Stop hauliers paying for health and safety inspections, says FSB

Posted on 20th July 2012 By Steve Clark

A leading business organisation has criticised a Government proposal that could result in haulage firms having to pay for their own health and safety inspections.

The Forum of Private Business – which represents the interests of thousands of small companies across the UK – says the Fee for Intervention proposals, set to come into force in October, could upset the “delicate balance of trust” that exists between small businesses and regulators.

Under the plans, firms deemed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to be in material breach of health and safety regulations would be forced to pay inspectors’ hourly rates from the moment the inspection begins – regardless of when a breach is detected.

The forum is concerned that this will be unfair, and that the HSE’s drive to recover costs could lead to a heavy-handed approach and inconsistency from individual inspectors.

Phil Orford, the Forum’s chief executive, says: “The delicate balance of trust between small business and regulators, which has shown tentative signs of improving recently, could be further complicated by what subjectively constitutes a ‘material breach’ according to different inspectors.”