DSEAR: your questions answered
Fee for intervention (FFI) is a fine no business wants to receive. Every year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) make millions of pounds from it. Without the right Health & Safety practices in place, you could be in the firing line.
In 2016/17, the HSE and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) convicted 93% of their cases, and the average penalty was a whopping £126,000.
So, how’s this relevant to FFI?
Because most of the convictions stemmed from inspections where an FFI was charged.
The numbers are alarming, right? There’s no need to start seeing sirens though. Our experts are here to make sure your business is up to date with Health & Safety regulation and to keep you clear of enforcement action and an expensive FFI invoice.
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The FFI scheme was introduced by the HSE back in October 2012. Put simply, it’s a fine that’s handed to businesses when an HSE inspector finds what they consider to be a ‘material breach’ of Health & Safety regulations.
The fee is charged from the second an inspector finds a breach and the cost is designed to cover time spent:
A material breach is a contravention of Health & Safety law an HSE inspector finds serious enough to formally write to your business about, demanding action be taken. A material breach will fall under one of four categories:
For more examples of what constitutes a material breach, check out our free, in-depth, fee for intervention guide here.
For more examples of what constitutes a material breach, check out our free, in-depth guide on FFI here.
The amount you’re charged will depend on how long the inspector’s original visit is, how long the inspector has to spend helping you get things right, how long it takes them to investigate your case, and the time it takes them to take action against you.
The current FFI rate (as of April 2019) is £154 an hour. If an inspector finds a material breach within your business, this hourly rate will be charged from the second they walked into your business, right through to until they deem the breach to be resolved – so the cost can soon add up!
It’s worth noting that the fee is charged for every hour – day and night – between the initial discovery and closing of the case.
If a breach is found and you’re subject to FFI, the HSE will send you an invoice every two months as the fees mount up. You’re then expected to pay the invoice within 30 days of receiving it.
If no material breach is found, no fee is charged – it’s as simple as that.
It’s simple really. Just stay on top of your obligations. If you comply with Health & Safety law, you won’t have to pay FFI.
We understand that sometimes that’s easier said than done though. To keep on top of the law, you need to know what the law says, what it means for you, and what you have to do.
Luckily, Citation’s Health & Safety experts are on hand 24/7 with FFI advice. And they know exactly what it takes to keep you on the straight and narrow and away from Health & Safety fees and fines.
To see just how much, we can support you with contracts of employment, just fill out your details on the form on this page and we’ll give you a call.
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