Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012

Posted on: 19 April 2013

New UK Legislation enabling the HSE to charge a Fee for Intervention (FFI)

What is FFI?

A government initiative to shift the cost of Health and Safety (H&S) regulation from the public purse to businesses and organisations that break H&S laws. Where a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector inspects work activities and investigates incidents and complaints and identifies a material breach of H&S law, a fee may be charged. The fee is based on the amount of time that the inspector has to spend identifying the breach helping businesses put it right,investigating and taking enforcement action. The fee will be charged at £124 per hour but would be increased if the inspector uses the Health and Safety laboratories or other specialist services. Where a material breach is identified, the costs for the whole visit are recoverable. FFI will come into effect on 1 October 2012 following the adoption ofthe proposed Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012.The HSE have published a “Guidance on the Application of Fee for Intervention (FFI)” which is freely downloadable from their website.

What is a material breach of H&S Law?

A material breach is when, in the opinion of the HSE inspector, there is or has been a contravention of H&S law that requires the issuing of anotice in writing to the business or organisation.

It may be:

  • Notification of a contravention
  • An improvement or prohibition notice
  • Notice of prosecution.

Enforcement decision making

The HSE will use two long standing procedures to arrive at an
enforcement and hence FFI decision:

  • Enforcement Policy Statement, (EPS)
  • Enforcement Management Model, (EMM).

Amongst other things, these require the exercise of:

  • Proportionality - appropriate for the circumstances
  • Targeting businesses that pose the greatest H&S risks
  • Consistency
  • Transparency
  • Accountability.

Where will FFI apply?

FFI will apply to all businesses inspected by the HSE including crown
and public bodies. It will not apply to businesses inspected by local
Enforcing Authorities. Nor will it apply to the self employed who don’t
put people at risk by their work.