HSE Cost Recovery Consultation

A consultation period opened last week during which The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will look at a scheme for recovering costs they have incurred by parties breaching health and safety legislation.

The HSE hope the consultation period will last no longer than three months.

With the Government already agreeing the scheme in principle, it could be in operation from April 2012.

The HSE’s Gordon MacDonald was quoted as saying;

“The Government has agreed that it is right that those who break the law should pay their fair share of the costs to put things right – and not the public purse.

“These proposals provide a further incentive for people to operate within the law, levelling the playing field between those who comply and those who don’t. Compliant firms will not pay a penny in intervention fees.

“HSE already recovers its costs in a range of industries and we have considerable experience of making these schemes work.

“We want to hear from as many people as possible about how we plan to operate the scheme, to help make its introduction as successful as possible.”

The HSE aim to recover fees paid to experts as well as their own fees at an estimated £133 an hour, comparable to those rates recoverable by succesful Claimant solicitors in Civil legal matters.

It is hoped the scheme will provide further incentive for companies to comply with exisiting rules and regulations to ensure the safety of their employees in work.