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HSE makes cost-recovery dispute process fully independent

HSE makes cost-recovery dispute process fully independent

Independent panel to consider disputes raised under HSE’s Fee for Intervention cost-recovery scheme

DISPUTED invoices raised under the Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost-recovery scheme will now be considered by a fully independent panel, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed.

With effect from 1 September 2017, all disputes will be considered by a lawyer – acting as chair – and two others who have practical experience in the management of health and safety.

The HSE has made the change following a six-week public consultation. Previously, disputes were considered by a panel comprising two HSE members and one independent.

A spokesman for the HSE said: ‘We have consistently said that we would keep the dispute process under review, and are making sensible changes following the consultation and in light of four years’ experience of running fee for intervention.

‘The revised process also provides greater clarity about the information which the HSE will give to businesses to allow them to make appropriate representations to the dispute panel.’

Fee for Intervention (FFI) was introduced in October 2012 to shift the cost of regulating workplace health and safety from the public purse to businesses that break the law. It ensures those companies and not taxpayers pick up the costs of the HSE’s work.

Under FFI, if an inspector identifies serious health and safety failings about which they need to write to the dutyholder, the dutyholder has to pay the costs of the HSE’s visit.

Revised guidance on the new process has been published on the HSE website.

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