10 July 2012
Fee for Intervention signals time for proactive approach
HSE's announcement that its cost recovery scheme, Fee for Intervention (FFI), will start in October 2012 means that plant and factory managers must now start taking a more proactive approach to health and safety.
So says Matt St John, head of health & safety services at specialist C&C Consulting.
"At £124 per hour to investigate a material breach, with costs including administration and travel, it is estimated that the costs could escalate into the £1,000's per incident," he says.
"Should the breach also result in a prosecution, HSE will charge up to the point of producing the specification for prosecution and will then demand costs as part of the court case," he continues.
And St John insists that FFI will certainly not only affect larger businesses. "Any employer is legally required to appoint a competent person to assist in meeting their health and safety duties. The changes currently being undertaken by government and HSE therefore clearly apply to organisations of all sizes," he explains.
St John worries that, combined with the government's commitment to reducing the number of health and safety regulations, FFI "risks adding confusion and fear to an already complex market".
It is critical that the HSE takes advantage of the time between now and October to work with businesses to provide clear guidance on the technical details and improve their understanding of the scheme and how it may affect them, he urges.
"With the right proactive approach and confidence in expert health and safety advice organisations, [businesses] can begin to exploit the new era of clearer and more concise regulation to minimise employee accidents, reduce insurance premiums and avoid the new risk of an HSE Fee for Intervention," comments St John.
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