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HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns

HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns

HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns  In October last year the Health and Safety Executive introduced the Fee For Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme, as part of its new self-financing program. One year later and 5,766 invoices for material breaches issued to a range of different industries, the state of the “relationship” between HSE and businesses is not of the happiest ones. Many businesses have been complaining about the lack of actual advice being received from inspectors and the aim of the HSE is to just collect the fees… It is important for businesses to understand the procedures that an inspector would follow when doing their job and act in accordance. A recent research, carried by DAC Beachcroft, has found that around 50 percent of those surveyed had not heard of FFI before the actual inspection had been conducted.  An easy to understand reason may be that most business owners are concentrating on running their  businesses and trying to make Britain great again, there is no time of thinking about possible HSE inspections. Duty holders are now expected to perceive and embrace health and safety as an essential part of good management and of doing business in general. So in order to avoid unpleasant surprises of an inspector knocking on your door, drop a call to your safety consultant or if you do not have one, try to keep yourself up to date with safety issues, legislation and news. HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns   The FFI will be charged to organisations only if a material breach has been found and written advice issued in those cases. If a breach in health and safety procedures is the case, no fees should be charged and you would receive simply verbal advice.   Here are some bullet points with a general idea on how to manage an inspection situation. HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns  * Compliance. As usual compliance with health and safety law is a key. Companies should follow the rules, because if not the costs could be much higher compared to the few pennies you may save, while trying to avoid them. Keeping up-to-date with all your safety paperwork (risk and fire assessments, method statements, copies of the relevant training courses, health and safety policies etc) is essential and make sure it is relevant for your line of business. Conduct safety audits and deal with safety hazards as soon as possible. These are simple steps which would permit you always to be ready, even if the inspection is unannounced. * Managing visits. Try to keep them short, organize and maintain the control over what is happening at all times. This is easily done, even if you are facing an unplanned inspection. As long as staff are prepared (especially receptionists and security, giving an easy and welcoming access to the premises) and there is a manager, duty holder or safety consultant (or a responsible worker with acceptable knowledge of safety procedures) available on site to escort the inspectors, the visit should run smoothly and favorably for you.  Start the visit with a brief presentation, sit on a quiet place and discuss the actual scope of the visit. It is extremely important to keep taking notes of all relevant issues that are being discussed during the inspection. This recorded information will give you an option in the future to challenge a material breach conclusion and/or dispute possible invoices. Respond confidently to any queries that the inspector may raise, if not immediately after the site visit explaining the company’s safety procedures. End the inspection with a brief closing meeting to clarify things and agree on action points. This is the moment when you can agree on a remedial action for a problem and explain the context of the suspected material breach, in order to avoid a written notice to be warranted.  * Dealing with a written notice. The key at this stage is to deal with them as quickly as possible. If a written notice for a material breach has been issued, you could arrange another meeting (you are likely to be charged for the inspector’s time in this case too), where you would have the opportunity to explain why you disagree and see how the inspector would react if a query against the decision is raised. It may result in the inspector not pursuing with the written notice or it simply could serve you to build up a relationship for the future. If a clear material breach has taken place in your organisation directly pay the bill (the average amounts during the first six months of the scheme were around £464) and also agree on a solution action plan of the problem with the HSE. When paying the invoice though, bear in mind that if you are being prosecuted on safety issues in the future, this could be used by as an evidence of acceptance of the material breach by the prosecution. Also you should be aware that when tendering for work you may need to declare that you have been fined and accepted a material breach. HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns

HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns

In October last year the Health and Safety Executive introduced the Fee For Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme, as part of its new self-financing program. One year later and 5,766 invoices for material breaches issued to a range of different industries, the state of the “relationship” between HSE and businesses is not of the happiest ones.

Many businesses have been complaining about the lack of actual advice being received from inspectors and the aim of the HSE is to just collect the fees…

It is important for businesses to understand the procedures that an inspector would follow when doing their job and act in accordance. A recent research, carried by DAC Beachcroft, has found that around 50 percent of those surveyed had not heard of FFI before the actual inspection had been conducted.

An easy to understand reason may be that most business owners are concentrating on running their  businesses and trying to make Britain great again, there is no time of thinking about possible HSE inspections.

Duty holders are now expected to perceive and embrace health and safety as an essential part of good management and of doing business in general. So in order to avoid unpleasant surprises of an inspector knocking on your door, drop a call to your safety consultant or if you do not have one, try to keep yourself up to date with safety issues, legislation and news.

HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns
The FFI will be charged to organisations only if a material breach has been found and written advice issued in those cases. If a breach in health and safety procedures is the case, no fees should be charged and you would receive simply verbal advice.
Here are some bullet points with a general idea on how to manage an inspection situation.

HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns
* Compliance. As usual compliance with health and safety law is a key. Companies should follow the rules, because if not the costs could be much higher compared to the few pennies you may save, while trying to avoid them. Keeping up-to-date with all your safety paperwork (risk and fire assessments, method statements, copies of the relevant training courses, health and safety policies etc) is essential and make sure it is relevant for your line of business. Conduct safety audits and deal with safety hazards as soon as possible. These are simple steps which would permit you always to be ready, even if the inspection is unannounced.

* Managing visits. Try to keep them short, organize and maintain the control over what is happening at all times. This is easily done, even if you are facing an unplanned inspection. As long as staff are prepared (especially receptionists and security, giving an easy and welcoming access to the premises) and there is a manager, duty holder or safety consultant (or a responsible worker with acceptable knowledge of safety procedures) available on site to escort the inspectors, the visit should run smoothly and favorably for you.

Start the visit with a brief presentation, sit on a quiet place and discuss the actual scope of the visit. It is extremely important to keep taking notes of all relevant issues that are being discussed during the inspection. This recorded information will give you an option in the future to challenge a material breach conclusion and/or dispute possible invoices. Respond confidently to any queries that the inspector may raise, if not immediately after the site visit explaining the company’s safety procedures. End the inspection with a brief closing meeting to clarify things and agree on action points. This is the moment when you can agree on a remedial action for a problem and explain the context of the suspected material breach, in order to avoid a written notice to be warranted.
* Dealing with a written notice. The key at this stage is to deal with them as quickly as possible. If a written notice for a material breach has been issued, you could arrange another meeting (you are likely to be charged for the inspector’s time in this case too), where you would have the opportunity to explain why you disagree and see how the inspector would react if a query against the decision is raised. It may result in the inspector not pursuing with the written notice or it simply could serve you to build up a relationship for the future. If a clear material breach has taken place in your organisation directly pay the bill (the average amounts during the first six months of the scheme were around £464) and also agree on a solution action plan of the problem with the HSE. When paying the invoice though, bear in mind that if you are being prosecuted on safety issues in the future, this could be used by as an evidence of acceptance of the material breach by the prosecution. Also you should be aware that when tendering for work you may need to declare that you have been fined and accepted a material breach.

HSE fee for intervention FFI concerns

 

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessments

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessments

One of the main legal requirements to consider when opening a new business is the fire safety issue. If you happen to be an employer, business owner, occupier, or landlord you are responsible for the fire safety of your workers, public and anyone who could be affected. Usually the duty holder or business owner is also considered by the Fire Safety Order to be the “responsible person” for the fire safety of any non- domestic premises.


Complying with fire regulations and making your business premises safe is very important. It can reduce the cost of public and building liability insurances, and also by minimizing the risk of fire certainly makes everybody's life easier… Trying to avoid and reduce costs in regard of fire safety is not the correct way of doing things, mainly because most fires could be effectively prevented. For example, most fires start due to failures in the electric system of the building, so even if your business doesn’t involve the direct use of fire or flammable substances, fire precautions should be followed and obeyed by everybody, even in the so called “low risk environments” such as shops and offices. We are not just talking about workshops and higher risk places than office buildings.

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

Who can conduct a fire risk assessment?
Anyone who is the responsible person for fire safety of non- domestic premises and employs five or more people should keep a written record of all fire risk assessments. Fire risk assessments are usually expected to be conducted by the responsible person, depending on the difficulty and the business activity there are many duty holders who successfully manage to do it themselves. The approach should be exactly the same as doing a risk assessment for any other kind of job; however some additional reading and knowledge of fire safety regulations might be required. Very often duty holders delegate that job to a professional safety expert (ideally professional fire safety expert), naming him or her as their “competent person”. Usually the local fire and rescue authority should be able to provide advice about if the risk assessment has been done appropriately, but it is illegal for them to carry out the assessment for you.

