13 - 31 December 2021 / COVID-19

Queensland Construction & Related Industries COVID Safe Plan

As mentioned last week, Hutchies has been part of a working group with other major builders and the building unions to prepare for the likely spread of COVID-19 following the easing of border restrictions. The result has been the production of the Queensland Construction & Related Industries COVID Safe Plan which aims to provide a consistent, practical and proactive approach to the arrival of COVID-19 on construction sites.

The Industry Plan has been developed in consultation and with the support of Queensland Health to provide clarity for sites regarding issues such as cleaning requirements, contact training protocols and what to do in the event of a positive case. The Plan's general intention is to ensure that people are kept safe whilst adhering to Public Health Directions, preventing people being placed in home isolation unnecessarily and maintaining productivity.

The Industry Plan has now been launched and is ready for implementation. Read on for more information. 

Industry Liaison

To enable open communication between industry and Queensland Health, Queensland Health has appointed a Construction Industry Liaison. The Industry Liaison will act as a facilitator between the construction industry and Government, helping to ensure that Public Health Directions are implemented as effectively as possible on sites and that questions can be addressed in a timely manner. Hutchies has direct access to the Industry Liaison.

Phased Approach

Much like the current approach that the Queensland Government has taken regarding staged easing of restrictions, the Plan has four phases

which reflect varying degrees of restrictions based on vaccination percentages in impacted areas. 

It is expected that outbreaks will be localised to certain areas of Queensland at any given time, and therefore it is an intention of the Plan to follow the Queensland Government’s approach of targeting COVID Safe measures to areas where there is community spread of the virus on construction sites. This may mean that different parts of Queensland are in different phases at the same time. The Plan provides more detail on each phase.

Updates to the Plan

The plan will be updated as required to incorporate new Health Directions or industry feedback. Any changes will be made in consultation with the Queensland Government Industry Liaison and will be communicated as soon as they are available.

Teams Presentation

Ben Young will be hosting a presentation on Teams at 2pm, Tuesday 14 December to run through the Plan in more detail.

You will be automatically invited to the session if you are a Team Leader, Project Manager, Health and Safety Advisor or a Team Health & Safety Representative.

For anyone else who wishes to be included in the session, please contact the Coronavirus Team.

Public Health Direction Clarification

As mentioned last week, Hutchies is aware that some clients may be interpreting the recently released alert Vaccination requirements for workers in high risk settings in a way that would require construction workers to be vaccinated to work on particular classes of projects such as hospitals and schools.

The subsequently released COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Workers in a high-risk setting Direction provides clarification that in most circumstances construction workers are not included in mandatory vaccination requirements, provided the site is separated / delineated from other areas and users of the setting.

For clarity, the Industry Plan which has the support of Queensland Health does not require anyone to declare their vaccination status at a project or to their employer, nor does it require mandatory vaccinations. It does provide an opportunity for people to be vaccinated and tested in paid time.

If you have any questions about how this applies to your site, please contact the Coronavirus Team prior to taking any action.

New Exposure Sites

More new local cases have been detected in Queensland in the last few days.

If you have been in these areas recently, please check and regularly monitor the Queensland Government website as more locations are confirmed.

If you have visited any locations during the posted times please follow the Queensland Government advice and get tested immediately.

Other Recent Activities

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12 May / Notice

We've secured a new national agreement to provide Hutchies' teams consistent service, products and pricing. 

A review was undertaken on the top 20 items Hutchies purchases from Hilti annually. From here we were able to negotiate and ensure that Hutchies has the best and cheapest price in the market for these items.

These new and fixed rates are reflected in the Hilti price list

Products

Hilti has an extensive range of products available at exclusive prices:

  • Cordless tools
  • Power tools
  • Dust management and vacuum cleaners
  • Tool inserts
  • Direct fastening
  • Measuring tools and scanners
  • Fasteners
  • Fire stop and fire protection
  • Modular support systems
  • Facade mounting systems
  • Construction chemicals
  • Exoskeleton and human augmentation systems

And more!

Benefits

Using Hutchies' preferred supplier will give you:

  • Pricing security for ALL teams nationally – what you pay for an injectable mortar in Rockhampton, is the same price that you will pay for the same item in Sydney
  • Based on previous years purchasing there is a projected saving of $100K per annum on current spend
  • Hilti has dedicated engineering professionals available to assist in ensuring our projects have been specified with the correct product
  • National access to industry leading products
  • Dedicated account managers in each state / territory
  • Hutchies receiving up to 15% cheaper on select products than our competitors
  • Fixed pricing on a wide range of products
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11 May / Notice

Revised agreements with Hanson have now been finalised to provide Hutchies' teams consistent service and pricing for concrete supply across QLD. 

These updates follow the notice circulated to all South East QLD Teams on 14 April 2022.

Updated documents are available on the Document Library and via the below links.

