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Businesses will pay for health and Safety Breaches

10 October 2014

Back in 2012, the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) declared that it would be testing a new 'Fee For Intervention' scheme. Under this new initiative, the HSE began to recoup its costs from the businesses that they investigated; previously, these costs were covered by the taxpayer.

Now, almost two years later, the 'Fee For Intervention' scheme seems to have been a success. The HSE's latest report states that "FFI is working efficiently and should be retained", adding that "those who fail to meet their legal obligations should pay our costs".

Most will welcome the news that lazy business owners are to foot the bill for their own abandonment, and while the FFI scheme has attracted its share of controversy - some business owners have suggested that the HSE will no longer be impartial if their rulings are directly linked to their own revenue - businesses who are mindful of health and safety regulations should have nothing to fear.

On the other hand, those businesses that aren't so safety-conscious should be very worried indeed. If the FFI really is here to stay (and this looks to be the case), the news should act as a wake-up call to anyone who thought they could get away with cutting corners. Perhaps these business owners will take notice now that it's their own money at risk!
If your business isn't already compliant with UK health and safety law, here are some (though not all) of the areas you'll need to address:
  • All workplaces are required to have a Health and Safety Law Notice on display
  • Emergency exits should be clearly labelled as such
  • Electrical appliances should be PAT tested by a professional electrician
  • Passageways should be kept clear and obsctruction-free at all times
  • Any other hazards (e.g. high voltage equipment, dangerous chemicals) must be labelled appropriately
It's never too late to start being safety-conscious. Get your workplace up to standard ASAP, or be prepared to foot the hefty FFI costs!

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