HSE delays move to reclaim costs

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has delayed the introduction of a scheme under which it would recover its costs from businesses that break health and safety laws.

The HSE said on 15 March that the Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme would not now start in April 2012, as originally planned. It said it would be introduced at “the next available opportunity”, likely to be October 2012.

The scheme sets out to recover costs from those who break health and safety laws for the time and effort HSE spends on investigating and taking enforcement action. Businesses that comply with the law will not face any charge.

Gordon MacDonald, HSE’s programme director, said: “The government has agreed that 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.

“Discussions are still taking place on the technical details of the scheme, which we expect to conclude soon. Therefore, FFI will not be introduced in April but at the next available opportunity, which is likely to be October 2012.”

HSE said it would be using the extra time to work further with businesses to improve their understanding of the scheme and how it will affect them. It is also trialling the new processes and procedures involved in operating the scheme.

Detailed guidance for employers and organisations will be available on HSE’s website ahead of implementation.

Link: Background information on cost recovery scheme