7 May / Quality

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:
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​


If you need additional support, please contact the Quality Team

Phone 1300 HUTCHIES

Email QualityTeam@hutchinsonbuilders.com.au

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4 November / Public Holiday

Monday 4 November 2019 (TAS only)

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29 October / General

A range of new SYZMIK site clothing options have been added to the Hutchies' Shop.

Please take a look and provide feedback on the new range.

Note: whilst we trial this new range, SYZMIK clothing will be limited to 1 shorts and 1 pants per annual allocation. These products will also count towards normal yearly allocation limits. All orders over and above this limit will need to be costed to a job number and cost code. 

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5 November / Public Holiday

Tuesday 5 November 2019 (VIC only)

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28 October / Legislation Alert

Applicable to QLD, NT, NSW, TAS & SA

As a builder who undertakes projects funded by the Federal Government Hutchies must comply with the Building Code. The Building Code, together with its supporting guidelines, establishes a set of standards in relation to procurement and workplace relations in the building and construction industry – including right of entry requirements for Union Officials.

Since the introduction of Building Code 2016 there has been some confusion in relation to whether a Union Official who does not hold a federal right of entry permit can enter a site for the purposes of representing a party to a Health and Safety dispute.

On Wednesday last week, the Federal Court handed down a decision which clears up this confusion.

The Court determined that a Union Official entering a site as a representative of a party to a safety dispute is required to hold a federal right of entry permit.

The decision means that in order to comply with Building Code 2016, Hutchies is not able to facilitate entry to sites by non-permit holders and that entry to sites by Union Officials must only be in accordance with either the Fair Work Act or the applicable State health and safety legislation. Over the coming weeks we will be updating our Handbooks and Flowcharts to reflect this change however, it is important that you are aware of the change in procedure now, as no doubt it will become an area of focus for ABCC inspectors.

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4 November / Meetings

Monday 4 November 2019

Please participate in Monday’s meetings if possible. Times below are Queensland time (AEST).

8.00am / Site Managers / Foremen / Leading Hands / Apprentices

Held in Toowong training room and video conference from offices via Surface Hubs and Polycoms.

3.00pm / All Project Managers and Contract Administrators

Regions to join via video conference in each office, individuals out of the various offices to join by the usual teleconference facilities (details can be downloaded below). All Hutchies’ project related people from office or site are encouraged to participate.

5.00pm Dumplings and a beer / Brisbane only

It would be great if all could participate.

Remember to mute your line by entering *6 - to unmute, enter #6

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25 October / Event

MKR theme!!

One person from each team (Finance, Payroll, AP and IT) will be the main chef. Each team has picked a cuisine that is different and they will all be tapas size. Prepare to see the terrace transformed into eat street styling with a stall set up for each team. Once everyone has tried each team's cuisine you will then vote for the team you think should be crowned the king (or queen) of the kitchen!


Friday 25 October at 4pm


The Terrace, Toowong


By clicking 'Yes' in your email invitation

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24 October / Public Holiday

Thursday 24 October 2019 (TAS only)

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7 October / Public Holiday

Monday 7 October 2019 (QLD / NSW / ACT / SA only)

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6 October / Observation

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am on the first Sunday in October, when clocks are put forward one hour. It ends at 2am (which is 3am Daylight Saving Time) on the first Sunday in April, when clocks are put back one hour. Daylight saving is not observed in Queensland, the Northern Territory or Western Australia. Please remember this time change when arranging travel etc.

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