In a period where government funding has been cut by £100 million pounds, the new hourly rate for Fee For Intervention has risen from £124.00 per hour to £129.00 per hour (£163.00 2023). What is Fee For Intervention – And why you need to protect against it?
Reviewed by Paul (Admin) (Dip NCRQ, IOSH, NEBOSH Fire Safety and Risk Management)
Affiliate Disclosure. By clicking on any links in this article I may earn a small commission from any purchase you make, AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. This is one way I run and maintain this site. Thank you and I hope you get value from the information.
Fee for Intervention | FFI
A Fee For Intervention can be levied by the HSE where an inspector has visited a premises and discovered a material breach serious enough for them to notify you in writing that it requires rectifying.
This may be a notification of contravention, an improvement or prohibition notice. In any case, the hourly fee may be started from the point of first stepping onto your premises, not from the time of writing.
Why do the HSE charge a Fee For Intervention?
The HSE have been under pressure for some time to become more self funding and not be a 100% government funded service.
Their view is if a business is in material breach of health and safety laws then they should put matters right at their own expense.
As the HSE is the governing body of health and safety in the UK then they have a right to charge for their inspectors visiting your premises to find the breach, advise you of the breach and what you have to do to put it right, and finally check that you have done that which you are legally obliged to do!
Workplace Compliance Health and Safety Posters
Breach of health and safety
A breach of health and safety or material breach can occur when in the opinion of a visiting HSE inspector, there is or has been a contravention of health and safety law that requires them to issue a notice in writing to the duty holder, director or business owner.
The main problem being that if a HSE inspector were to visit a premises (in particular following a serious accident or occurrence) there is likely the possibility of finding material breaches that the duty holder may not even be aware of.
It’s a relatively low threshold which can be picked up on most audits and inspections. Therefore, it’s not unknown for enforcement officers to easily raise charges for FFI to cover their expenses, where previously the business owner would have received friendly advice and maybe a verbal warning to improve the situation before a re-visit.
When would a fee for intervention be issued?
You can’t avoid HSE inspections. Often they occur randomly such as the HSE targeting certain business types or following a reported injury or a phone call from a disgruntled employee.
Just because a HSE inspector turns up on your doorstep, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to be issued with an invoice for his or her time.
The HSE will only levy a charge where the inspector identifies a material breach of the law. A material breach is where you have broken a health and safety law and the inspector judges this is serious enough for them to notify you in writing.
This means anything serious enough to need a formal caution or enforcement action to make it safe.
These are known as an improvement notice, prohibition notice, a prosecution or a notification of contravention.
It’s also worth remembering that if you are complying with the law, then you won’t have to pay a fee at all. Providing that the inspector is happy with what they find in your workplace and you have reduced any risk to as low as reasonably practicable, then you shouldn’t receive an invoice for their visit.
How can a business protect itself from a breach of health and safety and Fee for Intervention?
By ensuring that a business has certain checks and safeguards in place not only goes a long way ensuring compliance with the HSE, but makes the place of work safer, healthier and promotes a robust culture of health and safety which is always appreciated by the employees.
To protect a business, the duty holder needs to ensure the following are part of there compliance:
- A written health and safety policy (if 5 or more people involved)
- Legally required information available or displayed to staff.
- First aid arrangements
- Risk assessments for your activities.
- Injury reporting method and accident book
- Personal Protective Equipment Policy (PPE)
- Hazardous Substance Policy
- Manual Handling Policy
- Display Screen Equipment Policy (DSE)
- High Risk Activity Policy (if applicable)
- Machinery Use Policy (if applicable)
- Records of maintenance for compliance. (gas, electrical testing, PAT testing etc.)
- Housekeeping (slips trips and falls)
- Competent person or outsource company to assist with compliance.
If you require any assistance with this or further clarification, please get in touch or contact your local Health and Safety consultant who will be pleased to advise you further on compliance with your business.
Please join in the discussion and leave any comments below.