Lawford Kidd, Personal Injury Solicitors

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HSE consults on cost recovery scheme

Details have been published on the operation of a new system for recovering costs from those who break health and safety laws.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has opened a three-month consultation on how cost recovery for intervention will operate, having already agreed the underlying principle with Government. The new scheme could apply from as early as April 2012. The deadline for consultation responses is 14th October.

Although the changes put no new health and safety duties on businesses, they do place for the first time a duty on HSE to recover the costs of their interventions in certain circumstances.

Costs would be recovered if, during an inspection or investigation, a material breach - a failure to adhere to health and safety law identified by an inspector as requiring formal action - is discovered. Fees would apply up to the point where HSE's intervention in supporting businesses in putting matters right has concluded.

Under the proposals, HSE will recover costs at current estimates of £133 per hour.

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