31 July 2020 / Safety Alert

Mandatory Face Coverings in all of Victoria


This alert supersedes the order that came into effect 22 July 2020.

The Victorian Government has expanded their order for mandatory face coverings / masks across the entire state of.

Everyone over the age of 12 will now be required to wear a face covering when leaving home for one of the four permitted reasons.

This order will be enforced from 11.59pm on Sunday 2 August 2020. People who do not comply will face a $200 fine. 

The Victorian Government has acknowledged that in some circumstances, wearing a mask may be impractical, however everyone is expected to carry a mask or face covering for use whenever practical. More info here.

Why are face coverings now mandatory?

The Victorian Government has made mask wearing mandatory based on the latest health advice and due to the level of community transmission occurring in these areas.

Community transmission is when the virus spreads from person to person locally within Australia and is harder to trace.

The COVIDSafe app helps with contact tracing in these situations. New research has shown that face coverings do assist in mitigating the spread of the virus, particularly in the incubation period or when the virus is asymptomatic.

Types of masks

Surgical Masks

A disposable, layered fluid resistant barrier that medical personnel typically wear in hospitals.


These masks should be disposed after 2-6 hours of use, safely into a bin, or immediately after it becomes damp or dirty.

Preferred use

General use outside home when other coverings are not available.

N95 / P2 / KN95 Masks

A thicker mask with a denser filter designed to fit securely around your face. Comes in a range of types with varying degrees of effectiveness, but typically higher degree of particle filtration than other masks.


These masks should be disposed after daily use, safely into a bin, or immediately after it becomes damp or dirty.

Preferred use

When undertaking work in high frequency areas or in close contact with other people whilst performing certain work tasks.

Reusable / Cloth Masks

Acts as a physical barrier. Comes in a wide range of varieties and filtration effectiveness depends on how the mask has been made. Multiple layers and 100% cotton are better.


Should be washed after each use in a washing machine. Mask should be replaced when it gets dirty or wet and stored safely until it can be washed.

Preferred use

General use outside the home and preferable to surgical masks as they can be reused.

Other Face Coverings

Such as scarves or bandanas. These act as a physical barrier but are not designed to do so. These are only recommended when no other mask is available. They cannot be worn on site.


Should be washed after each use in a washing machine. Mask should be replaced when it gets dirty or wet and stored safely until it can be washed.

Preferred use

Can be used when no other alternatives are available.

Mask Supplies

Hutchies has been able to procure a range of mask supplies for use at work. These will be provided to all Hutchies’ company members who require them as soon as possible.

A variety of masks have been distributed to sites already. Please contact Candece prior when and if you require more stock.

Reusable masks are also being made and will be sent as soon as they are available. Ideally, when these are ready, each person will have their own set of resuable masks that can be rotated each day so we can eliminate the need for disposable stock. In the meantime, Hutchies has disposable stock available. Subcontractors should procure their own masks for each of their workers but can request some from Hutchies if they require them urgently.

Mask Tips

Cover Up

Make sure your mouth, nose and chin are covered by the mask, leaving no gaps on the sides if possible.

Avoid Touching

Try not to touch the mask while wearing it, or removing it unnecessarily, throughout the day, as it may be contaminated.

Clean Hands

Wash your hands before putting on a mask, and before and after removing a mask. Remote it using the straps only.

Dispose Safely

If the mask is visibly dirty or wet, it should be disposed of safely (do not leave it around), or contained in a zip lock bag until it can be washed.

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9 September / Observation

A conversation could change a life.

Today is a reminder of the importance to check in on each other and ask R U OK?

Each of us have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic differently, but it has had an impact on us all. Some of us have been unexpectedly caught behind interstate travel bans, some in extended lockdowns, some living in hotspots, some at home with their families and some away from them.

It has been a challenge for each of us to adjust to new rules and restrictions which we have never had to deal with before.

We have all adapted in our own way to help ourselves and others. We have all done our best despite much of what we knew before having changed in so many ways.

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Now, more than ever, it’s a time to connect openly – a conversation could mean a lot to someone right now.

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25 August / Update

In response to feedback and ongoing reviews of Hutchies' systems, we've updated the Work Health & Safety Management Plan.

These updates better reflect the arrangements to manage health and safety on our projects. Hutchies' WHS Management Plan is used to identify project risks and the controls to be employed on site to manage those risks. 

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31 July / COVID-19

Lockdown announced

On Saturday morning the Queensland Government announced a 3 day lockdown period for the local government areas (LGAs) of South East Queensland (incorporating Brisbane, Gold Coast, Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Moreton Bay, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Lockyer Valley).

