It may be time to review your health & safety policies and set in place the correct measures following the announcement that the HSE are increasing their FFI hourly rate from £129 to £154 with effect from the 6th April 2019. This has been the second increase since the scheme was introduced in 2012, starting off at an hourly rate of £124 and increasing in 2016 to £129 per hour. In a statement, the HSE stated that this can be attributed in part to the fact that the scheme has been operating at a loss.
A representative from the HSE commented:
“HSE’s cost recovery rate for FFI (Fee for Intervention) will increase to £154 per hour with effect from 6 April 2019. This means that businesses that are found to be in material breach of health and safety law will be charged at this new rate. As now, those businesses that meet their legal requirements will not pay anything for HSE’s regulatory activity. HSE must set the FFI rate with the aim of recovering its full cost and in recent years it has operated at a deficit (i.e. cost more than recovered in income). A combination of this and cumulative inflationary pressures support the increased hourly rate.”.
Charlotte O’Kane, associate at law firm Pinsent Mason, speaking to IOSH magazine advised…
“It serves to emphasize the fact that organisations should be ensuring that they are complying with the law and operating safely in order to avoid these FFI invoices being served in the first place. It’s getting more expensive to be investigated by the HSE and if they find a material breach, that is now going to be significantly more expensive.”
Under the scheme, the HSE only recovers costs of its regulatory work from non-compliant duty holders found to be in material breach of safety and health law, covering an inspectors time spent identifying and resolving the issue, as well as any investigation or enforcement action up to the point where HSE’s intervention has been concluded or a prosecution is started, or a report submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland. It is calculated by multiplying the time spent on FFI activity by the hourly rate.
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