Avoid HSE Fees for Intervention (FFI)
Legal Update Oct 2012
New HSE FEES Charging Scheme
The HSE’s (Health and Safety Executive's) cost-recovery scheme, Fees for Intervention (FFI), came into force 01 October 2012.
The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, require the HSE to charge employers who break the law for the costs associated with the regulator’s inspection, investigation and enforcement activities.
Non Compliant Businesses will Pay HSE £124/Hour
Under the HSE Fees for Intervention (FFI), the employer (business) has to pay a fee based on a rate of £124 per hour. when a “material breach” of health and safety law is identified by a HSE inspector
The fee will be applied to each intervention where a material breach is identified and any other associated work. Where the material breach is identified during a visit then costs for the whole visit are recoverable, from as soon as the HSE inspector enters the site to when they leave.
The fee will also cover all work to ensure that the breach is remedied, as well as any investigation or enforcement action up to the point where the HSE’s intervention has been concluded, or prosecution proceedings begin.
A “material breach” is defined as a contravention of health and safety law that requires an inspector to issue a written notice to the duty-holder. This may be notification of a contravention, an Improvement or Prohibition Notice, or a prosecution. The notification must include the law that the inspector’s opinion relates to; the reasons for their opinion; and notification that a fee is payable to the HSE.
FFI Fees Payable even without Prosecution
There are concerns that the scheme may create added tensions between inspectors and businesses, especially given that the fees would be payable even without a prosecution taking place. The fees are just for the HSE's intervention. If prosecutions were to arise as a result of the intervention then the prosecution costs and fines would be in addition.
H&S Compliant Businesses will not Pay
The good news is that businesses in compliance with their legal obligations will not be affected. The Regulator, hopes that the HSE Fees For Intervention (FFI) will act as a further incentive for duty-holders to operate within the law and help level the playing field between compliant and non-compliant employers.
The Regulations are designed to shift the cost of health and safety enforcement from the public purse to businesses that contravene health and safety laws.
HSE chief executive Geoffrey Podger was quoted as saying: “The most basic safety mistakes in the workplace can devastate lives and result in real costs to industry. It is right that those who fail to meet their legal obligations should pay HSE’s costs rather than the public purse having to do so.”
The details are published in a HSE downloadable guide to the Fees For Intervention (FFI) scheme. Please click the link for a copy.
Recommendation for Employers
Prevent avoidable fees from the HSE by ensuring your business is compliant. Have a health and safety Status Review or Audit carried out on your business and implement the resulting action plan.
Is Your Business Compliant?
Are you satisfied that your business is fully compliant with all its legal obligations. Is it up to speed in all areas where health and safety need to be managed. Has it had a health and safety audit or review in the last 12 months (H&S Audits are a legal requirement). If the answer is no to any of these questions you need to take action now.
Call Us Now for Your H&S MOT - Status Review!
Make sure your business is compliant and avoid the HSE Fees For Intervention (FFI). Ask us to carry out a H&S MOT. We will look at your Policy and Arrangements, your health and safety management system, carry out a visual inspection and provide a written action plan on what your business needs to do to comply with H&S Legislation and current best practice. Avoid the HSE Fees For Intervention (FFI) Call us now!.