Free insurance cover for all new clients from 1st January 2014
Protectus Consulting will provide insurance cover which will cover Fee For Intervention Invoices up a limit of £10,000 each occurrence and to a maximum of £25,000 in any policy year. This insurance cover is underwritten at Lloyd’s of London.
This is available to all new retained clients. Both low risk and higher risk industries are covered. Higher risk is generally construction type work, manufacturing, farms etc
What is Fee For Intervention?
From the 1st October 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been able to recover costs for carrying out some of its activities from those found to be in material breach of health and safety law.
This cost recovery approach is known as Fee for Intervention (FFI) and is intended to shift enforcement costs from the public purse to those organisations that break the law. For those employers who remain compliant, or where a breach is not material, they will not be charged.
What is meant by the term ‘material breach’?
A ‘material breach’ is when in the opinion of an HSE inspector there has been a contravention of health and safety law that is serious enough to require them to notify the person of that opinion in writing.
Breaches may be identified when the HSE carries out a routine inspection of a site, investigates an accident or follows up on a complaint. If they then have to issue say an improvement or prohibition notice or simply notify you in writing of a material breach then, this would trigger the charges to be applied.
To decide if the breach is ‘material’, inspectors will apply the decision frameworks established under the HSE’s Enforcement Management Model (EMM) and Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS). Typical areas where material breaches might arise relate to:
- controlling health risks – including exposure to hazardous substances (e.g. dusts, fumes and chemicals); noise, vibration, asbestos, confined spaces etc. where the effects are acute or chronic
- controlling safety risks – particularly where these could result in immediate, traumatic injury e.g.
- contact with moving machinery, falls from height, the use of lifting equipment, being struck by vehicles and so on
- providing adequate welfare facilities – e.g. toilets, washing facilities, drinking water, facilities to eat meals
- systems for managing health and safety where significant risks are not adequately controlled – e.g. inadequate risk assessments; ineffective arrangements/emergency procedures; inadequate access to competent assistance etc.
Other, more specific examples for the construction sector might relate to the safe movement of mobile plant on site; safe access and egress to places of work; demolition activities; steel erection; safety during excavation work; the management of asbestos removal contractors and work or training for managers and others (e.g. crane drivers, site managers; scaffolders, steel erectors etc).
The FFI hourly rate for 2012/13 is £124, but the total amount charged will depend on the particular circumstances. The more complex the issue and the more time required of the inspector to take the correct enforcement action (i.e. identifying the material breach, helping businesses to put it right, investigating and taking enforcement action (including any associated office work), the more expensive the bills will be.
Where the inspector requires input from another inspector, other third party assistance or the support of the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), the cost of their work will be recovered also.