Following Parliamentary approval of the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, the Health and Safety Executive’s cost recovery scheme (Fee for Intervention) will start on 1 October 2012. The proposed hourly rate for 2012/13 is £124.
These regulations now place a duty on the HSE to recover costs for carrying out their regulatory functions. A new cost will be incurred directly by businesses if a contravention (‘a failure to observe health and safety law requiring formal action’) is discovered during a HSE inspection or investigation. The business will continue to accrue FFI costs until it has corrected the issues to the HSE’s satisfaction, at which time a bill will be presented.
Budgets will therefore need to be reviewed to ensure that financial provisions are in place to deal with the costs that will be sought by the HSE in the event of a contravention. Many principal contractors are already preparing for this by inserting clauses in the contracts which will make sub-contractors ultimately responsible for the cost. Therefore, in reality, it is likely that it is smaller businesses that are going to suffer most as a result of the FFI regulation.
Published on 12/10/2012