Following a recent Freedom of Information (FoI) request made by business law firm, DWF, they have announced that the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Fee for Intervention Scheme (FFI) has made around £857,000 for the Government in the second invoice run, from 1 December 2012 to 31 January 2013. The information also found that 60% of inspections in this period resulted in a charge to the business.
The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012 came into effect in October 2012, and marked a significant change in the way that the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigations are financed.
These latest figures revealed that invoices for this period are approximately £232,000 higher than the first invoice run in October and November 2012, and included over 1,800 invoices, an increase of nearly 500 more than those issued during the first period.
The construction sector saw the largest increase in invoices (68%), not surprising considering the HSE’s month-long construction site safety initiative. The second largest increase came from the manufacturing sector (28%).
Steffan Groch, Head of Regulatory at DWF, said: “The number of invoices is increasing at an alarming rate and it is now more likely than ever before that business owners will receive an HSE inspection that results in an invoice for the HSE’s time.”
He continued: “It is good to see that the average value of invoice remains relatively low at £474, which is equal to just under four hours. However, we are aware that there have been 89 queries raised in relation to the invoices issued where the recipient was unhappy with either the cost or the reason for being charged.
“Of these queries, HSE conceded and amended 26 of them in the recipients’ favour. This figure is encouraging as it was feared that businesses would not challenge the invoices to avoid rocking the boat and attracting further unwanted attention from HSE.”
Alcumus have produced an introduction to FFI factsheet, which can be accessed here.