Disputed invoices raised under the fee for intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme will from 1 September be considered by a fully independent panel, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed.
All disputes will now be considered by a lawyer – acting as chair – and two others who have practical experience of management of health and safety.
HSE made the change following a six week public consultation. Previously, disputes were considered by a panel with two HSE members and one independent.
A spokesman for HSE said: “We have consistently said that we would keep the dispute process under review, and are making sensible changes following the consultation and in light of four years’ experience of running fee for intervention.
“The revised process also provides greater clarity about the information which HSE will give to businesses to allow them to make appropriate representations to the dispute panel.”
Revised guidance on the new process has been published on HSE’s website.
Notes to editors
- The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. hse.gov.uk
- 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. It ensures the costs of HSE’s work is picked up by those companies and not taxpayers.
- Under FFI, if an inspector identifies serious health and safety failings about which they need to write to the dutyholder, then the dutyholder has to pay the costs of the HSE visit.
- Details about how Fee for Intervention operates can be found online here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/