The HSE is to charge duty-holders who materially breach health and safety law an hourly rate of £124 for its intervention. This is to commence in April next year; the time chargeable will be counted from when a letter or e-mail recording the duty-holder’s breach is sent.
This was agreed to by the HSE Board on 7th December following a presentation of the “Outcome of the recent consultations on the fee for intervention scheme (FFI)”
During the consultation concerns were raised regarding the financial impact the new fees would have on those companies whose non-compliance required the intervention of the HSE. The hourly rate – which has now been decreased to £124 per hour from the initial estimate of £133 – could prove difficult for businesses to manage in the current economic climate, particularly SMEs. It was suggested that ability to pay should be factored in, or a flat rate fee introduced, or the fee should be based on company size. However a spokesman for the HSE responded saying the HSE is bound by Treasury rules and must recover its full costs providing they are reasonably incurred.