McCain Foods Australia Roofing Works

Project Overview

The McCain facility at Lisarow was designed and built by Austin Anderson (US Firm) in the early 1970s as the first Sara Lee Factory in Australia.

McCain recently acquired the Sara Lee facility, which has grown to exceed an 18,000m² footprint during a number of small expansions. A third-party engineering assessment of the facility revealed the need for significant roofing rectification and McMahon Services was engaged to self-perform the complex contract over a 16 month period.

Following an intensive tendering process, McMahon Services was awarded the complex contract to undertake remedial works of the ceiling and external roof structures. The detailed scope of works involved removal and replacement of 18,000m² of roof structure, structural steel fabrication and erection, removal and replacement of 4,500m² of insulated panel ceilings, installation of new fire services upgrade within the factory and mechanical extraction upgrades.

This project was particularly testing for the team as it presented a combination of significant challenges. Firstly, the works were required to be undertaken in a fully operational food processing facility and required food grade standards to be upheld throughout the 16-month program. Secondly, the rectification works occurred in the ceiling and roof spaces above the food preparation environment below, presenting significant programming and sequencing challenges to ensure continuous food processing. The third key challenge was the unpredicted, high rainfall of the NSW Central Coast region.

Despite all significant challenges faced, McMahon Services successfully completed the rectification works with minimal interruption to operational food processing to the delight of the client. This was achieved by:

  • Project planning workshops with all key stakeholder and ongoing collaboration and close communication throughout project
  • Work zone delineation between construction and food preparation zones
  • Stringent food grade PPE worn by construction staff at all times
  • Flexibility with our work crew roster to accommodate weekend work, every week
  • Design of structures that required minimal site works to minimise construction times
  • Weekly food safety risk assessments and site walks to maintain compliance
  • Weekly progress and reporting meetings with client to identify issues in advance of construction works.

Works were completed without incurring a single Lost Time Injury (LTI), Medical Treatment Injury (MTI) or environmental incident. Food grade areas were isolated from construction works at all times and quality of production was never affected by the works. The workforce achieved 29,000 workhours to complete the works to a revised program, delayed due to unexpected heavy rainfall and client instigated revisions to work program. Plant and equipment utilised on the project included 130t and 200t cranes.

This project followed on from the successful completion of other food grade projects for clients such as Lion, Weston Milling, San Remo, Coca Cola and Schweppes. McMahon Services look forward to working with other clients into the future as we continue to grow our experience and capacity in the food and beverage sector.

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