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Expert says it’s easy to avoid new HSE fees

Companies shouldn’t panic about the Health & Safety Executive’s new fees for intervention because avoiding the charges can be straightforward, according to the MD of employment safety specialists Bibby Consulting & Support.

The FFI scheme is part of the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012 which, although still subject to parliamentary approval, is likely to come into force next week .

The scheme enables the HSE to recover its costs directly from those businesses that are found to have “materially” breached health and safety legislation.

However, Bibby Consulting & Support managing director Michael Slade revealed that while companies could face charges based on £124 per hour, it is worth pointing out that businesses are unlikely to receive multiple charges if there are several breaches of health and safety law.

It should also be stressed that the HSE will only charge fees for intervention when an inspector finds a “material breach”, he said.

Fees will not be applied for every contravention and no charges will be made for an inspector’s time if they are not employed by the HSE – for example, in industries that are regulated by a local authority, which would apply to a large proportion of UK businesses.

Mr Slade added: “It’s simple: if you comply with your duties under health and safety law you won’t be subject to any form of enforcement action and so you will avoid FFI.”

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