The government is tightening the noose on operators that flout health and safety laws, creating business opportunities for dealers that sell upgrades to faulty equipment and correct dodgy installations.
The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed that it will start recovering the cost of its work with its Fee for Intervention (FFI) initiative from October 1. The organisation will charge £124 per hour for time spent helping to put matters right such as, investigating, writing reports and taking enforcement action.
"The new guidance confirms that the hourly fee payable by employers found to be in material breach of the law is £124 per hour. Apart from knowing the hourly rate, businesses will have no way of knowing what the final bill will come to until the very end of the case," said Chris Hall, managing parther of Lighthouse Risk Services, a health and safety consultancy.
"What’s more, there appears to be no room for discussion or negotiations until this stage either, as the first time that a business can raise an objection is when they receive the invoice for the investigation. What is clear is that businesses who want to protect their position and minimise charges should speak to a health and safety consultant today as the prevention is 500% cheaper than the cure," Hall added.
The Health and Safety Executive has advised that from October 1, the FFI will apply whenever an inspector:
• Identifies a contravention of health and safety law;
• Is of the opinion that the contravention is serious enough to require written notification (i.e. it is a material breach); and
• Notifies the person contravening the law of their opinion, in writing, by a notification of contravention, Improvement or Prohibition Notice, or prosecution.