Fee For Intervention (FFI) and getting organisations leaders to understand their responsibilities in Health and Safety is an area not to be overlooked. It’s not just the safety team that needs to understand the responsibilities to prevent such a visit from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that may incur a FFI invoice. So, from the SHEQ director through to the finance director all should be involved.
What is the Fee for Intervention?
The Fee for Intervention (FFI) is a fee introduced in 2012 to recover costs incurred by the HSE during regulatory action against organisations that fail to comply with health and safety law.
If the HSE visit your workplace and discover that you are in material breach of health and safety law, you will have to pay a fee to cover the time it takes for the HSE to identify the issue and the time it takes to put things right.
How Much Are You Charged?
On 6th April 2019 the rate was increased from £129 to £154 per hour, an increase of almost 20%.
However, HSE explicitly state that if you don’t break the law, you won’t pay anything. Organisations that comply with the law will not be charged FFI for any work that the HSE undertakes with them.
Who Does It Apply to?
The fees for intervention apply to dutyholders where HSE is the enforcing authority. This includes:
- Self-employed people who put others at risk
- Public and limited companies
- General, limited and limited liability partnerships
- Crown and public bodies
HSE state that a fee is payable if:
“A person is contravening or has contravened health and safety laws”
“An inspector is of the opinion that the person is or has done so, and notifies the person in writing of that opinion”
What is a Material Breach?
A material breach is defined by the HSE as “something that an inspector considers serious enough that they need to formally write to the business requiring action to be taken”
HSE state that if an inspector gives you a Notification of Contravention (NoC) after a visit, you will have to pay a fee. The notification must include the law that the inspector considers has been broken, the reason(s) for their opinion and notification that a fee is payable to the HSE.
In situations where an inspector is simply advising you, in written or verbal form, you do not have to pay anything for the advice.
* Remember the HSE can turn up to your place of work unannounced and if you fail to comply with the law it is highly likely you will have to pay a fee. It’s better to be safe than sorry! *
What Should You Do?
The best way to avoid charges is to ensure all staff, including directors and executives know what they should and shouldn’t be doing in the workplace. Positive health and safety culture should be fostered from the top down and training should be provided where required.
Although everyone is responsible for health and safety within the workplace, a great place to start is with the Directors. From the Safety Director to the Finance Director, everyone should know their responsibilities in health and safety and drive a positive culture through strong leadership.
Directors and Executives Courses with ACT
We offer a number of health and safety courses specifically designed for directors and executives. These one day training days can help directors and executives develop the confidence and knowledge to lead their organisations on all health and safety from the top.
This course is specifically designed for directors and corporate policy makers involved in essential health and safety issues.
This course is for Company Directors. Even if you are not directly responsible for Health & Safety in your company, in your role as Company Director you have joint responsibility with your fellow directors under Health and Safety legislation.
NEBOSH and the HSE have joined forces to develop a one day health and safety qualification for senior business leaders or those aspiring to this position. This course shows how leaders can influence health and safety performance and culture through their actions and behaviors.
We’d be happy to help!