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A plumber is responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining pipes, fixtures and other plumbing used for water distribution and waste water disposal in commercial and residential buildings.

Tasks performed

  • studying blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine the layout of plumbing systems and materials required
  • setting out and installing hot and cold water systems and associated equipment
  • installing water-based fire protections systems, including fire hydrants, hose reels and sprinkler systems
  • designing and installing sanitary plumbing and water supply systems, discharge pipes and sanitary fixtures
  • fabricating and installing soil and waste stacks
  • assembling and installing mechanical services plant, air handling and conditioning equipment and small bore heating systems
  • installing sewerage and effluent pumping equipment and disposal systems
  • installing below-ground drainage systems and associated ground support systems
  • installing gas appliances, flues and pressure regulating devices
  • fabricating and installing metal roofing, rainwater goods and flashings

Tools used

  • basin wrench
  • bender
  • drill motor - cordless
  • flaring tool
  • pipe tap
  • water stop kit
  • reamer
  • socket, strap, internal pipe, pipe, basin, and adjustable wrench
  • strap wrench
  • tin snip - straight
  • torch head - trigger light
  • tub sockets
  • tubing cutter
  • volt/amp/Ohm multimeter
  • voltage tester
  • water pressure gauge
  • wire cutter
  • screwdriver
  • air pressure gauge
  • hammer
  • chisel
  • faucet handle puller
  • groove joint pliers
  • hack saw frame
  • hex key set
  • moen cartridge puller
  • nut driver
  • pliers
  • plunger

Personal protective equipment

  • safety glasses
  • hearing protection
  • steel toed boots
  • gloves
  • overalls (optional)
  • fall protection equipment (task-specific)
  • respiratory protection equipment (where required)
  • face shield (task-specific)

Critical physical job demands and other task requirements

Critical job demand descriptor

% of time the task is performed


Frequent 34%–66%
  • kneeling and crouching positions
  • gripping of objects
Occasional 5%–33%
  • reaching above shoulder height
  • pushing/pulling of objects
  • carrying of objects weighing up to 15kg
  • lifting of objects weighing up to 15kg between floor and waist height
  • lifting of objects weighing up to 25kg between floor and waist height
  • carrying of objects weighing up to 25kg
  • climbing of stairs and ladders

Suitable duties

  • goals must be clear, realistic and achievable
  • must have 'buy-in' from the worker
  • worker helps to set the goals, and must be answerable if goals are not met (this allows barriers to RTW to be identified at an early stage and obstacles overcome)
  • workers need to understand they have an obligation to participate in rehabilitation and RTW as per Section 232 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act).

Return to work suggestions

Worker can begin with light duties and include more tasks as their capacity for work changes. We'll work with all parties, including the treating medical provider, employer and worker to ensure everyone is aware of where the worker is with their rehabilitation and stay at, or return to work.

Note: some tasks are dependent on worker's injury and capacity, and some tasks may require the assistance of a co-worker.


If the worker needs to take a break from work, their rehabilitation can still begin at home. Tasks can include:

  • video on safety issues can be viewed (lying in bed if injury type requires)
  • computer-based programs, CDs or DVD on work-related subjects
  • phone-based work
  • emails
  • training
  • other worksite inductions
  • checking or auditing paperwork, e.g. helping the WHSO audit lost time injuries (LTIs) for a six-month period.

Host employment

In the event an employer is unable to provide suitable duties, a host placement may be required. If this is the case, the worker may be placed at a different employer in a graduated return to work plan until they're able to 'upgrade' back to his/her pre-injury role with their pre-injury employer.

WorkCover Queensland's Recover at Work program places injured workers in short term host employment with employers who have an established track record of successful return to work outcomes with their own workers.