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HSE: Fees for Intervention Scheme
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) will introduce a Fee for Intervention (FFI) Scheme on 1 October 2012.
Under FFI, employers contravening Health and Safety Law will be forced to pay the HSE’s enforcement costs, at the rate of £124-per-hour until the breach has been rectified.
It is estimated that in a full year the HSE will recover around £40m in such fees.
In October 2010, the Department for Work and Pensions announced that following the comprehensive spending review, it was cutting the HSE’s grant by 35% over four years from April 2011, roughly equivalent to £80m.
In order to recoup some of this loss, the Government is introducing FFI to recover costs from businesses that fail to comply with health and safety regulation.
The new scheme
The new scheme applies to all businesses inspected by the HSE.
The intention is that the HSE will recover costs of its regulatory work from duty holders found to be in ‘material breach’ of health and safety law.
It will only relate to interventions that occur after 1 October 2012. This will either be from a proactive or a reactive visit where the HSE inspector judges that there has been a material breach of health and safety law serious enough for duty holder to be notified of the contravention in writing.
How much will it cost?
The inspector will record the time spent identifying the breach, advising on putting it right, investigating it, and taking enforcement action.
This will include all time spent carrying out visits, including all time on the site during which the material breach was identified, the writing of letters, notices, reports, taking statements and getting specialist reports for complex issues.
The total amount of time will be multiplied by an hourly rate to give the amount payable. The proposed rate is £124-per-hour.
Chargeable time runs from the start of the visit when the material breach is identified, until it is corrected.
The HSE itself has estimated the cost to duty holders of intervention.
It believes that an enforcement letter will result in a £750 invoice. An Enforcement Notice will be approximately £1,500. The fees can only be charged to organisations, not to employees.
The new arrangements could result in significant costs for a business.
The HSE has been carrying out a number of dry runs that have identified a number of difficulties, especially in having a consistent approach by HSE inspectors about what amounts to a material breach.
In reality, inspectors will come under pressure to recover costs from non-compliant organisations.
For further information or if you need technical or safety support
Contact NPD Services on 0781 6510825
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Source: newsroom - meattradenewsdaily.co.uk
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