Injury Prevention with Master Plumbers' Association of Queensland

An Injury Risk Reduction Initiative (IRRI) is funded by WorkCover Queensland and delivered by Back On Track.

October Update: 

We are thrilled to announce that this IRRI project in good work design has been nominated for a Work Well Award. 



Commercial plumbing is physically demanding work with exposure to manual task risk factors. Common hazards relate to the use of earthmoving equipment; manually lifting and moving pipes, toilets, cisterns, bathtubs; walking and working in rugged terrain including open trenches; and using sustained awkward postures when fitting out under benches and around toilets. Some of these risks can be controlled through good planning and work design.

Back on Track delivered this unique industry imitative in collaboration with My Health Team to bring together two commercial competitors and large plumbing employers, CC Group (CCG) and Beavis & Bartels Group (BBG), along with the Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) to identify opportunities to improve safety among their workforce. The project involved consultation at all levels including with workers, employers and at industry level to identify common hazardous manual tasks and to develop robust risk controls.

Back on Track’s Occupational Health Physiotherapists developed toolbox training materials targeted to each stage of the commercial plumbing process from in-ground works, to roughing in and fitting out. Three unique training resources were developed to be delivered by project managers at toolbox talks to highlight the use of mechanical aids and particular risks at each of the stages. 

Project stages included:

  • Engagement with the plumbing industry via MPAQ and with motivated employers
  • Analysis of injury data and trends 
  • Worksite assessment across 6 days at various sites
  • Consultation with approximately 40 plumbers during site visits
  • Identification of the primary hazardous manual tasks
  • Consultative development of suitable risk controls 
  • Development of resources for project managers’ toolbox training 
  • Training over 20 project managers at CCG and BBG in the delivery of toolbox talks

The outcomes generated by this project are just beginning and are expected to extend across the plumbing industry to include:

  • Raised awareness among project managers of the importance of good work design in reducing exposure to manual task risks.
  • Recognition that lifting technique training is not a robust risk control.
  • Raised awareness of the need for fitness for duties.
  • Consideration of project pricing to include use of mechanical aids such as cranes and duct lifters.
  • Trial of various aids such as kneel pads and wheeled trolleys to reduce exposure to sustained awkward postures and manual carrying.

This participatory ergonomics project reflects best practice in injury prevention and has been nominated for the 2023 Work Well Awards. 

Please get in touch if you would like more information about this injury prevention initiative or to discuss your occupational health needs at or