HSE proposes cost recovery dispute process is made fully independent

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) plans to make its cost recovery scheme dispute process fully independent, it has been announced.

Fee for Intervention (FFI) was introduced in October 2012 with a view to shift costs of regulating workplace health and safety from the public purse to businesses which break the law.

If an inspector just issues verbal advice then there is no charge but when serious health and safety failings in the workplace are identified and an inspector needs to write to the dutyholder, then that dutyholder has to pay the costs of the HSE visit.

Dutyholders can dispute a HSE decision if they disagree, which is then looked at by a panel consisting of two HSE members and an independent person.

HSE has now proposed that the dispute process is made independent. It said it will consult with relevant stakeholders with a view to making the process fully independent following a review of the current process.

An HSE spokesperson, said: “HSE has always kept the dispute process under review and following a recent application for a judicial review we believe the time is right to move to a dispute process which is completely independent of HSE.”