Any businesses caught flouting health & safety legislation could face significant bills from October according to a warning from workplace equipment supplier Slingsby.

This follows an announcement from The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that a cost recovery scheme, known as Fee for Intervention (FFI), will start on 1 October 2012 subject to Parliamentary approval. The scheme will recover costs from those breaking health and safety laws.

Lee Wright, Marketing Director of Slingsby, which supplies more than 35,000 workplace products including a wide range of health and safety related equipment, says: “This is a major shake-up of how the HSE operates. It will mean that any businesses found to be in material breach of health and safety laws, which means it’s considered serious enough to issue written notification, will have to cover the HSE’s costs incurred in investigating and enforcing the legislation. These costs currently come out of the public purse.

“The proposed figure for FFI is £124 per hour which means the cost of an investigation could quickly escalate and even a relatively minor breach could hit thousands of pounds. Plus there will be no upper limit to the fee payable, based on ability to pay.”

Finally Lee adds: “The bottom line is that this will only hit those organisations that flout health and safety legislation. Businesses that manage workplace risks properly and comply with the laws will not suffer so all organisations should use this as a prompt to ensure their current arrangements are up to scratch.”