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- Queen’s Speech announces new legislation for ASBESTOS victims to receive compensation where no liability or insurer can be traced
- Government launches review of HSE (Health & Safety Executive) to ensure its size / profile meets objectives
- A director was personally fined for £20,000 over a fatal fall of a scaffolder on a building site, his company folded
- £300,000 fine for multinational metal recycling company following a fatal machine trapping incident in N London
Review of ‘The H&S (First Aid) Regulations 1981’
The Lofstedt review, commissioned by the Government to amend first aid regulations concluded its consultation process and changes are expected to take effect by 1 Oct 2013. Lofstedt deliberated that the current HSE approval process went beyond the minimum requirement laid out in EU legislation.
The aim to is remove HSE as the approval body and allow business to choose their own training providers based on assessment and company specific – requirements. Until the regulations are changed business are required to continue to use HSE approved training providers.
Tax Incentive for Workplace Health
130 million working days are wasted each year due to sickness absense and work related ill health. To assist companies, the Government announced that it will back employers that look after their employees following a period of sickness, via a new help through the tax system.
The Budget document commits the Government to introduce a targeted tax-relief scheme, so that “amounts up to a cap of £500 paid by employers on health-related interventions recommended by the service are not treated as a taxable benefit in kind”. A consultation on how this will be implemented will be launched later this year.
HSE ‘Fee For Intervention’ – latest update
HSE now operates a Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme, which came into effect on 1 October 2012. Under The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, those who break health and safety laws are liable for recovery of HSE’s related costs, including inspection, investigation and taking enforcement action.
The latest feedback from smaller companies is that HSE inspectors; often arrive onto premises in pairs and usually headed by a more senior inspector. In almost every situation, notices have been served for even the moderate of risks including use of short ladder. The fee accrued is typically between £500 and £800 for each visit.
A significant number of visits are being made on construction sites where nearly one in five of them were subject to enforcement notices. In one month 631 enforcement notices were served across 433 sites for poor practices that could put workers at risk, with 451 notices ordering that work stop immediately until the situation was put right.