Here at SafeContractor, health and safety is of utmost importance to us and our members.

Unfortunately, for some contractors health and safety is less of a priority. That’s why initiatives have to be introduced to sanction those who break health and safety rules and regulations.

One such initiative is Fee for Intervention, commonly known as FFI. This is a fee charged to companies who breach health and safety law.

All SafeContractor accredited contractors have had their health and safety procedures rigorously audited. This audit process ensures that the accredited contractors have demonstrated that they have the organisational capability for completing their activities safely.

However, we also know our members want to stay aware of everything health and safety related. That’s why we have written this guide, answering some of the frequently asked questions we receive regarding FFI.

1. What is FFI ?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) introduced FFI in 2012. It was brought in to recover the costs of dealing with health and safety breaches.

2. How much is FFI?

FFI is calculated at an hourly rate, so the fee varies from case to case.

The hourly rate currently stands at £129, following a small price increase in April 2016 . This rate is multiplied by the number of hours the HSE has put into dealing with the case.

To give you a better idea of how much FFI usually is, the average fee is £675.

3. Could I be charged with FFI?

FFI applies to businesses, organisations and self-employed people who break health and safety law. It is not charged to employees or workers. If you fit into one of these categories and you are inspected by the HSE, you can be charged with FFI.

The only exceptions are:

  • Self-employed people whose work doesn’t put others at risk
  • People or organisations who deliberately work with certain biological agents
  • Those who reimburse the HSE through another channel

You can only be charged with FFI if you are inspected by the HSE. If another regulator is inspecting you the FFI will not apply.

Of course, FFI only comes into play if you are breaking health and safety law. It also has to be a material breach, which means it’s serious enough for the HSE to notify the company in writing. As long as you are compliant with health and safety law, there is no need to worry. 

4. Why does FFI exist?

Before FFI was introduced, the cost of dealing with breaches was covered by the public purse. This meant that the taxpayer was penalised for the actions of irresponsible companies. So, FFI was introduced to save public funds.

FFI makes organisations who break health and safety law pay for HSE investigations themselves. This means that businesses are less likely to commit health and safety breaches as a way to cut costs.

5. Can FFI be appealed?

You can query an FFI claim up to 21 days after receiving an invoice.

If the HSE decides to uphold the charges, you can then file a dispute. Be warned though – if you lose your dispute, you will have to pay the FFI and the cost of processing the dispute.

For more guidance regarding FFI, visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse47.pdf

Post date: 07 Nov 2016

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