HSE Bills Firms £727,000 for Site Safety Visits


HSE Bills Firms £727,000 for Site Safety Visits

May 29, 2013 |

Contractors have been hit with bills for hundreds of thousands of pounds under a controversial HSE scheme to cover the cost of site visits by safety inspectors. A freedom of information Act request has revealed that the HSE recorded Fee for Intervention (FFI) time against 903 premises between the 1st October ”“ when the scheme was launched ”“ and 30th November last year. The first bills landed on contractors last week under the Fee for Intervention scheme designed to recover costs from companies caught breaking the law. The HSE has now invoiced £727,644.81 for site visits during the first two months of the scheme starting. Inspectors are charging their time out at £124-an hour with the average bill coming in at £513. The £727,644.81 figure relates to bills across all industries resulting from 1,418 notices issued during the period, however more than 40 per cent of the premises were in the construction sector. Stefan Groch, regulatory partner at DWF solicitors which requested the information from the HSE, said there appears to have been a particular focus on this sector. “It’s difficult to say why” he remarked “but it could be due to the sector being an easy target for inspectors or because greater clarity is needed around the legal obligations of the construction sector.” Gordon MacDonald, HSE’s programme director, said: “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.