Recovering the Cost of Health and Safety Interventions

Posted: 16th August 2011

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published for consultation a document containing details of its proposals for implementing a new system for recovering costs from employers and other duty holders found to be in material breach of health and safety laws.

The changes will be introduced by replacing the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2010 with new regulations. The HSE already recovers its costs in a range of industries, such as offshore oil and gas installations, some chemical and petrochemical sites and licensed nuclear installations, and the new system will not replaceWarning Signs existing cost recovery arrangements.
The moratorium from all new domestic regulations for three years for genuine start-up businesses and those with fewer than 10 employees will not apply to the proposals, although a self-employed person will not be subject to the cost recovery rules unless, in carrying out their business, they expose any other people to health and safety risks. Costs will be recovered, at current estimates at a rate of £133 per hour, from the start of the intervention, when the material breach was identified, up to the point where the HSE’s intervention in supporting the business in rectifying matters has concluded. Costs of any specialist support needed by the HSE would also be passed on. Businesses that comply with their health and safety responsibilities will have nothing to pay.
The consultation can be found . Views are sought by 14 October 2011. The new regime could be in place from as early as April 2012.