News

HSE fees considered by independent panel

4 September 2017

Disputed invoices raised under the Fees for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme will be considered by a fully independent panel from 1 September, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed.

All disputes will now be considered by a lawyer – acting as chair – and two others who have practical experience of health and safety management.

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

A spokesman for 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 Fees for Intervention.

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

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

Comments

Having a lawyer as a go between is a placatory attempt to retain the same draconian process of threat on those in the industry and of severe arbitrary punishment.

Any balanced thinking member of the construction industry must feel the required impartiality and independence of the HSE has been destroyed with this along with it any credibility and respect anyone sensible person could give to those involved with such an imposing, harsh and ruthless financial system. This system is foisted mostly upon genuine family businesses who for some reason or another have ended up with a worrying accident, bad enough as it was.

Most joined up members of society including those in construction firms try to do things correctly, its the minority that don't and they need need punished, not those who are genuinely trying to get it right. This system is like finding out you have been burgled and think its reasonable to start treating and looking at everyone you meet as if they have a stripped tee shirt and a mask.

We must have a society to be proud of in order to respect it, for that to be the case we must 'insist' that intervention and investigation requires to be free of anything that could lead to impartiality such as charge out rates and recovery to justify existence. This HSE scheme is not a component part of a just society, its a scheme thought up by some schemer, probably some accountant who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

Alan Cullen, 4 September 2017

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