“Fee for Intervention” proposals to be adopted

Following the end of public and formal consultation procedures in October 2011, the Board of the Health and Safety Executive has announced its conclusions. Fee for Intervention (previously known as fee for fault) will be adopted from April 2012 broadly along the lines originally proposed, but with a headline charge of £124 an hour instead of £133.

This reduction is simply because HSE’s own costs are lower as a result of internal savings and job reductions. Consultation concluded that it was reasonable for noncompliant employers to bear the costs associated with their failings, rather than the taxpayer.

There will be shadow-running of the processes and procedures between now and March, with cost recovery becoming operational in April. Earlier dry runs took place in Chelmsford, Bedford, Basingstoke, Newcastle and Norwich.

Compliant organisations will not have to pay for inspectors’ time but where a material breach is discovered, the charges will be applied. A material breach is defined as where, in the opinion of the inspector, there has been a contravention of a health and safety law that requires written notification to the employer. Written notification includes email, letter, enforcement notice, prosecution, or a hand-written report on the day of the visit.

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