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HSE increases enforcement rate

The HSE has increased the rate it charges for its inspectors' time under the fee for intervention scheme.

The HSE has increased the rate it charges for its inspectors’ time under the fee for intervention scheme. How much could this cost you?

On charge

The HSE introduced the fee for intervention (FFI) scheme in October 2012. Its aim was to recover costs incurred in dealing with businesses which fail to comply with their legal obligations, as defined in health and safety law.

How much?

When the scheme was introduced the rate was £124 per hour. In 2016 this increased to £129. On 6 April 2019 the HSE hiked the rate by almost 20% to £154. The justification for such an increase is that despite hitting businesses for £15m in fees in 2017/18, this wasn’t enough to cover its operating costs of almost £17m.

How much could this cost you?

When the scheme started an eight-hour day would have been billed at £992; now you’re looking at £1,232 for the same period. As an investigation can last many days, bills could

increase by thousands of pounds.

Warning

As the HSE is under pressure to cover its costs, in addition to the rate hike, be aware that inspectors are likely to be more focused on billing for their time.

When might you be billed?

For an inspector to be able to charge, they must identify a “material breach” of the law, e.g. a missing machine guard or failure to manage the risks associated with work at height. The violation has to be serious enough for the inspector to deem it necessary to write to the duty holder to inform them that they must take action to address the breach.

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