Employers risk massive health and safety costs

Employers risk massive health and safety costs

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently confirmed the launch of its cost recovery scheme Fee for Intervention (FFI) (which commenced on October 1st), meaning business owners need to start taking a more pro-active approach.

FFI aims to recover costs from those who break health and 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 Lighthouse Risk Services, a leading health and safety consultancy, commented: “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 in the following instances:

  • An inspector identifies a contravention of health and 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.

Chris continued: “The new guidance confirms that the hourly fee payable by employers found to be in material breach of the law is £124 per-hour. 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 they receive the invoice for the investigation.

“What is clear is that businesses who want to protect their position and minimise charges should speak to a health and safety consultant today, as the prevention is 500% cheaper than the cure.”

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