FFI First Fees for Intervention advice

FFI First Fees for Intervention advice

In October the introduction of the first Fees for Intervention (FFI) invoices are going to be issued shortly for companies which have been found to be in material breach with health and safety legislation.

FFI First Fees for Intervention advice

FFI First Fees for Intervention advice

The cost- recovery scheme is planned to charge £124 per hour for the HSE inspectors’ visits. Invoices would be charged every two months (January, March, May, July, September and November) as safety inspections could last for months or even years. They should contain detailed information about the time spent by the inspectors on site and what exactly they have been doing. VAT is not payable on FFI.

When FFI are charged, the inspector has to issue a written notice (a contravention, an improvement or prohibition) to the duty holder explaining the exact breach with the law, which law has been breached and why the inspection has concluded so.

The way inspectors reach their decisions remains unchanged, as they will continue to be based upon the Enforcement Management Model and Enforcement Policy Statement. There are no new tests or new ways of inspection contemplated to be introduced.

Simple compliance with health and safety rules should be enough to keep you away from a big fine and a Fee for Intervention charge. Although it is not always that simple and knowing what the law expects you to do is essential.

Whenever a duty holder or manager is unsure of the correct procedures that are expected from them it is important to ask for advice. Complying with safety procedures appears to be considerably cheaper than paying fees and fines.

FFI First Fees for Intervention advice

Issues like training, appointed responsible safety person, the correct way to put safety signs around the office or site and general tidiness are basic and really important if you are lucky enough to be paid a visit. Apart from those there are some others inspectors’ favorite “hot” issues they are most likely to look for.

- Poorly maintained or misused ladders. Almost a fifth of all falls from height at the workplace are falls from ladders and some of them unfortunately fatal. Employers and managers have the responsibility to raise awareness, train and as in many safety situations even prevent human nature and carefulness. You should remember that a ladder is not always the right tool to do a job and if it is it has to be maintained in the best possible condition. Regular internal reviews of the equipment could save you some money.

- Dangerous work at height. . Still to date one in every twelve workplace injuries is involving falls from height, so businesses are expected to comply with the legislation when working at height. Just paying attention to something like a missing handrail on a section of a scaffold tower would save you from a fine. Protection equipment such as safety nets, edge protection, harnesses etc. is what inspections would be happy to find.

- Badly- organized workplace transport. When transporting, loading and heavy machinery operating in general is inspected the attitude of inspectors will be focusing on previous incidents and training. Many incidents involving operating heavy machinery in factories, warehouses and depots result in serious injuries or dead (1500 major injuries and 50 deaths were reported last year). Improper, lack of training, bad organization of loading areas and general untidiness being among the most common reasons for accidents.

- Asbestos. Inspections will focus on correct and on- time reporting of asbestos exposure. Also correct timekeeping and procedures to remove existing asbestos fibres from buildings will be a way to avoid FFI. Appropriate training has to be taken before working with asbestos and/ or subcontracting specially licensed companies in specific cases when hazards are too high.

- Toxic paint vapours. The exposure to toxic fumes such as isocyanates is found mainly in motor-vehicle repair shops and garages and is contained in certain vehicles paint. When used incorrectly produces asthma and aggravates existing conditions. Pretty easy solution for such a hazard is a good ventilation system and suitable PPE.

- Vibrating power tools. A strict compliance with the law would be expected and looked for in such inspections. Too severe are the conditions which could be a direct consequence of operating vibrating power tools and hand fed and guided machinery. Correct training and compliance with the permitted hours of exposure and use of such tools would be essential to avoid problems.(Control of Vibration at Work Regulations  2005)

FFI First Fees for Intervention advice

This article was compiled by one of our top health and safety consultants in Birmingham


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