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Fee For Intervention

(FF1) Guidance from the HSE

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What is 'Fee for Intervention'?

If an HSE Inspector, when visiting your business, notes material breaches of the law you must now pay for the time that the Inspector has had to spend identifying the breach, helping you to put it right, investigating and taking enforcement action is all chargeable at £129 per hour. This is for all of the time spent on site, including looking at areas where there is no breach and all of the Inspectors time dealing with your case away from the site and the time of any other specialist they have to involve.


Who do the HSE visit and why?


For pro-active inspection:


The HSE are now targeting high risk industries with exposure to  substances that are asthmagens and carcinogens (cause asthma and cancer) for example: flour dust and enzymes, wood dust, welding, painting and silica. So by simply working in one of these industries means that you may receive an unannounced 'proactive visit:

  • Woodworking

  • Welding

  • Bakeries

  • Food Manufacturers

  • Vehicle Repairers

  • Spray Shops

  • Surface Engineering

  • Metal Workers

  • Construction

  • Stonemasons


For reactive inspection: 


The HSE will also make reactive vists. Organisations that have had an incident, a complaint, a RIDDOR report or historic health & safety issues may receive an unannounced 'reactive' visit.


If everything is in order, there is no charge but if they spot a problem you are charged FFI.


Why was FFI introduced?

The goverment has created FFI as a new source of funding for the HSE on the basis that the businesses that break health and safety laws should pay for HSE's time. These charges will apply even if the employer has inadvertently 'not got it right' i.e. even if they have employed as an LEV service provider and trusted them to 'get it right' they will be charged FFI if the LEV records are not compliant. This is because the employer is responsible for ensuring the competence of the advisors. The advisors may be prosecuted too - but the employers will still have to pay FFI.


What is a material breach?

Material beaches are where you have broken the law and the inspector judges that this is a serious enough for them to notify you in writing. In general this means you have not followed ACoPs (Approved Codes of Practise) or are not able to show that whar you have done is equivalent to, or better than, the ACoP.


Examples of material breaches regarding you LEV Dust/Fume extraction include: 

  • LEV that is ineffective or not in good repair.

  • LEV without: TExT (min 14 monthly) or Commissioning Report (On installation or modification).

  • TExT or Commissioning Reportst hat don't contain ALL requirements - typical omissions are no specified hazardous substance and dust concentration in the filtered air not measured. (P&J offer a free LEV report check to advise if your report complies or has missing mandatory requirements. Simply email you last report to


HSE Inspectors are not usually LEV specialists but they have now been trained in what to look for. Whilst on your site, maybe for other reasons, they will now compare your LEV and LEV reports against a compliance checklist. 


97% of LEV reports are not compliant

In a recent exercise the HSE identified that only 3% of LEV reports that they looked at contain all required data and they told the LEV industry that the standard of LEV reports is generally unacceptable. 


How much it could cost you?

A simple breach involving a 2 hour visit, time at the HSE office writing a report/letter and then checking that you have put things right will cost you around £750. Complex or multiple breaches could cost many thousands. The cost of not getting your LEV right, or inadvertently getting a Thorough Examination and Test or Commissioning report without all the mandatory details, is a minimum of an extra £750 on top of what you have paid, plus the costs of putting it right.

Where can I get LEV services where I am guaranteed I will NOT have to pay FFI?

If you follow their expert LEV advice, P&J Dust Extraction Ltd offer this and they operate a price match policy


The HSE Free for Intervention is cost recovery scheme  


Fee for Intervention (FFI) is HSE’s cost recovery regime implemented from 1 October 2012, under regulations 23 to 25 of The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012 .These Regulations put a duty on HSE to recover its costs for carrying out its regulatory functions from those found to be in material breach of health and safety law.Dutyholders who are compliant with the law, or where a breach is not material, will not be charged FFI for any work that HSE does with them.


A material breach is when, in the opinion of the HSE inspector, there is or has been a contravention of health and safety law that requires them to issue notice in writing of that opinion to the dutyholder.Written notification from an HSE inspector may be by a notification of contravention, an improvement or prohibition notice, or a prosecution and must include the following information:the law that the inspector’s opinion relates to;the reasons for their opinion; andnotification that a fee is payable to HSE.Who does it apply toFFI applies to dutyholders where HSE is the enforcing authority.


This includes employers, self-employed people who put others (including their employees or members of the public) at risk, and some individuals acting in a capacity other than as an employee, eg partners. It includes:public and limited companies;general, limited and limited liability partnerships; andCrown and public bodies.Hourly rateThe fee payable by dutyholders found to be in material breach of the law is £129 per hour.


The total amount to be recovered will be based on the amount of time it takes HSE to identify and conclude its regulatory action, in relation to the material breach (including associated office work), multiplied by the relevant hourly rate. This will include part hours.Administrative and financial arrangementsHSE is responsible for the administration of the FFI scheme, including issuing invoices and, if needed, debt recovery.


The invoice will contain the following information:the period of time the invoice relates to;a breakdown of the activities or services for which costs can be recovered for each member of HSE staff involved, and HSL or third parties;the time spent against each activity;the total fee payable; and a brief description of the work undertaken.Invoicing and debt recovery functions are carried out centrally within HSE.


Inspectors are not responsible for issuing invoices or for any follow-up actions relating to non-payment of invoices.Invoices will generally be sent to dutyholders every two months, within 30 working days of the end of each invoicing period. Invoices will be issued in January, March, May, July, September and November.

As FFI fees arise from HSE carrying out its statutory functions, these fees fall outside the scope of VAT, so no VAT will be charged.Information about the disputes process is available on this website.Guidance


This site contains a wealth of material for dutyholders and employers who have responsibility for health and safety in their organisation.It will help businesses and organisations understand what FFI means for them and how it fits with HSE’s existing approach to enforcement.The Guidance on the application of Fee for Intervention (FFI) document (alsoavailable in Welsh) sets out the general principles and approach of the FFI scheme.


It includes examples of material breaches but does not cover every scenario where FFI might apply. Inspectors will apply this guidance and their enforcement decisions will be made in accordance with the principles of HSE’s existing enforcement decision-making frameworks – the Enforcement Management Model (EMM) and the Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS). The guidance also explains the procedure for handling queries and disputed invoices.Dutyholders can also download a summary information leaflet , read about the Procedure for queries and disputes and review the guidance that HSE inspectors will follow.


The full list of guidance available can be found in the Resources section of this site.Reviewing FFIHSE will review how FFI is working after the first twelve months of operation, and within three years of the regime coming into effect. The review reports will be published on this website.

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