Some builders may hear that and deflect believing they are above board on all health and safety requirements. HBXL believe this assumption is ill advised given the HSE‘s aim to increase inspections and enforcement. In addition, the nature of infringements that the HSE deem require intervention may shock some.
What are Fees For Intervention (FFI)?
Not sure what Fees For Intervention (FFI) are? Simply put, they refer to the HSE attaching a monetary value to the time they spend addressing your health and safety issue. This includes identifying the material breach, helping you to put it right, investigating and taking enforcement action. This will comprise of time spent:
■ Carrying out visits (including all the time on site during which the material breach was identified);
■ Writing notifications of contravention, improvement or prohibition notices, and reports;
■ Taking statements; and
■ Getting specialist support for complex issues. This total amount of time will be multiplied by the FFI hourly rate to give you the amount you must pay. For the current FFI hourly rate, visit www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/index.htm
Frequent causes for Intervention
Still believe that your building company are not at risk of unwanted HSE attention? Why not read some of the HSE Public Register of Enforcement Notices to see what kind of issues have been flagged, leading to penalties. Below are a selection of the top causes for the HSE to submit a notice.
- Failure to demonstrate Construction Phase Plan has been completed
- Lack of adequate hand washing facilities for either food prep, toilet sanitation or in order to use a cement mixer
- Lack of lighting to avoid trip hazards
- Demonstrating consideration of separation of pedestrians and vehicles
- A clear emergency exit route
- Unsanitary toilets
What is it going to cost me?
This is quite an open-ended question really. The straightforward answer is £129 per hour but it is wise to take note of the potential cumulative cost. Looking at the cases in the HSE Public Register of Enforcement Notices, fees can quickly mount up. This results in a higher total cost or fee. The average Fee For Intervention is £700!
This figure could get even worse when you consider the fact that an inspector is likely to be more vigilant when they realise you have failed in one area. For example, you may have muddy steps to the site cabin – a reason for intervention. This may lead to the investigator to be more thorough perhaps finding your fuse is blown on your hot water boiler in your cabin. Another intervention. Now he’s on a roll and likely to pick up anything that you may have let slip and look. Maybe you have not put a bin in the cabin. Guess what. It’s another intervention.
Three seemingly small, simple things that have built up to cause a hefty fine and your company’s name to feature on the HSE register. Lastly but importantly, featuring on the HSE register will likely mean anyone who searches for your company on the internet will find your notices before they find you! This is because the HSE website is likely to be better ranking than your own website on Google (if you have one). This could have a negative effect on your company image and therefore affect sales!
What can UK builders do to avoid Fees For Intervention (FFI)?
Did you start thinking that HSE fines did not worry you because you know you are safe on site? Now you may be thinking it is impossible to have every little thing covered and avoid a fine. Well HBXL are not just here to scare or worry you. We have a solution. A software solution.
Health & Safety Xpert is the answer to keeping up with health and safety requirements and avoiding HSE fees. Our software is the easiest and fastest way to ensure that you have everything in place to meet your health and safety requirements. Health & Safety Xpert automatically lines up all the paperwork and things UK builders would need to consider based on job specification. Then all you need to do is complete by filling in finer details and print off. It could not be simpler! Give us a call to find out more – 0117 9167898. Alternatively, drop us an email and we will get back to you.