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3 May / Quality Alert

Here is what our regulators are focused on

Hutchies prides itself on being ‘a safe pair of hands’. We deliver projects that stand the test of time and scrutiny of all. 

The QBCC has a new Commissioner and executive team in place to facilitate change and restore public confidence, so it is important we are adequately prepared to demonstrate Hutchies’ commitment to compliance, quality and safety.

The QBCC has a wide-ranging set of responsibilities and powers in the industry including authority over:

  • Adequate supervision
  • Unlicenced supervisors
  • Incorrectly licenced supervisors
  • Non-Conforming Building Products (NCBP)
  • Building quality on site
  • Proper building certification
  • Consumer / body corporate defects complaints
  • Safety record (ie notifiable incidents)
  • Issuing of demerit points

We have our own high standards that align to our company objectives. Hutchies is committed to the performance and compliance of our projects. We should never need a regulator to direct us to do the right thing. We are proud, professional, and responsible enough to manage our business.

As it stands, we have defended a number of issues over the years and have no less than 5 issues at present. The consequences of failing on any of these issues with the QBCC can lead to demerit points on our builders' licence. On the spot, investigated or prosecuted issues can be fined up to 10 demerit points each, to a maximum to 20 points if an issue leads to multiple breaches. Each issue also attracts considerable financial penalties and appears on public record for 5 years. If a builder exceeds more than 30 demerit points, QBCC will cancel its licence for 3 years. If it happens to Hutchies, we stop trading - it's that serious.

Given that Hutchies has over 100 sites underway in Queensland at present, and 6.5 years' worth of previous projects which QBCC can review for Category 1 major defects at any time, issues such as NCBPs and incorrectly licenced subbies can bring us undone. Managing our sites by doing the right thing and implementing good controls is of the greatest importance especially in the current environment.

Start by reviewing your site against the Regulatory Inspection Guide and implement the key actions described in the full alert below.

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2 May / Quality Alert

Here are our key focus areas for 2022

After considering carefully:

  • Improvements made over many years through the implementation of Hutchies' Quality, Services and Facades Handbooks and Systems
  • The impact of increasing legislative change on building acts and regulations, the NCC and Australian Standards
  • Issues repetitively identified through ongoing progressive site Quality control inspections
  • Long term / statutory warranty issues and associated cost impacts

We’ve identified the top 10 areas for focus on improving quality / reducing defects as follows:

1 / Stormwater overflows / flow paths

2 / Balcony / podium construction & waterproofing

3 / Fire compartments, passive fire, penetration register / markups

4 / Services

5 / Acoustics

6 / Internal wet areas and waterproofing

7 / Facades

8 / Floors

9 / Basements

10 / Durability and Corrosion

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27 April / Notice

QBCC is out in force looking at issues including temporary fire services.

Using the below previous alert and QFES guide, please ensure your sites are compliant with all relevant requirements.

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1 - 20 April / Promotion

From April 1 to 19 Bupa has extended one of their greatest offers yet – 8 Weeks Free! + Ongoing Corporate Discounts.

Learn more about why we partner with Bupa at a Bupa Corporate Benefits Webinar. Bupa will help to demystify Health Insurance + hear more about ongoing corporate offers and discounts!

Click below to secure your seat now! Limited seats available!

April Webinar Booking / 'Why Bupa' - register here

April Booking Consultations / Bupa Phone Consult - register here

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31 March / Update

Enjoy faster access to Australian Standards

SAI Global has recently enhanced their Standards Online (SOL) tool to make it easier to access content.

Enjoy an improved interface and faster search capabilities when looking for Australian Standards. Key enhancements include:

  • Mobile friendly
  • Faster page load times
  • New announcements section
  • Search filter features

As a result of this update, Hutchies will be removing old PDF Standards off the Document Library in coming weeks to remove any risk of storing outdated Standards.

Moving forward, please use SAI Global's Standards Online tool to access all Australian Standards.

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29 March

Hutchies is kicking off a brand new internal cadet training program available company-wide for all cadets and junior administrators.

This HUTCHIFIED task based training is aimed at cadets and junior administrators. Project managers, site managers and anyone else interested are all welcome to attend as well.

We’ll talk through Hutchies' expectations, how best to complete each task, what tools / resources you can use, and who to contact if you need assistance. Read on for more info.

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28 March / Licensing Alert

The QBCC is regularly checking company and Workers’ licences on site against the work that is being performed. 

It’s important that you personally understand what is required on your site, especially if you are in a site supervisory role.

You are also required to check that all Subcontractors and their Workers are correctly licenced for the works they are performing on site. 

If works are completed by unlicenced Subbies or their Workers, we face significant penalty. It only takes 30 demerit points in 3 years to have Hutchies’ building licence disqualified in QLD.

Please familiarise yourself with the below resources.

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