UK Health And Safety HSE Law Change

Fee for Intervention Scheme launched in October 2012

As most good companies will already know health and safety in the workplace is a very important factor for employees, visitors and to be seen as a professional business that looks after and take pride in its working environment.

In order to increase the compliance with health and safety laws, October will see the introduction of a scheme created by the Health and Safety Executive, The Fee for Intervention Scheme. This will give the HSE the opportunity to recover any costs which they encounter as the result of a duty holder not complying with their legal obligations.

Guidance is now available on the scheme which is expected to come into action on the 1st October 2012 if it receives the necessary Parliamentary Approval.

The changes will mean that now if you do not comply and a HSE inspector is required to investigate a breach of the health and safety laws you will be charged for the time an inspector spends on the case. The time could cover writing to address the breach, investigate the business and procedures and then the time spent taking action to enforce the laws. At the minute the current proposed fee is an hourly rate of £124.

As you can see this will easily make it more cost effective for businesses who are not currently complying to invest in a health and safety consultation from a health and safety consultant which will go over all of the health and safety procedure which will be required. These include training, risk assessments, audits and an advice line to assist when matters arise.

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The programme director of the HSE, Gordon MacDonald released a statement recently which covered the main reasons why this scheme was introduced.  “We have worked with industry representatives in shaping the final form of the scheme and the published guidance explains how the scheme will work and what businesses can do to comply with the law and avoid incurring a fee. It is right that those who break the law should pay their fair share of the costs to put things right – and not the public purse. Firms who manage workplace risks properly will not pay.”

A test of the scheme has already been successfully completely by the HSE which makes it incredibly likely it will receive the parliamentary approval it requires.

The early release of the guidelines regarding the Fee for Intervention schemes means businesses have plenty of time between now and October to get their health and safety procedures up to scratch and of course Lighthouse can be pivotal in ensuring you get this right!

This is a guest post from http://www.lighthouseriskservices.co.uk a leading UK health and safety and employment law company, for more information please visit their website.

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60588258@N00/3293465641/

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