HSE Cost Recovery Scheme to commence 1st October

On the proviso that the Health & Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012 gain parliamentary approval, the HSE will commence their Fee For Intervention (FFI) scheme on 1st October 2012.

The aim of these regulations is to allow the HSE to recover costs for their work if the employer is found to be in “material breach” of health and safety law. In essence this means a law must have been broken and this breech deemed by an Inspector to be “serious”.

Currently, the costs of HSE inspections are funded by the Government so this change is part of the Government’s wider drive to cut costs across the board. However, from a moral perspective, there is a strong argument in favour of making those who flout health and safety laws pay for the work required to bring them to justice, rather than the tax payer.

It is important to note however that the FFI scheme will only be used by HSE Inspectors.  Industry sectors which have the Local Authority as the Enforcing body for health safety (i.e. most low risk workplaces such as offices and shops) will not be subject to this scheme.  Although, Local Authorities may well follow suit in the future if FFI is a success and if similar schemes are viable for them to implement.