The Health and Safety cost recovery scheme is now fully active. Any intervention the HSE has to make will now be chargeable; yet another reason to make sure health and safety is one of your top priorities. Any companies that are investigated by the HSE will now be liable for a number of costs that include the inspection, investigation and any action that is required to enforce the law.
Obviously companies that do not break the health and safety laws and do everything they need to do be in full compliance will not be affected. It is hoped that the additional costs that will be added on top to fines and court costs and potential compensation claims will help to encourage businesses to take action on the health and safety policies before any incidents arise.
A New Incentive to Improve Health and Safety
The Health and Safety Executive’s Chief Executive Geoffrey Podger stated that even very basic mistakes can devastate lives. He believes that it is only right that anyone that costs the HSE money should have to pay for it, rather than have the money come out of the public purse. The Intervention Fees will apply to employers and the self-employed that put people in a position of risk, including their employees and the public.
The costs will be enforced if an employer is found to be in material breach of health and safety law. The HSE inspectors will decide if you are in a material breach who will then hand the duty holder with a notice in writing informing them of the breach. It may include a prosecution, prohibition notice, a notification of contravention or an improvement. The written notice will include the law that the breach is associated with, why the inspector believes you to be in breach and a notification of the Intervention fee that will then be payable to the HSE.
What Will You Be Charged For?
The costs will be based upon how complex the issues are and the type of work it requires. The more breaches there are the higher the cost will be to the employer. Costs of associated work will also be charges that may include:
- Having to write notices and reports
- Follow up work required to ensure compliance that could include phone calls, email, documents and site visits • Gathering the evidence
- Taking down statements
- Assessing the information gathered
- Writing up the conclusion of the investigation and details of enforcement
- Any research that is required to ensure the tasks are followed correctly
- Specialist help from third parties
If you are provided with a notice and intervention fee you will be provided with an invoice. The invoice will give a full breakdown of the costs and what they relate to as well as a description of the work and how long each activity took. You will have thirty days from the date the invoice was issued to pay off the fee.
To avoid these fees it is important to comply with the law. Health and safety consultants can help you to create and maintain an excellent health and safety policy. You can make use of their various in-depth health and safety services by calling 0800 1488 677.