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REGULAR


“FROM THE MOMENT HSE


ARRIVES ONSITE AND DETERMINES THERE IS A MATERIAL BREACH, THE METER IS RUNNING.”


BEAT THE CLOCK


Almost two years after the launch of HSE’s Fee for Intervention, Paul J Williams, Consultant at Hosking Associates, considers whether the charge has helped the regulator to stamp out poor health and safety practices at work.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) introduced Fee for Intervention (FFI) as its new cost recovery scheme in April 2012, in an attempt to bridge the gap created by a 35% reduction in the previous full government funding. Some saw it as a timely clamp down in enforcement by the HSE – effectively acting as a deterrent, where others thought it would weaken their position by reducing routine inspections and availability.


Love it or loathe it, the system has been with us for almost two years now and has undergone its first major independent review. In essence, the system is quite simple: if a member of HSE attends your premises and identifies a material breach of health and safety law, you begin to incur an hourly rate of £124 (calculated in 6 minute intervals).


18


A material breach is when, in the opinion of the HSE inspector, there is or has been a contravention of health and safety law, which requires them to issue notice in writing of that opinion to the duty holder.


Written notification from an HSE inspector may be made by a notification of contravention, an


“THE FFI MAKES A LARGE IMPACT IN THE SME MARKET PLACE WHERE THE £124 PER HOUR CHARGED CAN SOON SURPASS THE DAILY EARNINGS OF THE ORGANISATION.”


improvement or prohibition notice, or a prosecution, and must include the following information:


• The law that the inspector’s opinion relates to


• The reasons for their opinion


• Notification that a fee is payable to HSE


It applies to duty holders where the HSE is the enforcing authority. This includes employers, self-employed people who put others (including their employees or members of the public) at risk, and some individuals acting in a capacity other than as an employee, e.g. partners. It includes:


• Public and limited companies


• General, limited and limited liability partnerships


• Crown and public bodies www.tomorrowshs.com


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