Four out of five Directors "unaware of FFI"

British company directors are still “woefully unaware” of the cost of breaking health and safety regulations, a survey suggests.

According to the research, the vast majority of industry leaders do not know that the HSE charges an hourly rate to intervene at any workplace to investigate any material breach.

Set at £147 per hour, 81% of directors and company owners did not know about the two-year-old Fee For Intervention (FFI) process, with 70% thinking that HSE inspections after an incident were paid for out of general taxation, according to the survey by a health and safety website.

The survey spokesperson Mark Hall said “FFI is still relatively new, so employers could possibly be excused for not knowing the full facts, but it exists for a reason – to make companies take the health and safety of workers and customers seriously.”

As soon as an HSE inspector finds health and safety laws have been broken, the company becomes liable to pay its costs. “At nearly £1,200 for a day’s work for an inspector, this is the proverbial ton of bricks that companies can find themselves under if they break the law,” Hall said. “For a smaller company that could be crippling, but no business should put themselves in that position in the first place.”

Duty holders who are compliant with the law need not worry. The aim of the scheme is to shift the cost of health and safety regulation from the public purse to those businesses who break health and safety laws. 

Post date: 06 Nov 2014

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