5 March 2019 / Update

March 2019 / Building Code Compliance

Over the last two years, Hutchies has been subject to over 130 site visits, inspections and audits by ABCC inspectors. In each instance, we are confident that Hutchies’ Site Management Teams have demonstrated Hutchies’ compliance with the Building Code applying to each project.

Whilst evidence of compliance is encouraging, there is no sign that the volume of inspections and the focus on Hutchies’ projects is reducing. It is therefore essential that Hutchies’ teams remain vigilant in the area of Building Code compliance and that you contact Ben Young on 0400 577 953 if there is any aspect of the Code that requires clarification. Two particularly useful resources to refresh your understanding of the Code are Hutchies’ Site Management Industrial Relations Guides and the Building Code Self Audit.

Status of Hutchies' Code Compliance

Building Code 2016 requires that any builder or subcontractor who wishes to tender for Government projects is not covered by an Enterprise Agreement that contains certain non-permitted clauses.

Hutchies currently has Code 2016 compliant agreements in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. The process to have a Code 2016 compliant agreement registered in Queensland / Northern Territory is well under way, however, as it is not yet complete we are currently not permitted to submit expressions of interest or tender for federally funded projects nationally. If you are considering a project which may have federal funding attached to it, please contact Ben Young to discuss.

Right of Entry

Building Code 2016 requires that builders covered by the Code only allow Union Officials access to site in accordance with the Fair Work Act or Workplace Health and Safety legislation, however, in Queensland and Northern Territory, Hutchies’ current Enterprise Agreement includes a ‘Standing Invitation’ clause (cl 32.4) which means that until Hutchies’ Queensland / Northern Territory Agreement is varied to be Code 2016 compliant CFMEU Officials (including those without permits) are able to visit any project in Queensland and Northern Territory to meet with a member of the Hutchies’ Team.

Teams with projects in other States should follow the guidelines in the applicable Hutchies’ Site Management Industrial Relations Guide. If you are unsure of how to manage Right of Entry on your project, or if you are faced with a circumstance where there may be a breach of Right of Entry requirements, please contact Ben Young on 0400 577 953.

Paraphernalia

An area of the Code that has become a focus for the ABCC is the issue of paraphernalia.

Hutchies’ position with respect to paraphernalia is very clear. Site Managers are to ensure that no paraphernalia on the project implies that membership of a Union is anything other than a personal choice. An example of a non-permitted sign is one that reads: ‘No Ticket – No Start’. The Hutchies’ Site Management Industrial Relations Guides outline a procedure for removing posters that breach the Building Code and everyone is encouraged to re-familiarise themselves with that procedure.

To ensure paraphernalia does not breach freedom of association, Hutchies’ policy on sites where Union paraphernalia is present is to provide a balanced approach with Hutchies posters and flags around the project placed in alongside union paraphernalia. Each site must monitor the volume and type of paraphernalia on Hutchies’ projects by conducting twice daily inspections. If you require additional Hutchies’ posters or flags, please contact Sammy Fisher. Note: when rationalising the volume and type of Union paraphernalia on site, please be sensible regarding how the materials are dealt with. The sensible and respectful thing to do would be to remove those posters that are inappropriate and could be classified as breaches of the Building Code, and retain in your office and provide them back to the Delegate at the earliest opportunity. The Delegate will understand that Hutchies must comply with the requirements of the Building Code and the volume and / or type of posters displayed were not in accordance with those requirements.

Inductions

Ensure the Building Code and specifically Freedom of Association is covered in the induction using the standardised script which can be found on the Document Library

Ensure Delegates do not carry out inductions

Ensure all induction records are secured in a lockable cabinet immediately following the induction Ensure Hutchies’ Freedom of Association poster is displayed in the induction room. The poster is available on the Document Library

Training

If you or your team feel they need specific training on any aspect of the Building Code, please contact Ben Young to make the necessary arrangements.

Other points of note

Subcontract agreements

Remember to always use the updated subcontract agreements from Hutchies’ Document Library.

Non-citizens

The Code has specific requirements for builders or subbies wishing to engage non Australian citizens – if you are considering a new recruit that is not an Australian citizen and on any kind of visa, please contact Ben Young to discuss.

Delegates

Projects with Delegates are reminded that the Code requires Delegates to have a role outside of their delegate responsibilities – please contact Ben Young if you need to discuss.

Security of Payments 

Earlier this year we ran training nationally with respect to Hutchies’ obligation to report disputed or delayed payments to the ABCC. It is essential that everyone is processing claims and invoices regularly to ensure all payments are either paid by the due date or dealt with strictly in accordance with Security of Payments laws.  

Reporting of Stop work events

Hutchies has a requirement to report any industrial action on our projects. That is any stoppage that is not authorised or related to a legitimate concern for Health and Safety. If you have works stop on your project, please call Ben Young on 0400 577 953 on the day of the stoppage to discuss whether the stoppage is classified as industrial action. It is standard Hutchies’ practice to speak with Ben Young prior to submitting a report.

Sham Contracting

It is a breach of the Building Code and the Fair Work Act to engage in ‘Sham Contracting’.

A sham contracting arrangement is when an employer attempts to disguise an employment relationship as an independent contracting arrangement.

The ABCC website provides some guidance with respect to whether a worker is classified employee or an independent contractor. https://www.abcc.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/independent-contractors/how-determine-if-worker-employee-or-independent-contractor Teams must be taking all reasonable steps to ensure subbies are not engaging in Sham Contracting arrangements on our projects.

ABCC Inspections 

Hutchies continues to receive around two unannounced inspections / site visits per week from ABCC inspectors. During these visits inspectors typically request various documents for inspection and often ask for copies of these documents. Under Section 74 of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016, ABCC Investigators have authority to enter Hutchies’ sites and to inspect and make copies of documents while on site. In order for us to keep a record of the exchange of documents please make a second copy of any documents provided to inspectors and send them to the Code Compliance Team along with a summary of what was discussed during the visit. In instances where Hutchies’ people are being asked to provide a statement, please contact Ben Young so that appropriate arrangements can be made to have a support person present.

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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.

For anyone struggling, know that there are genuine mates and the broader Hutchies’ crew around, people that care about you and are ready to listen and understand.

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

Recent company snapshots have identified some pinch points in HammerTech utilisation. To assist, additional resources are available so watch this space for regular updates on all things HammerTech.

In this update you'll find:

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28 July / Training

Play the video below to see who has been crowned winner and runner up of Apprentice of the Year, Cadet of the Year and Future Leader of the Year.

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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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