HSE to change from advisor to enforcement agency

This October (2012), the focus of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), will change following proposals to introduce a ‘fee for intervention’ (FFI) cost recovery scheme.

The traditional view of the HSE as an advisory body for workplaces, with an ‘infoline’ service and direct intervention from its inspectors as a final resort, will change dramatically.

All contact information has been removed from its website as the HSE embraces its new role as an enforcement agency first and foremost.

It has been forced to introduce FFI to offset cuts in funding.  FFI seeks to fund HSE activities, at least in part, from those found to be in material breach of health and safety law.

In future, employers, particularly SMEs, may need to find new measures to ensure they meet health and safety regulations, as organisations in breach of them could find themselves at risk from the following:

  • prosecution of the business/organisation with attendance fines and effects on corporate reputation
  • prosecution of individuals within the workplace which could result in criminal records, affecting their careers, personal and financial lives

One such measure would be for employers to find a reliable and credible partner to fill the vacuum left by the significant reduction in proactive action from the HSE.

Such a partner would be able to give the sort of guidance/action that ensures compliance with the standards expected by the HSE and other bodies, such as insurance companies and local authorities.

This guidance/action could include:

  • health and safety audits
  • assistance with identifying areas of non compliance
  • help with identification of workplace hazards, risks and control measures required
  • advice on specialist risk assessments such as noise and ergonomics
  • health surveillance for employees exposed to risks such as excessive noise, hand arm vibration, solvents, fumes, asbestos etc
  • capability and on site assessments for employees returning to work following illness or injury
  • specialist health & safety courses eg manual handling, identifying specific hazards, IOSH managing and working safely, to help bring staff up to recognised levels and ensure competency and compliance
  • first aid at work training including automated external defibrillator and anaphylaxis courses

As an independent occupational health, employee wellbeing and health and safety provider, MOHS Workplace Health can support organisations in any business sector, private or public, to ensure they meet their health and safety legislative requirements.

For more information on the above, please contact us on 0121 601 4041, email info@mohs.co.uk or go online at mohs.co.uk

Health and Safety

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