Employment law and business support specialist ELAS is warning companies that fines for health and safety breaches could now reach thousands of pounds per day, following further clarification of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Fee For Intervention scheme launched at the beginning of October.
Launched in the same month as this week’s European Health and Safety campaign, the HSE scheme is designed to recover inspection costs from employers guilty of material breaches of health and safety law, and charges businesses a rate of £124 per hour for each inspecting officer; equating to almost £1,000 per day.
However, the HSE has now acknowledged that should the inspection require more than one officer or expert to provide specialist advice, the fee will increase accordingly, meaning businesses could be hit with costs of over £3,000 per day for cases that involve several inspectors.
Wayne Dunning, Head of Health and Safety at ELAS, said: “The HSE is well within its rights to claim back costs from businesses that have broken the law and it is worth remembering that these fees will only apply to companies in serious breach of regulations.
“One of the best ways for employers to avoid this is by demonstrating a proactive approach to managing risks in the workplace. This means having the appropriate documentation in place and getting properly trained people to use risk assessment techniques to inform their corporate safety plan.”
With October 22nd-26th designated as European Health and Safety week, the HSE is currently hosting a series of events relating to the experiences and lessons of the London Olympic building project.
The first of these is taking place in Birmingham on 24th October and sees key speakers from the Olympic Delivery Authority, Tata Steel, the TUC and the Institute for Employment Studies gather to talk about various health and safety issues relating to the London Olympic construction project.