Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association :: View topic - CD235 | HSE Proposal for extending cost recovery

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P.Marsh
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:32 pm Reply with quote Back to top
CD235 - HSE proposal for extending cost recovery

This consultation sets out the HSE proposal to replace the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2010 to reinstate existing fees and to extend the range of activities for which HSE recovers costs. In addition to reinstating existing fees the proposed Fees Regulations would place a duty on HSE to recover costs where dutyholders are found to be in material breach of health and safety law. Costs will be recovered from the start of the intervention where the material breach was identified, up to the point where HSE’s intervention in supporting businesses in putting matters right has concluded.

The underlying policy of recovering costs for HSE’s interventions through the introduction of fees where there is a material breach of the law has been agreed by Government and is therefore not in question in this consultation. Instead this consultation document is intended to elicit views on how HSE would recover the costs of the work it undertakes.

The consultation closes on 14 October 2011.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd235.htm

_______________________________________________________________

The HSE have launched their consultation on how HSE will recover the costs associated with inspections where a material breach is identified and formal enforcement action is taken.

Previously dubbed 'fee for fault' and simply 'cost recovery', the 'fee for intervention' initiative seeks to recover the costs associated with enforcement action.

The government have already agreed that costs will be recovered, so this consultation does not ask whether the initiative should be implemented, instead it seeks views on how these changes should be implemented. Fee for intervention is expected to commence with the new tax year in April 2012.

The consultation proposes the following key changes:
  • Replacing the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2010 with new regulations that place a legal duty upon HSE to recover costs of its interventions throughout GB – so it would not be at the discretion of an inspector or ‘HSE’ to determine whether to charge a fee;
  • The introduction of fees where there is a material breach of the law;
  • Fees would be based on a averaged hourly fee, estimated at £133 for HSE staff, which would be recovered from the start of the intervention up to and including the point at which that breach has been concluded – so would include site visits, phone calls, specialist assistance, writing of letters, reports and the drafting and issuing of improvement or prohibition notices.
  • Travel expenses are included within the hourly fee, but this fee would not cover specialist (non-HSE) or Health and Safety Laboratory support;
  • If prosecuting a case in England and Wales the intervention costs would stop at the point at which this information is laid and further costs recovered through the court;
  • Fees for intervention would not apply where an existing cost recovery scheme is in place – e.g. COMAH sites, but in this situation would apply to lower tier COMAH sites for non-COMAH activities;
  • The proposal specifies “fee for intervention would occur where, in the opinion of an inspector, a material breach of law has occurred such that a requirement to rectify it is formally made to the duty holder in writing” – so it would remain at the discretion of an inspector whether or not formal instruction is required where a breach is identified;
  • Fee for intervention would not be applicable to individual employee breaches, however HSE will continue enforcement against individuals where appropriate. If it is only the employee at fault, then the employer will not be subject to cost recovery;



The consultation began on 22 July 2011 and will end on 14 October 2011.

Further information and resources:

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