Fees for Intervention — HSE’s return on intervention

By George Robers

We’re now almost two years on from when Fees for Intervention (FFI) was introduced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In October 2012, the HSE was provided with a statutory power to recover its costs from those in ‘material breach’ of health and safety law.

From very early on, the subjective and uncertain nature of the term ‘material breach’ opened the possibility for legal challenge. However, with the relatively modest level of the average FFI invoice, those faced with the option of either paying an FFI invoice or appealing it, often choose the former.

In the period from October 2012 to July 2014, the HSE issued 26,849 FFI invoices with an average value of circa £509 (or 4.1 hours of the HSE’s time); 9,813 of those invoices were handed out within the construction industry at a total cost of £3.62m, which means that an average invoice in the construction industry would set you back circa £369…

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