7 May 2019 / Quality Alert

Temporary Fire Services During Construction

Temporary Fire Services including hydrants, fire hose reels and extinguishers are a requirement of the National Construction Code. They provide protection against the potential risk of fire on a building site during construction. Refer clause E1.9 below for specific details.

On building sites, there is risk of fire from construction activities, materials and fuel.

This may pose a significant risk not only to people and the project but also to neighbouring properties.

It’s important to remember that a building site does not have the permanent fire protection systems that protect people and property when the building is complete.

A summary of the requirements can be found here.

What do I need to do from here?

As always, careful planning of the works is necessary. Ensure that this requirement is managed through design.

Then, during construction, implement the requirement in a timely manner to ensure a compliant fire protection system is in place as soon as possible, and before the limits are reached during construction.

All projects need to have a programme that considers the activities and timing required to ensure compliance. Please ensure lead time works including boundary connections, procurement etc are included and a milestone linked to the E1.9 criteria are included.

Keep in mind boundary connections are usually a long process and may impact on permanent water sources for example, so temporary services may be necessary as an interim, where approved by the relevant authorities/designers.

Ensure consideration is given to any water tanks and fire pumps that are required to maintain the fire services protection at all times.

Please ensure safety audits include for regular checking for compliance of these requirements.

If there are any issues with achieving strict compliance, consult the Building Certifier/Building Surveyor/PCA, and any relevant Regulators and Fire Brigades to ensure the works don’t progress without suitable fire protection.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

There are a number of devastating consequences for Hutchies if we are found to be non-compliant. These include:

Risk to people & property
Several fires on other builders’ construction sites have caused damage to cranes.
Recently, arson on a Hutchies site caused damage and delays to the project.
Regulators & associated penalties
It varies from state to state but essentially this is non-compliance to the NCC – which is failure to meet legislative requirements, and failure to adequately (competently) supervise our projects.
This will attract disciplinary action which could include the following:
Contract
The works will need to stop until they are compliant. This could create considerable time delays and result in delay costs.
Public record
Disciplinary action goes on our public record as a black mark against Hutchies, typically for 5 years after an issue is finalised.
Even if no financial penalty is issued – the fact that a regulator had to issue Hutchies a non-compliance notice and had to direct us to rectify is written up against our name publicly for 5 years.
Licence demerit points / suspension / cancellation / sanctions
All states have different systems but non-compliance can contribute to licence restrictions/validity.
Every state is reliant on every team and every project they have under construction being compliant.
The regulator involvement can range from an improvement notice, to a direction, to a Show Cause notice, all the way through to licence restriction/suspension/cancellation if repeated incidents occur.
Financial penalties
Fines range from $110,000 to over $150,000. This is added to by our collective management time, plus legal fees in some cases which can lead to over $200,000 for one incident. Incidents can easily cost $500,000 if we fail to comply!
Industrial manslaughter
In QLD & ACT at present, with VIC proposed and potentially federally in the future, the lack of fire safety systems under the NCC falls under HSE and could involve industrial manslaughter charges.
Reputational damage
All of the above have reputational impact to Hutchies at a professional level – with government, financial (banking) and institutional investors all having significant concerns with compliance, and media coverage potentially putting significant focus and pressure on Hutchies.
Any damage to our reputation puts our pipeline of work at significant risk!
Check the relevant state legislation for more information:
QBCC – 2018/19 Compliance and Enforcement Strategy
QBCC – 2017 Contractual Obligations, Demerit Points and Bans
QBCC – Defective Work & Disputes
VBA – Compliance & Enforcement
VBA – Performance Audits
NSW – Licence Holder Overview
Non-compliant Site

Non-compliant Site

Compliant Site

Compliant Site

Non-compliant (left) and compliant (right) temporary hydrant works

Non-compliant (left) and compliant (right) temporary hydrant works

Valve Sets & Suction Lines

Valve Sets & Suction Lines

​Clause E1.9 – NCC 2016 Amendment 1​

Questions?

If you need additional support, please contact the Quality Team

Phone 1300 HUTCHIES

Email QualityTeam@hutchinsonbuilders.com.au

Other Recent Activities

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17 January / New

Hutchies' meetings and key dates calendar for the year ahead is now available in Outlook and printable PDF.

