Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

The efficiency of the HSE FFI regime


Health and Safety at Work has generated recoveries to the tune of £2.01 million.

As per the latest figures emanating from Health and Safety at Work, for the period of April to August 2015, HSE has sent 2922 invoices, for notices on contraventions, for a sum total of £2.01 million, with the average invoice coming to £715.

In June, which covered the period from February to March 2015, 3125 invoices were issued for a total of £2.24 million, which made it the highest grossing month since the scheme was introduced.

Every two months, the HSE sends out its tranche of invoices to companies who, in the view of its inspectors, have been in gross contravention of law. But with invoices issued regardless of the completion status for the investigation, the actual cost of a notice of contravention could in fact be much higher.

The extractive industry has been billed the highest cost per invoice with the average bill amounting to £972. This is closely followed by the service industry whose average bills have come to £914 and is closely followed by water and waste management £803.

The HSE scheme which was launched in October 2012, the average billing in January 2013 has been £513 which has increased to £618 in March 2014.
As per initial estimates, the impact assessment of the introduction of the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations, which provide the legal backing of the cost recovery regime, could be as much as much as £43.6 million a year.

Although current recoveries have a lot to catch up on the initial estimated figure, if current levels of recoveries are maintained, the HSE can expect to generate as much as £12.5 million a year.

“These figures clearly show that the HSE FFI regime is being most effective in three sectors: construction, manufacturing and services,” said Steffan Groch, head of regulatory at the law firm DWF and chair of the UK Health and Safety Lawyers Association.

“What is not clear is why these three sectors are being found in material breach more than other sectors. Perhaps it is simply down to their risk profile or perhaps it is a reality that those sectors find it difficult to ensure that health and safety legislation is complied with in full and that HSE inspectors can always find something that is a material breach. Given the importance of those sectors in fuelling economic growth, some might say that FFI interventions [should] be retargeted,” said Groch

 “This could be down to more effective time recording by inspectors and also with more time being spent per notice of contravention,” added Groch.