An HSE press release this morning stated: “A scheme designed to shift the cost of regulating workplace health and safety from the public purse to businesses who break the law has proven effective and should stay, an independent report has concluded.”
That will be bad news for construction bosses who believe the scheme is just a money-raising exercise for safety chiefs.
The controversial scheme was introduced in 2012 and has raised £3m from construction companies as HSE inspectors charge contractors for visits when they break safety laws.
The HSE said: “The evidence suggests the concerns voiced about FFI have not manifested themselves to any significant or serious extent and that ‘generally inspectors and dutyholders continue to work together in improving health and safety management’.
Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE, said: “Both HSE and the Government believe it is right that those who fail to meet their legal health and safety obligations should pay our costs, and acceptance of this principle is growing.
“This review gives us confidence that FFI is working effectively and should be retained. We will continue to monitor the performance of Fee for Intervention to ensure it remains consistent and fair.”
The report also concludes that:
- Fears that FFI would be used to generate revenue have proven to be unfounded.
- While not popular with some inspectors and dutyholders, it has been embedded effectively and applied consistently.
- There is no viable alternative that can achieve the same aims.