11th April 2019
HSE FFI Charges Rise to £154 P/Hour
The HSE has recently raised its FFI rate to a whopping £154 per hour. This is a significant price increase from the previous rate of £129 per hour.
If you are found to be in material breach of health and safety law, you will have to pay for the time it takes the HSE to identify the breach and help you put things right. This includes investigating and taking enforcement action and is called fee for intervention (FFI).
What is FFI?
Quick refresher for you on FFI – If a HSE Inspector visits your workplace and finds that you are in ‘material breach’ of health and safety law, you will have to pay for the time it takes the Inspector to identify what is wrong and to tell you put things right. This is called a fee for intervention (FFI).
The Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations 2016 say that a fee is payable to HSE if:
- A person is contravening or has contravened health and safety laws; and
- An inspector is of the opinion that the person is or has done so, and notifies the person in writing of that opinion.
What is a material breach?
A ‘material breach’ is something which a HSE Inspector considers serious enough that they need to formally write to a business requiring action to be taken to deal with the material breach. If the Inspector gives you a notification of contravention (NoC) after their visit, you’ll have to pay a fee.
The NoC must include:
- the law that the inspector considers has been broken
- the reason(s) for their opinion
- notification that a fee is payable to HSE
It’s worth noting however that where an inspector simply gives you advice, either verbal or written, you won’t have to pay anything for this advice.
How much it costs
Following this most recent price increase FFI is currently charged at £154 an hour – with the average invoice to businesses being £700. The total amount invoiced will reflect the amount of time it takes HSE to identify the breach and tell you to put things right (including associated office work), multiplied by the hourly rate.
Your fee may therefore include any of the inspector’s time:
- at your business or workplace
- preparing reports
- getting specialist advice
- talking to you after the visit
- talking to your workers
Don’t forget that the clock starts from the time the inspector arrives. This means that you should be as organised as possible if they visit. For example, you should be able to provide copies of risk assessments, training records, etc. Without delay.
HSE Inspection Programme 2019/2020
It’s worthwhile making clear that HSE Inspectors can still turn up to your sites unannounced and without warning. Additionally, if a serious accident/incident were to occur then you can more or less bank on a visit also.
There are however some key areas the HSE is focusing its pro-active inspections on during the course of this year and within the ‘HSE Manufacturing Sector Work Plan for 2019-2020’ they have stated that sectors will be targeted particularly where carcinogens, asthmagens and Respirable Crystalline Silica are regularly used, produced or process generated. The HSE will seek to ensure the risks are adequately controlled and properly managed. The table below shows what HSE are planning to inspect over the coming months:-
|Fabricated Metals||Welding Fume, Metal Working fluids|
|Food manufacture||Flour Dust, Musculoskeletal Disorders|
|Mineral Products||Respirable Crystalline Silica|
|Molten Metals||Respirable Crystalline Silica|