HSE to make cost recovery dispute process “fully independent”HSE logo


The scheme, Fee for Intervention (FFI) was introduced in October 2012 to shift the cost of regulating workplace health and safety from the public purse to businesses which break the law and ensures the cost burden of HSE intervention is picked up by those companies and not taxpayers.

If an inspector identifies serious health and safety failings in the workplace about which they need to write to the dutyholder, then that dutyholder has to pay the costs of the HSE visit. If the inspector simply issues verbal advice there is no charge. If there is disagreement on HSE’s decision the dutyholder can dispute it.

Until now, disputes were considered by a panel which consisted of two members from HSE and one independent person. However, after reviewing the current process HSE will consult with relevant stakeholders with a view to making the process fully independent.

So this week I thought I would look again at FFI in light of the HSE’s proposals.


This week’s 2 recent HSE case look at:

As ever, if you have a subject that you would like us to cover one week, please contact us by phone 01458 253682, email or via our Facebook page or by Twitter.


HSE Costs Recovery: fees for intervention

The idea of HSE inspectors charging for ‘their services’ has caused consternation from many industry representatives. The government sees it as a cost saving scheme, but its effects have been considered by some, as a change in the way in which health and safety is policed in this country.

So how does it work?

Put simply, these Regulations place a duty on the HSE to recover costs where duty holders are found to be in material breach of health and safety law. If there has been a material breach that has resulted in the HSE having to formally request rectification in writing (e.g. by way of an enforcement notice, email or letter), the HSE will be able to recover all of the costs of that intervention up until the involvement of court time.

“Technical breaches” that do not elicit a written response by the HSE – such as the failure to display a health and safety poster – will not fall within the scope of the new Regulations.

The ideas behind this were twofold; One was that this would shift the costs associated with a breach of health and safety law from the taxpayer back to the duty holders.

The second was that the threat of costs recovery would act as an effective deterrent to those who would otherwise fail to meet their obligations.

Whilst most people agree that the HSE should be able to recover its costs and that the “Guilty Party” should be the one paying, Concerns have been raised including:

  • The HSE potentially changing its priorities to maximise its income;
  • The possible harm to the constructive relationship between the HSE and businesses;
  • The definition of “material breach” and reliance on “inspector’s opinion” or judgement;
  • The trigger for FFI being a letter dealing with a material breach;
  • The financial impact on businesses, particularly SMEs; and
  • The integrity and transparency of the disputes process.

So what constitutes a ‘Material Breach’?

A “material breach” will arise where a requirement to rectify a breach stimulates inspectors to commit themselves to paper, covering anything from a letter, email, visit report, notice or prosecution. This wide definition is an obvious cause of concern for many, because it creates an early trigger for fees to start accruing and worries about the risk of inconsistency in approach by inspectors from different areas and industries.

What is the Cost of any ‘Material Breach’?

The original fee that was proposed was £133 per hour but was actually introduced at £124 per hour which has since been increased to £129 per hour, of course Plus VAT

This is of particular concern to smaller enterprises, as it is proposed that the scheme will impose a legal duty on the HSE to recover costs, giving them very limited discretion over whether to apply the fee or not, whatever the resources of the organisation being inspected

In deed enquiries, have shown that that an inspection resulting in a letter will cost the duty holder approximately £750, an inspection resulting in an Enforcement Notice will lead to costs of approximately £1,500 and, in extreme cases, an investigation may impose fees on the duty holder that go into the tens of thousands of pounds. The HSE issue invoices to duty holders on a monthly basis as costs are incurred, with the expectation that payment will be made within 30 days. There is currently no option for duty holders to pay by instalments. If fees are not paid, the HSE will be under an obligation to take enforcement action.

Enforcement action will, as reported in previous newsletters, result in the courts issuing fines that are now based on your company’s turnover, so much higher than previously

Appeal process

Those who believe they have been unfairly charged under these Regulations have the opportunity to appeal against the fees.

The primary review will be undertaken by an HSE senior manager and only if the appeal remains unresolved will it continue to a second review. This will be heard by a panel, consisting of senior HSE staff alongside an external business representative. Where an appeal is upheld, it is proposed that the costs will be offset against any outstanding invoice or refunded in full.

Should the challenge prove unsuccessful, the HSE will recover their costs of this appeal from the duty holder. This again has caused disquiet, as it is likely to have the effect of deterring duty holders from disputing the recovery of fees.

