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24th March 2017
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Government to charge businesses £124hr for Health & Safety fails
The Health & Safety Executive has recently confirmed that its cost recovery scheme, Fee for Intervention (FFI), will start on 1st October 2012, meaning that business owners need to start taking a more proactive approach now.
FFI aims to recover costs from those who break health & safety laws for the time and effort HSE spends helping to put matters right, such as investigating, writing reports and taking enforcement action.
Chris Hall, Managing Partner of health & safety consultancy Lighthouse Risk Services, says: "As well as confirming the start date for the scheme, the HSE has also published initial guidance explaining how the scheme will work in practice, along with examples illustrating how it will be applied."
FFI will apply whenever an inspector:
Identifies a contravention of health & safety law;
Is of the opinion that the contravention is serious enough to require written notification (i.e. it is a material breach); and
Notifies the person contravening the law of their opinion, in writing, by a notification of contravention, Improvement or Prohibition Notice, or prosecution.
"The new guidance confirms that the hourly fee payable by employers found to be in material breach of the law is £124 per hour," warns Chris. "Apart from knowing the hourly rate, businesses will have no way of knowing what the final bill will come to until the very end of the case.
"What's more, there appears to be no room for discussion or negotiations until this stage either, as the first time that a business can raise an objection is when it receives the invoice for the investigation.
"What is clear is that businesses that want to protect their position and minimise charges should speak to a health & safety consultant today as the prevention is 500% cheaper than the cure."
The initial 'Guidance on the application of Fee for Intervention' is available at www.hse.gov.uk but a final version will be published prior to the start date of the scheme.
28th September 2012