Risk and business – are you prepared for the HSE?
Are you prepared for the HSE?
Under the Fee for Intervention (FFI) Scheme, the HSE are very active in visiting companies (and especially construction sites). UK businesses paid more than £5.5 million for health and safety failings between when the FFI scheme was introduced in October 2012 and January 2014. Under the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, companies that break health and safety laws are subject to covering HSE-related costs such as call-outs, inspections and investigations.
If you want to avoid paying these costs, then you need to be ready for the HSE visits.
How can you avoid HSE FFI costs?
The answer is simple: ensure that you are compliant with relevant health and safety laws and ensure that you are able to demonstrate this compliance!
Make sure that:
- your business is ready for inspection by an enforcing officer (or ask yourself: “would I be happy to show my best clients around?”)
- your Health and Safety Policy is up to date
- your Risk Assessments are up to date
- your Training records (and training matrix) are up to date
- guards are in place where they should be
- your know where information is and where records can be found
Contact LRB Consulting for assistance with a sensible and proactive approach to Health and Safety in the workplace.
We can help you. It’s better to talk before the HSE have visited you!
We have worked with several clients who have been visited by the HSE and who have benefited from our help and support. We are able to assist them in addressing the issues raised and we are able to put them in “a better place” to deal with HSE. We have assisted clients by lisaising with the HSE, we have helped them to submit an F10 for construction projects and to create Construction Phase Safety Plans, we have carried out detailed site safety audits, we have created health and safety policies and provided ongoing support. Whatever your need, we have help!
What is the FFI Scheme – HSE Cost Recovery Scheme?
The Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) new cost recovery scheme — Fee for Intervention (FFI) — came into force in October 2012 in England, Scotland and Wales. Under the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, those who break health and safety laws are liable for recovery of HSE’s related costs, including inspection, investigation and taking enforcement action. Under FFI, the HSE will only recover costs from dutyholders in material breach of the law. Those who are compliant, or where a breach is not material, will not be charged FFI for any work that the HSE does with them.
The guidance defines a material breach as where “in the opinion of the HSE inspector, there has been a contravention of health and safety law that is serious enough to require them to notify the person in material breach of that opinion in writing”. Written notification from an HSE inspector may be by a notification of contravention, an improvement or prohibition notice, or a prosecution. It must always include information on the law that the inspector’s opinion relates to, the reasons for their opinion, and notification that a fee is payable. The FFI hourly rate for 2012/13 is £124 and, where an inspector finds a breach, the charge will begin from when the inspector first arrived at a premises. The HSE has published guidance, which includes examples of material breaches but makes clear these do not cover every scenario where FFI might apply. Examples include not providing effective guards or safety devices to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery, and leaving materials containing asbestos in poor or damaged condition, potentially releasing asbestos fibres.
FFI – Podcast
Mike brings a common sense approach to a subject where sense is often uncommon. His pragmatic approach combined with a professional approach to Health & Safety make a real difference to his clients.