Add Outlook Calendar

> Open Outlook

> Click 'calendar icon' in bottom left corner

> Click ‘Add Calendar’ button in top ribbon

> Select ‘Open Shared Calendar

> Type in ‘Hutchies Company Calendar’

> It will open and save in Shared Calendars

Watch Video

Downloadable PDF

We also maintain a printable A3 PDF of Hutchies' key meetings calendar. You can download, print and have this version in hard copy. Please note that sometimes dates do change, so be sure to regularly check that you have the latest copy.

Download PDF

Updates

Hutchies' Outlook calendar enables real-time updating of events in a format everyone is familiar with. We specifically only include events in this calendar that are relevant to all of Hutchies nationally to avoid overloading it with irrelevant information.

Annual updates are made for the year ahead roughly in October / November for:

> Company meetings (budgets, board meetings etc) by Natalie Roma to assist the regions in their local calendar planning

> Payment cutoff dates for middle and end of month runs by AP

> Public holidays / social events / observations by the Comms Team If there is an event applicable to all of Hutchies that you think should be included in the company calendar, please let us know.

Other Formats

Previously we published some key dates on Toolbox and through the Meetings for the Year PDF (published on the Doc Library).

Toolbox continues to be used to publish key updates through our Activities area, while the Meetings for the Year is a summary of the key meetings proposed for the years (ie doesn't have as much detail as our Outlook version).

Hutchies’ Toolbox Activities will remain your central go to point for all key company announcements / alerts.



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10 January / COVID-19

Government advice at all levels is changing rapidly. Hutchies will continue to communicate the latest relevant requirements to you as soon as information becomes available. 

Hutchies' teams working in Queensland must read the below, implement the changes and circulate the latest Industry Update with all Workers / Subcontractors / Suppliers as a priority. This enables everyone to be on the same page with how positive cases and close contacts are being managed on construction sites in Queensland.

Other states and territories have slightly different requirements but with the same principles, and these are being communicated separately to those relevant teams.

The processes outlined in this email are based on the latest advice as adopted by the Queensland Construction Industry Working Group and following direct advice and support from Queensland Health. The Industry Plan will continue to be updated as Government Directions are updated and guidance materials are released.

As cases continue to escalate throughout Queensland, it is important to remember that anyone you interact with could have COVID-19 and everyone should be extra vigilant with COVID safe measures. You should monitor for symptoms – if any develop, stay home and get tested.

If you are unsure about anything, need to report a positive case / close contact, or have questions about COVID-19, please contact Hutchies' Coronavirus Team.

Key changes

> Version 2 of the Industry Process for Managing Positive Cases
> Reporting all cases to Hutchies' Coronavirus Team
> Managing Positive Cases & Notification Templates
> Circulating the Industry Update to Workers / Subbies / Suppliers

What's in this update

> Latest Industry Update (Managing Positive Cases & Contacts)
> Reporting & managing cases
> Time and cost clauses in contracts (for COVID-19)

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9 January / COVID-19

Government advice at all levels is changing rapidly. Hutchies will continue to communicate the latest relevant requirements to you as soon as information becomes available.

Hutchies' teams working in New South Wales must read the below, implement the changes and circulate the latest Industry Update with all Workers / Subcontractors / Suppliers as a priority. This enables everyone to be on the same page with how positive cases and close contacts are being managed on construction sites in New South Wales.

Other states and territories have slightly different requirements but with the same principles, and these are being communicated separately to those relevant teams.

The processes outlined in this email are based on updated advice since our email on Friday as adopted by the NSW Construction Industry Working Group and following direct advice and support from the NSW Government.

As cases continue to escalate throughout New South Wales, it is important to remember that anyone you interact with could have COVID-19 and everyone should be extra vigilant with COVID safe measures. You should monitor for symptoms – if any develop, stay home and get tested.

If you are unsure about anything, need to report a positive case / close contact, or have questions about COVID-19, please contact Hutchies' Coronavirus Team.

Key changes

> Version 2 of the Industry Process for Managing Positive Cases
> Reporting all cases to Hutchies' Coronavirus Team
> Managing Positive Cases & Notification Templates
> Circulating the Industry Update to Workers / Subbies / Suppliers

What's in this update

> Latest Industry Update (Managing Positive Cases & Contacts)
> Reporting & managing cases
> Time and cost clauses in contracts (for COVID-19)

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7 - 9 January / COVID-19

National Cabinet has agreed to a unified approach to managing contacts of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. This includes a new definition for close contacts. It currently applies to NSW, QLD, VIC, TAS, SA, ACT and will eventually be adopted by WA and NT.

