On 1 October 2012 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme, which introduced a charging regime for organisations found to be in material breach of health and safety laws. For details of the introduction of the scheme, please refer to our earlier article. Figures detailing the receipts issued during the first two months of the scheme have now been released.
For the period 1 October 2012 to 30 November 2012 bills to a total of over £700,000 were issued following investigations at over 903 premises. Of these inspections, there was a significant focus on the construction sector, which reflects the HSE’s focus on this industry as a ‘high risk-high priority’ sector.
The total sum invoiced – £727,644.81 – is the culmination of 1491 FFI receipts. Only 10% of these bills are for totals over £1000, with 70% coming to less than £500. These are substantially lower amounts than the HSE projected prior to the commencement of the scheme, which expected to bring in £37 million in the first full year. On the basis of the first two months of the scheme, the current projected revenue is around £4.3 million.
The HSE have stated that it is too early to make assumptions as to the long term value of receipts issued from the new scheme and reiterated that there are no ‘targets’ for overall FFI receipts. It was made clear that bills will be issued on the basis of “proportionate regulatory decisions” made in line with published enforcement policies.
Those in receipt of FFI invoices have 21 days to query the invoice if they believe it was improperly issued. This dispute will then be directed to an independent disputes panel, assembled to hear appeals for FFI receipts.
The members of the panel are due to be selected today (6 February) with the intention that the first panel can be in place by the end of March if necessary.