HIA Update: Christmas Shutdown Reminder

Approx read time: 2 minutes

With Christmas around the corner you need to take the time to ensure you have appropriate arrangements in place for any contracts with works in progress.

Works in Progress
If you use HIA Building Contracts, and you have an ongoing project that will not be completed until after the Christmas / New Year period, you should give written notice to your client informing them of your intention to shut down over this period.

If you had not contemplated the shut down period within the contract period and now foresee the contract running past the completion date, HIA contracts entitle you to extend the time for the building period for the industry shutdown period.

This however is not an automatic extension and the procedure within the contract must be followed to claim this extension of time. This involves the giving of a written notice within 10 working days after becoming aware of the cause and the extent of the delay. The notice should inform the owner of the exact amount of extra time that is to be added to the building period due to the shutdown.

For any new contracts you sign up where you expect to start works before Christmas, you should take the shutdown period into account when calculating your building period as this delay is anticipated.

Site Security
With the annual shutdown and school holidays fast approaching, it is important that children and members of the public in general are not exposed to any hazards on your site. Where hazards are present on your site, you need to ensure:

  • they are controlled to prevent injury or death;
  • that members of the public are not exposed to them if they are uncontrolled.

You will need a perimeter fence if your risk assessment identifies that this is the only way to control or minimise the risks.

You should strongly consider installing a fence around the site where it is:

  • near a school or route where children travel to and from school;
  • close to parks and recreational areas;
  • in a built up area.

Remember that unauthorised persons, including children, may not be deterred from entering your site by signs alone. Ideally all hazards on site should be controlled however this may not always be achievable so fences may help in restricting access.

Make sure your fencing is adequate for its purpose by checking that it is a suitable height to deter entry (e.g. 1.8m high); is constructed from dedicated materials; is difficult to climb; is difficult to gain access underneath; is stable and able to withstand anticipated loads; and has secure gates and joints that do not present a weak point for entry.

For more information HIA members can contact HIA Workplace Services on 1300 650 620.

On behalf of HIA I wish all NHS customers, colleagues and families a Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous and safe New Year.
Craig Jennion
HIA Executive Director – Hunter