The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it is to consult on proposals to make its cost recovery scheme dispute process fully independent.
The scheme, Fee for Intervention (FFI) was introduced in October 2012 to shift the cost of regulating workplace health and safety from the public purse to businesses which break the law and ensures the cost burden of HSE intervention is picked up by those companies and not taxpayers.
If an inspector identifies serious health and safety failings in the workplace about which they need to write to the dutyholder, then that dutyholder has to pay the costs of the HSE visit. If the inspector simply issues verbal advice there is no charge. If there is disagreement on HSE’s decision the dutyholder can dispute it.
Until now, disputes were considered by a panel which consisted of two members from HSE and one independent person. However, after reviewing the current process HSE will consult with relevant stakeholders with a view to making the process fully independent.
A spokesperson for HSE said: “HSE has always kept the dispute process under review and following a recent application for a judicial review we believe the time is right to move to a dispute process which is completely independent of HSE.”
Notes to editors
- The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
- A full guide to the Fee for Intervention scheme is available on HSE’s website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/index.htm
- Costs will be recovered where there has been a material breach of health and safety law. A material breach is where a business or organisation has broken the law and the inspector considers it serious enough to notify them in writing.
- The Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations 2016 can be found in full at