Recent reviews of the HSE and the role the HSE plays in keeping people and businesses safe across the UK have clearly demonstrated the need for the HSE. Overall, the reviews have shown the HSE as Fit for Purpose.
However serious concerns remain over the funding for the HSE and the continued funding cuts that are planned. Will this compromise the role the HSE plays? This is something that only time will tell. However the consensus is that something is bound to give.
What many still have concerns over is the Fee For Intervention (FFI) scheme, which many still see as a fines regime without the necessary safeguards of an independent appeals procedure, for many, the budget cuts to the HSE are seen as most likely being filled by extra enforcement action and increased fees from FFI. It is easy to see this point of view, as our own experience has shown that an HSE inspector can most likely find things they would consider a reason to apply a FFI charge if they have a mind to.
The chairman of the EEF (the manufacturer’s organisation) has recommended that the link between fines and funding must be clearly separated in the future; otherwise he suggests FFI should be phased out.
He went on to suggest that early involvement of independent personnel in a FFI dispute would help to improve the way the system currently operates. To date, the Government has not responded to either of these suggestions.
If you have any views on FFI, we would be pleased to hear them.