HSE Fee For Intervention – first invoices issued

According to a recent article by Health & Safety at Work (HSW), the HSE has issued receipts totalling just over £727,000 in the first two months of its Fee For Intervention (FFI) scheme.

The first FFI bills, which were sent out to organisations found to be in material breach of the law, arose from 1491 FFI invoices for the period 1 October to 30 November 2012.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request, as reported by HSW last week, revealed the regulator recorded FFI time at 903 premises during the first two months of the cost recovery scheme’s operation.

Though the regime is in its early days, with inspectors still dealing with non-FFI cases that started before the scheme came into force, the figures seem low compared to the HSE’s projection that the first full year of operation (2013/14) would bring in £37 million.

On the basis that it has invoiced for £727,000 (in two months), the revenue for a year would be approximately £4.3 million.

An HSE spokesperson warned, however, that it is too early to draw conclusions on what the typical level of receipts from FFI will be. “As you say, FFI is new, the process is bedding in and there is legacy work which has yet to work its way through the system,” he told HSW.

“The £37 million per annum figure was a very early estimate produced when the impact assessment for the scheme was first being developed.”

He reiterated that the executive has set no targets for the level of receipts that FFI will produce: “They will be driven by the application of proportionate regulatory decisions made by inspectors in line with our published Enforcement Policy Statement and Enforcement Management Model. This has always been the basis of the scheme and will remain so.”

HSW can also confirm the independent members of the disputes panel will be selected on 6 February and then invited to agree their terms and conditions so that the first panel can be in place by the end of March if needed.