices and spell out the risks and consequences of bad plumbing maintenance, which most plumbers would be abhorred with.
JJ: Is understanding the foundations behind plumbing and plumbing systems the key message?
SLC: It began with World Plumbing Day. The whole purpose behind this was to pick up those themes and revisit the contribution plumbing has made to societies and how those societies have developed.
Going back a couple of years, with the heightened awareness caused by the launch of World Plumbing Day, the Victorian Department of Health (DoH) was keen to engage with the plumbing industry. They recognised that plumbing plays an integral part in maintaining health standards and the important preventative protection plumbing provides. It is one thing to cure a disease, but there are many more benefits and less suffering where the disease is prevented or contact avoided. To their credit, the DoH has developed an ongoing relationship with the PIC. This has seen us collaboratively looking at emerging issues and the implications for plumbing, to make sure that the regulatory development curve is ahead of anything that might become a community issue.
Further to this, the World Plumbing Council (WPC) in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO) published Health Aspects of Plumbing, which is a worthwhile read for anyone wanting to understand about how plumbing systems and where the plumbing community fits in a health and safety scenario.Continued...