February 2, 2023.

Recently I conducted a detailed owner’s inspection of my new home before I headed off for a quick overseas holiday. As you may recall, Henley recently attempted to block access to my site after I brought up a quality control concern. The same thing has happened again. 

After my inspection I sent Henley the following email:

Hi Belinda*,
On Australia Day I did a quite detailed owners inspection and was mostly very happy with what I saw. Henley’s electrical contractors were onsite at the time of my visit and were doing a great job.
There was a few issues I identified which I’ll detail below but I will also acknowledge that Steve* is possibly already aware of them and has already has organized to fix them.
The attached picture labelled “Truss” appears to show a roof truss intersecting the hole in the ceiling where the vent for the range hood is to pass. The electricians were going to cut out that section of the truss to allow the vent to pass through. That’s fine, but if it is a roof truss, this would be an integral part of keeping the roof up I’d want a fix that is signed off by the Henley engineering team. Please send evidence of any fix put in place.
In the pic labelled “SQ” you can see that the gap between the timber sliding door and it’s frame is not even. This appears to indicate that something is out of square. I’m not sure what is out of square but I’m sure Henley can sort it out.
The third pic “RoofSark” is more of a query. Is there anything in the design to prevent condensation from the tin roof dripping down and soaking the insulation or plasterboard?
The picture labelled “Duct” depicts duct for one of the exhaust fans which has been torn apart down to the wires that support the structure of the duct. As I am paying for a new house I want this replaced, not repaired. I saw the previous attempt to repair a similar tear and the duct taped joint was shoddy, to say the least. Replace that one too.
The final 4 pics show areas of missing insulation and there is multiple other instances I didn’t photograph. Presumably tradies have moved some of them out of the way to conduct their work and failed to put them back. Please rectify.
As mentioned earlier, overall I’m happy the quality of the work onsite. I understand that there will be mistakes on a project this size and I trust that Steve*, and Henley will sort it out.

For days later I received the following response from Henley:

Henley's modus operandi is to hide behind OH&S concerns to block you from seeing quality control issues. How do I know they are not genuine OH&S concerns? See the photos below.

Below is a link to the OH&S act to which Henley refer to

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

If you take even a cursory look at the legislation, you will will see that there is nothing at all in the Act to which they refer which restricts me from site.

Henley do have a duty of care, under the OH&S regulations to keep the site safe. Take a look at the photos below. Do you think Henley, their supervisor and their OH&S team have been taking their OH&S obligations seriously. Remember, the site has been like this for months.

Henley have a duty of care under the act to provide a safe site. The temporary fencing has been open like this for the duration of the build and I have dozens of photos like this one to prove it. Do you think that this would stop curious local children from entering the dangerous site when it is unattended?
The fence has been in a state of disrepair for months.

To be clear, I have every right to have reasonably access to site. The legislation is clear. follow the link and look under the heading “Access to site”

Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995

Page 19 details the legislated right for the owner to have access to site. Further evidence is provided from the Consumer Affairs Victoria website:

Client access to the building site

As you can see, owners have a legal right of access even if they signed a contract which states otherwise. Thankfully, I have decades of experience dealing with OH&S issues and I have the experience to know that Henley are exaggerating these issues to stop me from seeing their work onsite.

In the letters Henley sent to me they are effectively saying that the only way I can be protected from hazards onsite is to have a Henley employee there to keep me safe – That is simply not true, and Henley knows it.

Throughout the build I have conducted regular visits to the site I have lived on for more than 20 years. I am intimately aware of every aspect of the site, including the dangers. After the previous letter I requested a copy of Henley’s site risk assessments to reduce to zero any risks to me on site. Henley declined to provide those risk assessments, probably because they have any. Again, a breach of the OH&S regulations.

Facts would support a conclusion that Henley uses overstated OH&S issues to cover up their quality issues onsite. Buyer beware.

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