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HSE Introduce the Fee for Intervention
Anyone breaking health and safety laws risk prosecution from the Health and Safety Executive. If an incident or accident is investigated, and the company or business found to be in breach of Regulations and legislation they will be prosecuted and summoned to appear at court. There the defendants risk fines, the additional pay-outs in the form of court costs and victim surcharge and even a prison sentence. Now the Health and Safety Executive may cause further financial problems in the form of the Fee for Intervention.
If the HSE need to investigate you and find you are breaking the law they now have the right to recover their costs in the investigation as well as any steps they take to help you amend the situation and to enforce their action. The fee will be applied if you have been inspected, if incidents are investigated and the HSE need to respond to any complaints made against you. The amount you will owe is worked out by the amount of time that has been spent completing the above tasks, and the hourly rate for 2012-2013 stands at £124 per hour.
The Government and the HSE both hope that the introduction of the new fee will further help to encourage businesses and companies to ensure they are in compliance with the laws, regulations and Code of Practice. It is also hoped that if they are investigated that the additional financial pressure of the fee will encourage guilty parties to amend any areas that need to be put right. This will help to reduce the risks of poor health, injuries and death to employees and the public.
How to Avoid Paying the Fee
The only way to avoid having to pay the fee is to make sure that you are complying fully with the law. You will not have to pay if the investigation is being performed by the Health and Safety Inspectors, and doesn’t apply if you’re inspected by the environmental health officers of the local authority. All businesses will be affected by the fee if they are not complying with legislation unless:
- They are self-employed and no one is being put at risk by their work
- They are a business that must deliberately work with biological agents
- The business pays fees to the Health and Safety Executive via alternative arrangements
Are You Following the Law?
Many business owners are unaware of their duties but not having awareness will not stop the fees or any further action decided by the HSE. There are many health and safety services that will help companies avoid prosecution and show businesses are fully compliant with the law. These are available from Health and Safety Consultants and include services such as:
- Health and safety training for all personnel including business owners and managers
- Asbestos Surveys
- Fire Risk Assessments
- Health and safety Policy writing
- Health and safety audits
- Document writing
- Competent person service
You can find out more about the health and safety services, and do all that is possible to save your company money and protect your employees and the public by calling 0800 1488 677.