New Intervention Costs Recovery Scheme
The HSE is introducing a new Fee for Intervention (FFI), which basically is an additional penalty added to the original fine for not complying with the law. The idea behind this extra charge is that businesses (those who are fined) have to contribute to the cost of the investigation run by the Health and Safety Executive and to the process of putting things right.
All actions taken by the investigators, since the moment of the discovery of the problem will be charged for. The whole process of investigation- on and off-site visits, letters, telephone calls, evidence collection, reports writing , any specialists support if required etc are proposed to be charged at the rate of 133 pounds per hour. According to that sum, a full regular investigation where no specialist’s external help is needed would cost a minimum of 750 pounds, a routine inspection resulting in just a warning letter from the HSE would be around 750 as well, but if an enforcement notice is the result of the inspection the amount of the FFI will ascend to 1500 pounds.
So is that wise and are these penalties not going to be an impossible burden in the tough economic times we live? Well, the HSE already has a cost- recovery procedure for certain industries like nuclear energy plants, offshore oil and gas production and some chemical on shore manufacturers and storage industries. Now the scheme is planned to be introduced for everybody, the main reason being that is not fare for the rest of tax contributors to cover the investigation costs for all those who are not complying with the legislation. At the same time is expected that this extra charge will make businesses more responsible and careful with the health and safety issues and will deter many from breaching the law.
The scheme was due to start in April 2012 for the time being is put on hold and expected to begin in October this year. So it is important to use the next few months to put things in place, rearrange some training for your staff, get professional advice for some difficult issues etc.
From now on Prevention, Training and Good health and safety habits are going to be the cheapest solutions for your business’s health and safety problems.