Our article of 14 February 2012 explained the background to, and potential consequences of, the pending Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012. These were due to be implemented on 6 April 2012.
At the time of drafting our last article, it was proposed that the Regulations would place a duty on the HSE to recover costs where duty holders are found to be in ‘material breach’ of health and safety laws, which resulted in the HSE having to formally request rectification in writing. The recoverable costs would be all costs associated with the intervention up until the involvement of court time.
Since then, the HSE have announced that the new charging scheme will not be introduced as was originally planned on 6 April 2012, but will now be launched in October 2012 at the earliest. Although yet to be confirmed, reports indicate that as well as their delay in implementing the new Regulations, the HSE also plan to make some changes to the wording.
The appeal process is being revised slightly with the third stage of review consisting of a panel including a frontline inspector, someone from the regulator’s policy and procurement department and an independent individual. Very little information has been provided on the planned changes and we will keep you updated as and when further details are made available.