THE Health and Safety Executive recently confirmed that its cost recovery scheme – Fee for Intervention – will start on October 1, 2012, subject to Parliamentary approval.
The aim of this is to encourage businesses and organisations to comply in the first place or put matters right quickly when they don’t.
It will also discourage those who undercut their competitors by not complying with the law and putting people at risk.
New, detailed guidance has been published on HSE’s website setting out how the scheme will work in practice.
It explains how FFI works and includes examples illustrating how it would be applied.
FFI recovers costs from those who break health and safety laws for the time and effort HSE spends helping to put matters right – such as investigating and taking enforcement action.
The changes mean that compliant businesses will have to pay nothing and no charges are intended for technical breaches.
A £124 per hour fee (reduced from £133 per hour) would apply when there is a material breach of law requiring a formal regulatory intervention through a letter, email, instant visit report or notice of prosecution (up to the point that court proceedings start).
When a material breach is identified from a visit, cost recovery will begin and it includes the time that an inspector spends on the case, through to the point that the breach has been rectified.
The HSE has worked with industry representatives in shaping the final form of the scheme and the published guidance explains how the scheme will work and what businesses can do to comply with the law and avoid incurring a fee.