New UK Legislation enabling the HSE to charge a Fee for Intervention (FFI)
What is FFI?
A government initiative to shift the cost of Health and Safety (H&S)
regulation from the public purse to businesses and organisations that
break H&S laws.
Where a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector inspects work
activities and investigates incidents and complaints and identifies a
material breach of H&S law, a fee may be charged.
The fee is based on the amount of time that the inspector has to
spend identifying the breach helping businesses put it right,
investigating and taking enforcement action.
The fee will be charged at £124 per hour but would be increased if
the inspector uses the Health and Safety laboratories or other
Where a material breach is identified, the costs for the whole visit
FFI will come into effect on 1 October 2012 following the adoption of
the proposed Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012.
The HSE have published a “Guidance on the Application of Fee for
Intervention (FFI)” which is freely downloadable from their website.
What is a material breach of H&S Law?
A material breach is when, in the opinion of the HSE inspector, there is
or has been a contravention of H&S law that requires the issuing of a
notice in writing to the business or organisation.
It may be:
• Notification of a contravention.
• An improvement or prohibition notice.
• Notice of prosecution.
Enforcement decision making
The HSE will use two longstanding procedures to arrive at an
enforcement and hence FFI decision:
• Enforcement Policy Statement, (EPS).
• Enforcement Management Model, (EMM).
Amongst other things, these require the exercise of:
• Proportionality – appropriate for the circumstances
• Targeting businesses that pose the greatest H&S risks
Where will FFI apply?
FFI will apply to all businesses inspected by the HSE including crown
and public bodies. It will not apply to businesses inspected by local
Enforcing Authorities. Nor will it apply to the self employed who don’t
put people at risk by their work.
There will be an appeals procedure that will be run by the HSE. The
fee of £124 per hour will be payable where the appeal is not upheld.
Plant Inspections – What should our clients do?
1. Under most regulations you have the responsibility to ensure that
your plant and equipment is inspected on time and to take it out
of service when an inspection is overdue.
2. When an imminent danger (‘A’ immediate) defect has been
identified, remember that the law requires that a copy of the
report is sent to the relevant Enforcing Authority. You should
promptly take the item of plant out of service until the reported
‘A’ immediate defect has been rectified.
3. Where a plant not available notification (PNA) has been issued,
you should ensure that the item or items in question are made
available for inspection as soon as possible.
4. Bear in mind that the inspections undertaken by us are not
substitutes for adequate maintenance. Frequent ‘A’ immediate
reports may catch the HSE’s attention and prompt a visit.
Allianz has the experience, knowledge, practical ability and true
independence and impartiality, to carry out both thorough
examinations and inspections of plant and equipment, in order to
provide the duty holder with a legally compliant examination service.
Allianz Engineer Surveyors fulfil the role of the Competent Person, as
set out in legislation. Our accreditation to ISO 17020 ensures that we
provide our advice without fear or favour and in a practical manner so
that we can fully support our clients in their design to retain plant and
equipment which is safe for continued use.