The changes simplify the circumstances when a person is classified as a ‘close contact’. They also minimise the need for isolation and testing for anyone else potentially exposed to COVID-19 – that is those contacts that have been previously referred to as casual contacts. This update summarises the new requirements and how they will be applied in the construction industry in New South Wales.

The Update below has been developed by an Industry Working Group that includes the CFMEU, PTEU, ETU, MBA and a large number of principal contractors in NSW. It has also been provided to NSW Health and WorkSafe.

This advice is effective immediately and will be implemented across the New South Wales Construction Industry from 7 January 2022 (today). 

Hutchies' teams delivering projects in New South Wales must download and read this latest industry advice and be ready to implement it when managing positive cases on any of our construction sites or in our offices.

A further update will be distributed shortly concerning other states however given the national approach to close and casual contacts, the general principles will be consistent.

Contact the Coronavirus Team if you have any questions or need more information about the current status of COVID-19 in New South Wales.

This important update includes the latest advice for construction on:

> New Definitions & Requirements

Changes for confirmed positive cases and new definitions of close contacts

> Managing a Positive Case

Step by step process for construction sites or offices to manage positive cases

> Contact Tracing

Ensuring Workers continue to check in so they can be promptly notified of a positive case

> Masks

Requirements for mask wearing in Queensland

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7 January / Notice

PBAs are changing and expanding to cover eligible private sector projects in Queensland.

The Queensland Government introduced a trial of Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) in 2018 as part of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 legislation. Initially they applied only to State Government funded projects valued between $1M and $10M.

The system is designed to hold funds in trust for head contractors and subcontractors until payments are due, as part of a building project. The PTA's structure and strict rules help subcontractors get paid regularly in a timely manner and protect their retention and disputed monies.

Following trials of PBAs, Queensland has now expanded the concept through Project Trust Accounts (PTAs) which applies to private sector, local government, statutory authorities' and government-owned corporations' building and construction contracts valued over $10M.

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4 - 10 January / COVID-19

National Cabinet has agreed to a unified approach to managing contacts of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. This includes a new definition for close contacts. It currently applies to QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS, SA, ACT and will eventually be adopted by WA and NT.

The changes simplify the circumstances when a person is classified as a ‘close contact’. They also minimise the need for isolation and testing for anyone else potentially exposed to COVID-19 – that is those contacts that have been previously referred to as casual contacts. This update summarises the new requirements and how they will be applied in the construction industry in Queensland.

The changes are effective immediately and will be implemented across the Queensland Construction Industry from 4 January 2022 (today). They supersede the previous Industry Plan (13/12/2021) which will be updated in due course. 

Hutchies' teams delivering projects in Queensland must download and read this latest industry advice and be ready to implement it when managing positive cases on any of our construction sites or in our offices.

A further update will be distributed shortly concerning other states however given the national approach to close and casual contacts, the general principles will be consistent.

Contact the Coronavirus Team if you have any questions or need more information about the current status of COVID-19 in Queensland.

This important update includes the latest advice for construction on:

> New Definitions & Requirements

Changes for confirmed positive cases and new definitions of close contacts

> Managing a Positive Case

Step by step process for construction sites or offices to manage positive cases

> Contact Tracing

Ensuring Workers continue to check in so they can be promptly notified of a positive case

> Masks

Requirements for mask wearing in Queensland

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17 December 2021 / General

Congratulations all of our Hutchies' veterans and to the winner of Constructor of the Year 2021!

Watch the video below to find out the winner and see all of our service awards for the year. 

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16 December 2021 / Notice

These events, which range from cyclones, rain, hail, flooding, high winds and bushfires have the potential to cause damage to Hutchies' project sites, and adjacent properties and assets.

Since the beginning of Summer 2021 our sites have already braved significant wet weather, and the forecast predicts a lot more to come.

To ensure we're prepared for these weather events and to keep our sites safe and secure, we need to fully implement Hutchies' shutdown and storm preparation processes prior to the holiday break.

This includes checking that the sediment and erosion controls are in place and effective for any projects where we have open ground and soil stockpiles that could potentially cause impact to the environment.

Hutchies' shutdown checklist is on HammerTech > Inspections:
HB-HSEQ-F-084 Site Shutdown Storm Preparation Checklist

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13 - 31 December 2021 / COVID-19

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. 

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