The HSE Fee for Intervention Scheme has been running for just over a year and with reports citing nearly £1.5m of income generated for the Government from around 3000 invoices during its first 4 months of operation alone, it is set to have a considerable impact on businesses across the UK for years to come.
What is Fee for Intervention?
Fee for Intervention or FFI was introduced on 1st October 2012 by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as a mechanism for recovering the cost of working with companies that are in breach of Health and Safety Regulations to rectify any issues identified.
The scheme was introduced under regulations 23 to 25 of The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012 under which the HSE has a duty to recover its costs from carrying out its regulatory role from companies found to be in material breach of UK Health and Safety Law.
Who is liable under the scheme?
The FFI scheme applies to any organisation where the HSE is the enforcing authority in relation to their compliance with health and safety legislation and includes employers and the self-employed who put others (including their employees or members of the public) at risk.
How does the scheme work?
Once a material breach of Health & Safety Legislation has been identified (by inspectors visiting premises on a random unannounced basis) a fee will be payable by the dutyholder at a rate of £124 per hour. The total amount invoiced will depend on the amount of time the HSE take to identify and conclude its regulatory actionincluding associated administrative work.
Invoices are sent out every two months in January, March, May, July, September and November and are zero rated for VAT purposes.
Fee for Intervention and LEV Systems
Manufacturing businesses in particular have been hit hard by this scheme with reported statistics for the period 1st December 2012 to 31st January 2013 showing them account for 43% of the total invoiced during the period.
In particular many are falling foul of the scheme through the lack of an LEV Report for their extraction and ventilation systems. This breach of the COSHH Regulations, when identified during an inspection, starts the HSE clock ticking and with an hourly rate of £124 it can certainly equate to considerably more than the actual cost of obtaining the LEV Report.
Our advice to any organisation operating an LEV system is not to leave itself open to a potentially large bill and ensure that they are complying fully with their requirements under COSHH.
Additionally, during a recent meeting with the HSE it appears that they are now putting more onus on the employer not just to have an LEV report in place but to ensure that it was carried out by a competent person (in the HSE’s eyes this is someone with at least the British Occupational Hygiene Societies P601 qualification).
The attached Fee for Intervention Guide from the HSE includes further information about the Fee for Intervention Scheme.
You can check the qualifications of the LEV supplier before commissioning your LEV Report by contacting the BOHS.
For further information about any aspect of your regulatory requirements in relation to your LEV system check out the additional resources on our website here or contact our team of experts we are always happy to help.