However, after reviewing the current process HSE will consult with relevant stakeholders with a view to making the process fully independent

If you need further information please call us on 01458 253682 or send us an email.


Training Courses

The first of our courses in 2017 are listed below.

We are also looking to run some short Health and Safety awareness sessions to emphasise the need for improving your H&S procedures.

Also remember we are still available for running “In House” courses and are looking to add new training courses to our list.

If you have any questions about these courses or any other training or would like us to run a particular course for you, call Jon Wilkins of the Wilkins Safety Group on 01458 253682 or email him


First Aid at Work

All employers in the UK have a legal obligation to make first aid provision for their employees. This course is ideal for those who are going to be a nominated First-AidFirst Aider in the workplace. This 3 day course meets the statutory requirements of the Health & Safety Executive. Candidates must be of a working age and intend to practice first aid in the workplace during the validity of the certificate.

The course duration is 3 days and a certificate of competence lasting three years will be awarded on successful completion of the course.

Updated to cover the control of catastrophic bleeding

SYLLABUS:

  • Course introduction.
  • Legal compliance.
  • Managing incidents.
  • Examining a casualty.
  • Conscious/unconscious casualties.
  • Treating a casualty.
  • Further emergency action.
  • General common illnesses.
  • Basic life support.
  • First aid kits/equipment.
  • Recording/reporting injuries.

Course Duration:  3 Days

COURSE REFDATE(s)LOCATION
WSG. FAW. 170127th,28th Feb & 1st Mar 2017The Corner House Hotel, Park Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DQ

Fee: £165 to include all paperwork, book, pen, etc and light lunch. AED training (Fee subject to VAT)

The all-inclusive rate of £165.00 + vat per delegate will be payable at the time of booking.

Book Now!

Re-qualification First Aid at Work

This First Aid at Work Refresher course is designed for anyone who has previously completed the 3 day First Aid at Work qualification and needs to renew their skillset and certification. This refresher lasts 2 days and secures the delegates’ qualification for a further 3 years before the course will need to be retaken.

Updated to cover the control of catastrophic bleedingFirst-Aid at work

SYLLABUS

  • Course introduction.
  • Legal compliance.
  • Managing incidents.
  • Examining a casualty.
  • Conscious/unconscious casualties.
  • Treating a casualty.
  • Further emergency action.
  • General common illnesses.
  • Basic life support.
  • First aid kits/equipment.
  • Recording/reporting injuries.

Course Duration: 2 Days

COURSE REFDATE(s)LOCATION
WSG. RFAW. 170128th Feb & 1Mar 2017The Corner House Hotel, Park Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DQ

 

Fee: £100 to include all paperwork, book, pen, etc and light lunch. AED training (Fee subject to VAT)

The all-inclusive rate of £100.00 + vat per delegate will be payable at the time of booking.

Your staff can attend three months before the expiry date on their certificate and still retain the month of expiry on their new certificate.

They must renew no later than 28 days after their expiry date.

Book Now!

Site Manager Safety Training Scheme

(Part of Construction Skills “Site Safety Plus” Suite of Courses)

Target AudienceSite Manager Safety Training Scheme

Site managers, agents and persons who are, or are about to be, responsible for planning, organising, monitoring, controlling or administering groups of staff and workforce.

Aims & Objectives

To help site managers, agents and supervisors to:

  • Manage health & safety on site in accordance with current legal provisions, and within the context of their management or supervisory role
  • Develop an understanding of responsibilities and accountability for site health, safety and welfare
  • Recognise that a safe site is efficient, economical and productive

Delegates will, at the end of the training, be aware of and able to:

  • Implement all health, safety, welfare and environmental legislation which affects them during their work
  • Implement new guidance and industry best practice
  • State their duties and responsibilities with regards to health, safety, welfare and the environment

Course Notes / Assessment / Certification

Candidates will be issued a copy of GE700/16 – Site Safety Simplified and the course study notes.

Candidates will be assessed through 3 Core Exercises and an end of course examination.

Certificates are issued by Construction Skills and are valid for 5 years.

 

DatesLocation
13th – 15th March inc and 20th & 21st March 2017Mendip Vocational Skills Centre, Mendip Business Park, Mendip Road, Rooksbridge,  Somerset,  BS26 2UG

The all-inclusive rate of £495.00 + vat per delegate will be payable at the time of booking.

