Fees for Intervention — six months on

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) introduced the Fees for Intervention (FFI) scheme on 1 October 2012. Six months on, what has been the experience of clients? Under FFI, employers contravening health and safety law must pay the HSE’s enforcement costs at the rate of £124 per hour until the breach has been rectified. Invoices are rendered every two months.

The HSE issued 1,419 invoices in the first two-month period (October/November 2012) with a total value of £727,644. Around 70 per cent were for sums between £200 and £500. This scheme only applies to organisations where health and safety regulation is enforced by the HSE, rather than local authorities.

In October 2010, the Department of 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. To recoup some of this loss, the Government introduced FFI to recover the costs from businesses failing to comply with health and safety regulation.

The scheme applies to all businesses and organisations inspected by the HSE. Inspections by other regulators, such as local authority environmental health officers, are not affected. The FFI does not apply to businesses already paying fees to the HSE for their work through other arrangements, such as COMAH charges…

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