Health and Safety Executive target Businesses

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Under a new set of rules the Health and Safety Executive are looking to recoup money from non-compliant companies, who breach health and safety rules in the United Kingdom.

Funding for the HSE has been drastically cut by over £40 million by the current government and one of the ways they can try and recoup some of the last funding is by charging companies for any breaches of safety.

Funding for the HSE has been drastically cut by over £40 million by the current government and one of the ways they can try and recoup some of the last funding is by charging companies for any breaches of safety. This could include any time spent on the companies premises investigating breaches of safety, and also any additional visits in respect of breaches of health and safety legislation.
Mark Cody from GK Safety has stated:
This may have a significant impact on businesses which don’t have their health and safety in order. It is yet to be seen whether this will result in more visits by HSE inspectors, but the purpose of the legislation is clear, it is to act as a revenue generator for the HSE operations.
Businesses should looking at getting their house in order to protect the werlfare of their staff and to avoid any unnecessary penalty charges.

The penalty charges are called Fee For Intervention (FFI) and came into effect as of October 1st 2012. A material breach is of health and safety law is decide by the HSE inspector and occurs when a written notice is issued to that particular business in relation to the material breach. There are three types of material breach that can result in a written notice being issued:

  •     Contravention
  •     Improvement notice
  •     Prohibition notice
  •     A prosecution

This particular legislation applies to all businesses where the HSE are the enforcing authority. It is worth businesses noting that HSE inspectors can enter a companies premises at any time without any notice being given (unannounced inspections).
The fees payable by businesses found to be in breach are £124 per hour.
Firms can protect themselves from FFI charges by having suitable health and safety policies and procedures and also health and safety training

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Jan Harrison
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