11 Jun 2013
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has received just short of £2.7 million from businesses found to be in breach of workplace safety laws in just six months, it has revealed.
Regulations that came into effect in October allow the HSE to recoup the costs of investigations from the businesses involved and its inspectors have spent 21,500 examining cases since the change, according to the Herald.
Many businesses do not yet understand the extent of the HSE’s new powers and some are being caught out, Martin Gray, risk manager at Aberdeen-based broker Central Insurance, said.
The HSE charges a standard rate of £124 an hour for its work in helping businesses correct safety breaches and firms can also have to pay for other bodies if they are needed in investigations. These costs can be avoided if businesses make sure they avoid incidents by putting strong health and safety policies and practices in place, Elena Fry, insurance and risk partner at law firm Brodies, explained.
A spokesman for the HSE said the charges ensure firms that put the public and their employees at risk are not at an advantage over those doing things by the book.
Copyright Press Association 2013