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

 

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