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

1. Identifying the hazards.
There are three things needed for a fire to start and should be considered as hazards- a source of ignition (heaters, lighting, naked flames, electrical equipment, cigarettes, matches, anything else that can get very hot and cause sparks), a source of fuel (wood, paper, plastic, rubber, foam, packaging materials, furniture, rubbish) and oxygen.
2. People whom would be at risk consider especially disabled workers and/ or members of the public.
3. Evaluate, remove or minimize the risks. As in every risk assessment identifying the level of danger and possibility of the hazard to occur is essential.

When conducting a fire risk assessment you should think about the probabilities and what type of fire the risk could lead to and try to remove or change it accordingly: level 1 fire hazard, level 2 small contained fire, level 3 significant fire, level 4 major fire, level 5 major fire with risks of fatalities. Anything significant should be unacceptable and it doesn’t matter how important an item, machine or work process is for your business, if there is a chance of it causing a fire of level 3, 4 or 5 it should be removed or changed.
4. Having appropriate fire exits and fire extinguishers and provide some training for the employees or occupiers on what to do and how to use them in case of emergency. Keeping fire exits clearly marked and unobstructed at all times, conducting regular drills. Depending on your business activity you should provide the correct fire extinguishers.
5. A good standard of general cleanliness and tidiness, especially when disposing off rubbish or storing potentially flammable substances.
6. Keep copies and make regular reviews of all your fire risk assessments. Reviews are very important when changing work procedures and really useful when conducting a safety induction for new staff members.

How to Conduct a Fire Risk Assessment

If you would like more advice please call us on 0845 519 9059 or visit www.safe2use.com

Are we going to see improved understanding of health and safety requirements for businesses?

Are we going to see improved understanding of health and safety requirements for businesses?

Are we going to see improved understanding of health and safety requirements for businesses?

Are we going to see improved understanding of health and safety requirements for businesses?

Let’s hope so… Regulatory bodies and local authorities’ performance will soon be measured and regulated by an improved Regulator’s Code. Planned to be published next spring (subject to Parliamentary approval), it’s expected to improve the way in which health and safety control is delivered by the awarded bodies.
Part of the many changes, direct results from the Lofsted review, which the Government has promoted during the last year, it is expected that this amended regulation will give a clearer idea of what the regulating authorities are expected and permitted to do. The aim is to raise the standards of service and control which hopes to improve businesses’ perception of health and safety authorities.
It is coming in to substitute the Regulators’ Compliance Code, and it’s claimed to be clearer, shorter and easier to follow and understand. Essentially, it contains simplified guidance, tools, case studies and templates which would give regulators more flexibility when attending businesses and setting up their own individual standards and requirements.

By creating this more flexible and risk- assessment based framework it’s expected to set up the rules so health and safety authorities can design their own particular approach on how to deal with businesses.

After consultation in which national regulators, local authorities, businesses and trade bodies have taken part, many issues have arisen regarding the complexity of the existing code. One of the main problems that the new framework is addressing is the fact that on many occasions standards and policies are published but are not well enough understood and sometimes, poorly delivered by the health and safety professionals and consequently poorly understood and implemented by businesses.

This inevitably leads to health and safety failures and incidents…

Are we going to see improved understanding of health and safety requirements for businesses?

The main solution for the confusion that businesses have complained about would be an open dialogue policy. Certainly, this is an issue that many health and safety consultants and advisers encounter on a daily basis.

Many duty holders and line managers have been found to be reluctant to invest in health and safety, complying just with the bare minimums. This is not always enough to keep workers safe. The introduction of the requirement of regulators publishing clear guidance and service standards would permit businesses to have an easy access to information about what is expected from them in case of inspection. Also, the new Regulator’s Code is promoting the attitude for regulators to actively engage in accepting complaints and suggestions from businesses, regarding safety issues.

Businesses, citizens and Government are expected to monitor regulators and challenge the authorities, if they are not acting in line with their own published rules.
High levels of compliance are considered to be the core mile stone of better safety culture and safer workplaces. For many safety professionals, health and safety is a vocation and highly satisfactory job which saves lives. Hopefully with the series of new regulations and the scraping of old and unnecessary ones which were developed and introduced during the last couple of years, we all are going to work in a safer and better country.

Clearer information and more understanding is what businesses have been asking for for a long time now, lets hope it is going to work out

Are we going to see improved understanding of health and safety requirements for businesses?

