Health and safety offenders face new costs

Businesses that breach health and safety laws could find themselves facing substantial bills from 1 October.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed that its cost recovery scheme, Fee for Intervention, will start from that date, subject to Parliamentary approval.

The scheme will enable HSE to recover its costs for putting matters right, investigating and taking enforcement action from businesses and organisations found to be in material breach of health and safety law, defined as a breach serious enough to require written notification of the infringement from the HSE. The proposed FFI hourly rate for 2012/13 is £124.

Detailed guidance has now been published on HSE’s website setting out how the scheme will work in practice.

Gordon MacDonald, HSE’s programme director, said: “The published guidance explains how the scheme will work and what businesses can do to comply with the law and avoid incurring a fee.

“It is right that those who break the law should pay their fair share of the costs to put things right – and not the public purse. Firms who manage workplace risks properly will not pay.”

Link: FFI guidance