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Health And Safety - At What Cost?

Health And Safety - At What Cost?

1 October 2012 sees the introduction of the fee for intervention regime.  From that date, whenever a HSE Inspector forms the opinion that an organisation is in material breach of health and safety law and issues written advice, guidance or a formal notice the organisation will receive a bill for the Inspector’s time.  All time spent on the visit and the follow up work including instant visit reports, letters, emails and associated costs will be charged at the rate of £124 per hour.  Specialist inspectors, experts and work done by the Health and Safety Laboratory will be charged at the cost incurred which could be significantly higher.  The decision as to whether to charge will be based on the opinion of the Inspector however once the Inspector decides that there has been a material breach then there is no discretion and the charging regime kicks in.  An appeal process is available but unsuccessful appeals will be charged a further fee.

The impact on Scottish businesses could be higher than elsewhere in the UK as HSE will charge for the time of both Inspectors on a two Inspector visit, which are common place in Scotland.  These new charges aim to recover the cost of enforcement from businesses and are an increased burden at a time when the government claims to be reducing the burden of complying with health and safety law. 

Diane Turner