Book Now!

CDM Regulations 2015 – An Awareness Course

Course Objective: Training /CPD and APS CertificatesCDM Regulations 2015 – An Awareness Course

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) come into force on the 6th of April 2015, and will apply to all construction projects in the UK incl. Domestic projects

This CDM 2015 awareness training course has been developed to provide all duty holders with an understanding of their role and responsibilities under CDM 2015.

Seminar Outline:

  • Introduction to CDM 2015
  • Notification
  • Client Duties and Domestic Clients
  • Principal Designer Duties
  • Principal Contractor Duties
  • Designer Duties
  • Contractor Duties
  • CDM Documentation
  • Benefits of Attending

These courses give an overview of the requirements for Clients, Principal Designers, Principal Contractors, Contractors, Designers and Workers, and how the regulations apply to construction projects.

An individual who successfully completes this CDM2015 Awareness Course may claim points towards membership of the Association for Project Safety – APS

Course Duration: 1 day

COURSE REFDATE(s) LOCATION
CDM2015 1701Monday 13th March 2017Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Taunton, Somerset TA3 7BL

Fee: £170 to include Course notes, mid-morning & afternoon refreshments, Finger buffet lunch, a Certificate of Training and APS Certificate (Fee subject to VAT)

Book Now!

CDM Regulations 2015 – For the Smaller Builder

Course Objective       CDM Regulations 2015

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force on the 6th of April 2015, and apply to all construction projects in the UK incl. Domestic projects

This CDM 2015 awareness training course has been developed to provide smaller builders and tradesmen, especially those who haven’t dealt with CDM before, with an understanding of their role and responsibilities under CDM 2015.

Seminar Outline

  • Overview of the Industry accident rate
  • The Legal framework
  • Enforcement
  • Risk Assessment
  • CDM 2015 and the duty holders: Client, PD, Designers
  • Principal Contractors duties
  • Contractors duties
  • Construction Phase Plan
  • Site Safety Management

Benefits of Attending

This course give an overview of the requirements for smaller builders and domestic clients and how the regulations apply to all construction projects from minor repairs and decorating works through to building a new house for a domestic client.

Course Duration: 1/2 day  –  09:00 Hrs  to 12:30 Hrs

COURSE REFDATE(s)LOCATION
CDM-SB-1701Wednesday 22nd March 2017Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Taunton, Somerset TA3 7BL

Fee: £80 to include Course notes, Coffee on arrival & mid-morning refreshments and a Certificate of Training   (Fee subject to VAT)

A free lunch is also included if you book this course along with the Asbestos Awareness course

Book Now!

ASBESTOS AWARENESS – Half-Day Course

Course Objective – Training /CPD Certificate issued

Asbestos awareness training is essential for employees whose work holds the potential to expose them to asbestos. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 puts a requirement on employers to ensure that their staff have undergone suitable asbestos awareness training so that they are aware of the potential dangers they may face and also the procedures they must follow in the event they are working in the vicinity of asbestos containing materials (ACMs)

Who Is This Course Suitable For?asbestos

The main groups of workers that are deemed to be at risk from asbestos exposure and therefore the groups’ most requiring asbestos awareness training are as follows:

  • General Maintenance Staff.
  • Electricians, Plumbers & Gas Fitters. Painters & Decorators.
  • Construction & Demolition Workers. Joiners and Plasterers.
  • Computing & Telecommunications Engineers.
  • Heating & Ventilation Engineers.
  • Roofers.
  • Architects & Building Surveyors
  • Fire & Burglar Alarm Installers

Syllabusasbestos types

  • Asbestos- a  history of use
  • What is Asbestos
  • Amosite (Brown) – Chrysotile (White) – Crocidolite (Blue)
  • Asbestos Containing Product Examples
  • Asbestos Properties and the hidden legacy of asbestos
  • Control of Asbestos Regs and Requirements
  • Exactly who is at risk
  • Action to take on discovery and Survey and Recording

Course Duration:½ day – 13:30 Hrs to 16:30Hrs

 

COURSE REFDATE(S)LOCATION
ASBESTA 1701Wednesday 22nd March 2017Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Taunton, Somerset TA3 7BL

Fee: £65 to include Course notes, Coffee/Tea on arrival & mid-morning refreshments, CPD Certificate of Training (Fee subject to VAT)

Book Now!