The lockdown has now been extended to 4pm Sunday, 8 August at this stage. It has been announced in response to a growing cluster which started with a high school student at Indooroopilly State High School.

The lockdown is also mandatory for anyone who has been in any of the 11x LGAs since 1am this morning and is now elsewhere.

The construction industry is still considered an essential service. Sites will remain open throughout the lockdown period at this stage. Read on for further information.

Stricter lockdown measures

The Queensland Government announced the strictest lockdown measures that the state has experienced so far, due to concern of the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

There are only four reasons to leave home during the lockdown:

  • To buy essential goods / groceries, but only within 10km of your usual place of residence. Supermarkets will be open during the lockdown period. 
  • To go to essential work / school. Childcare is open but only for children of essential workers.
  • For exercise outside, but only within 10km of your usual place of residence. Only allowed to do so with one other person from a different household.
  • For health care. You can leave to get medical care and you can provide care to someone. You can also leave home to get a COVID test or vaccine.

Additional stricter measures have also been introduced to help stop the spread:

  • No visitors allowed at home. The only exception is to care for someone who needs help, but it is recommended to delay if possible.
  • Funerals and weddings limited to 10 people.
  • Mask wearing continues to be mandatory across the 11x LGAs. You must wear a face mask at all times when you leave home, including outdoors and for exercise, unless you have a lawful reason not to.
  • Mask wearing will now be mandatory for everyone at high schools, including students, teachers and visitors in the 11x LGAs.
  • Non-essential businesses must close (eg gyms / hairdressers etc).
  • Restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues can open but only to provide takeaway.

Hutchies' COVIDSafe sites

Construction remains essential in South East Queensland and it is important to ensure we are all working as hard as possible to keep it open in the face of ongoing outbreaks. All sites should urgently review the latest Hutchies' COVIDSafe Plan and ensure that their site is implementing the following at a minimum:

  • Regular cleaning of all site / office areas and high touch points
  • Mask wearing except when not safe to do so
  • Good hand hygiene
  • Maintaining 1.5m distance from others, including limiting numbers in hoists / lifts and crib / lunch rooms
  • Signing in using your sites' regular sign in process to provide contact details if required for contact tracing
  • Using video / teleconference software to hold meetings

Hutchies' offices in South East QLD

Everyone who works in Hutchies' offices across South East Queensland should be wearing a mask if they are working in an office during the lockdown period.

The Queensland Government has specified that people who can work from home should do so.

All face to face meetings in offices should be cancelled and replaced by video / teleconferences.

Hutchies' Toowong office

These instructions are particularly important in relation to the Toowong office.

The Toowong office is in very close proximity to the current outbreak.

If you can do your job from home, you must. You can go to the office to collect computer gear and anything else you might need to work from home during the lockdown period.

If you do need to go into the Toowong office, you must sign in using the Queensland Government QR code.

You must be wearing a mask at all times, including whilst seated. This is an important measure to stop the spread of airborne particles.

Exposure sites

The Queensland Government has provided an extensive list of exposure sites based on the movements of people who are linked to the Indooroopilly State High School cluster. More venues are expected to be added.

It is very important that anyone who is in, or has been in South East Queensland recently, checks the list daily.

If you have been to any of the venues of concern at the date and time identified, inform your Team Leader, get tested and follow the direction listed by Queensland Health.

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29 July / Update

Edition 1

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22 July / COVID-19

Keeping people safe

We've made some updates to our COVIDSafe Plan to incorporate the latest requirements across Australia.

All of Hutchies' sites and offices must continue to implement the key COVIDSafe measures we've had in place over the last 12 months, in addition to the latest local state / territory requirements listed below.

Some of the critical aspects of our COVIDSafe plan being focsued on include:
  • Regular cleaning of all site / office areas and high touch points
  • Good hand hygiene
  • Maintaining 1.5m distance from others
  • Signing in to provide contact details if required for contact tracing

The updates we have incorporated into our latest plan (version 4) includes:

Mandatory Check In & Sign In 

It is a requirement for everyone entering a Hutchies site or office that they sign in using our own process (ie HammerTech or Visitor Register) and if mandatory in your local state, must also check in using the government issued QR code system to assist with contact tracing if required.

Mandatory Masks

Masks are mandated in several areas across Australia presently, including New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and parts of South East Queensland. Hutchies' preference is that everyone in these areas, or if you cannot socially distance, wear a mask at all times, when it is safe to do so. 

This plan must be available on your project and to your clients. You should familiarise yourself with the necessary measures and continue to implement all requirements, including completing our weekly COVIDSafe inspection checklists for sites and offices.

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