Guaranteed Pass Scheme - Find out more Book Online Today
 

HSE Fee for intervention (FFI)

 

If your workplace has a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) visit and they find that you are in material breach of health and safety law, you will have to pay.

HSE does not impose fines – the courts do!

Let’s be clear, the HSE does not impose fines, it takes criminal cases before the courts, for them to deal with and issue fines. However, if you are found to be in material breach of health and safety law, you will have to pay for the time it takes the HSE to identify the breach and help you put things right. This is called Fee For Intervention (FFI) and includes investigating and taking enforcement action.

HSE does charge for its time

Fees for Intervention are currently based on an hourly rate of £129 and the clock doesn’t stop until the issue has been fully resolved and re-inspected. If you imagine the possible time needed to complete a full health and safety investigation, this could potentially result in a huge sum of money becoming due in addition to any court fine.

The average cost of intervention activity, as calculated by the HSE, is likely to be:

  • Inspection, resulting in letter – £750
  • Inspection, resulting in enforcement notice – £1,500
  • Investigations – Could be tens of thousands of pounds

Who does FFI apply to?

It applies to duty holders (the person responsible for things either being done right or being put right) where HSE is the enforcing authority. This will include:

  • employers
  • self-employed who put others at risk
  • public and limited companies
  • general, limited and limited liability partnerships
  • Crown and public bodies

Potential prosecution for directors

Officers of the company can be held personally liable for breaches in health and safety regulations, and HSE may prosecute the company and its officers at the same time. The consequences of being found guilty of health and safety errors can include imprisonment in the most serious cases, as well as disqualification as a company director for up to 15 years.

HSE FFI’s of up to £20,000 are common, and in cases of serious negligence court fines can be unlimited. This has serious implications for the future, potentially resulting in company insolvency and personal bankruptcy.

What the law says

For offences committed on and after the 12th March 2015 the maximum penalty in the magistrates’ court is an unlimited fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both. In the Crown Court, the maximum penalty is an unlimited fine or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both.

The key is to make sure you operate safely

If you are in any doubt, you can call upon RISK to provide health and safety advice for your company as well as the very highest standards of industry relevant training.