Slips, Trips and Accidents in the Workplace

Slips, Trips and Accidents in the Workplace

Slips, Trips and Accidents in the Workplace

Slips, Trips and Accidents in the Workplace

Whether someone slips, trips or falls over in the workplace, there is a set procedure that must take place. Slipping or tripping over something in the workplace is the most common accident caused at work. It is estimated that slips, trips and falls are responsible for causing 50% of all workplace injuries and accidents. Falling, particularly if from a great height can be the cause of more serious injuries and can often prove fatal. Therefore, the importance of risk assessment when monitoring ways to prevent slips, trips and falls cannot be understated.

 

So what does the Health and Safety Executive say about this type of accident or injury? In 1974, an Act was passed in law which requires employers the responsibility of ensuring all employees are safe. The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) means employers must carry out regular assessments to look out for risks that may be deemed dangerous and cause employees to trip, slip or fall.

Slips, Trips and Accidents in the Workplace

A risk assessor would often be delegated by a company owner or building representative to oversee the daily duties of making sure the health and safety of those that work within the building are maintained. The health and safety officer would check for things like cables or wires that are protruding into walkways, platforms with insecure foot plates, liquids that have been spilled on the floor and carpet tiles that may have curled up on one corner and present a trip hazard to employers walking around.

 

The health and safety officer is then responsible for recording all the finding they have found and then taking action to remedy the situation, so that it no longer becomes a hazard which may cause an employer to slip, trip or fall.

 

The duties of the health and safety officer were enshrined in law in 1999 when a regulation was passed (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999) requiring a health and safety officer to check regularly for risks that may cause an employee to trip, fall or slip anywhere in the workplace.

Slips, Trips and Accidents in the Workplace

Another regulation was introduced in 1992 requiring health and safety representatives to make sure all floors, pathways, warehouse floor areas, walkways and dining areas do not have any obstacles or hazards which may cause an accident (The Workplace ((Health, Safety and Welfare)) Regulations 1992). It determined that all employees and visitors should be able to move around the workplace safely and securely.

Slips, Trips and Accidents in the Workplace

 

The importance of health and safety in the workplace

The importance of health and safety in the workplace

The importance of health and safety in the workplace

The importance of health and safety in the workplace

How important is health and safety in the workplace? The Health and Safety Act was introduced in 1974 in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of those in the workplace. However, the debate about its importance has been gathering momentum over the last few years and has detractors and supporters on both sides.

There are some who argue that workplace health and safety has gone too far. Health and safety has to a certain extent become a generic phrase and it appears that not a lot of people are aware of what it means.  These people argue that health and safety law is often used as an excuse to ban or limit activities when in reality the risks posed are trivial or could be prevented by a risk assessment.

They also argue that health and safety measures are too complex, with some arguing that it is better just to use common sense rather than carry out risk assessments. Furthermore, it has been claimed that health and safety in the workplace wastes time and money, with workers having to carry out ridiculous measures in order to avoid minor risks, for example receiving safety training with staplers in order to avoid stapling themselves. The claim is that health and safety legislation actually hinders productivity and interferes with day to day life.  It could also be argued that some workplace health and safety rules are outdated.

A survey of 6000 businesses, conducted by the British Chamber of Commerce in 2011, found that almost half of the firms surveyed felt that health and safety regulations are a burden to deal with. David Frost, director general of the BCC, argued that the number of rules confuses employers, especially smaller organisations.

He stated, “Time and time again, we hear of unnecessary and unreasonable examples of health and safety. For example, home workers are treated in the same way as those working onsite, with the employer forced to conduct ever-more elaborate and costly assessments of the employee's home environment."

The importance of health and safety in the workplace

However, if the health and safety initiatives carried out in workplaces help prevent the serious injuries that can be caused in the workplace then that surely must be a good thing. If organisations are required to adopt a balanced and well-thought out response to controlling risks then this is a must be seen as good move. More than 200 people are killed at work each year (not including work-related road deaths); if implementing health and safety measures can help cut down on these numbers, then this should be seen as positive move.

Whilst for some, health and safety in the workplace is seen as a hindrance, it is something that workers have fought for as they have attempted to improve their overall working conditions. If we implement cuts to do away with it, then we underestimate the positive effect health and safety has had on the workplace. It could also have a positive effect on employees’ morality and wellbeing, as they feel the workplace is attempting to look after them.

It seems that there is a great deal of confusion and falsehoods about what health and safety actually is and what its legislation entails. It does seem that health and safety helps more than it hinders and its place in the workplace is extremely important.

The importance of health and safety in the workplace