Since HSE’s Fee For Intervention scheme went live last October with a target of at least £37 million in fines in teh first year alone we have been waiting for the scheme to really bite and bite it has. After a slow start, thought to be caused by the reluctance of inspectors to fully implement the scheme the fines are, in the words of David Ashton, HSE’s Head of Field Operations, “really coming in” who stated at a recent conference on FFI progress that “the money is really coming in”.
This is obviously good news for the regulator whose budget was slashed by 35%. However, it really is nothing but bad news for a mix of businesses including building services engineers, Solar PV installers, electrical contractors, groundworkers, house builders, shopfitters and property redevelopers, all of which have suffered in the recent refurbishment enforcement drive.
Take a look at the statistics below for an insight into FFI and how you will be affected;
October 1 to November 30 2012, the HSE issued bills totalling £700,000 from 1,491 invoices with 903 visits completed;
Based on that level of income the scheme would generate on £4.3 million in its first year – some £32.7 million behind target;
In order to reach the target HSE will need to extend the scheme to reach far more businesses and for fines to be at a much higher level (fines in the first two months were low with less than 10% of cases resulting in fines of over £1,000 and 70% being less than £500);
We can expect the coming months to build on current numbers and fine levels if targets are to be reached with each two month cycle requiring at least £3.6 million – a more than five fold increase;
If you are unsure if HSE can or will proceed to reach the target HSE’s Head of Field Operations also touched on the impact of the scheme on his staff
“It has been difficult, some have said they didn’t join the HSE to be a revenue collector but I ask them to turn around and look at what is best for our customers, and that is an adequately-resourced regulator.”
If you need a expert CDM Coordiantor and health and safety outsource to help protect your business against fines under Fee for Intervention then please contact us. We have insurance policies and waivers which can do just that. We also offer an imdemnity on our CDM Coordinator services which provides protection should FFI occur during the build – contact us for more information.