04 July 2015 | Online since 2003

Concerns over health and safety charges



4 July 2012 07:32:38|Agri Safety,News

Concerns over health and safety charges


Plans by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to charge farmers who break health and safety laws have attracted concern by farming unions.

Despite NFU objections and suggested alternatives to the proposals last year, the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme is now likely to be implemented in October.

This will see HSE inspectors recovering their costs if they find a serious contravention of the law. Guidance published by the HSE shows that farmers will be charged £124 per hour for an inspection where a ‘material breach’ is discovered.

Estimated guideline figures seen by the NFU, show that costs could be in the region of £620 for an inspection and possibly double for service of a notice. This could be even higher where the HSE needs the opinion of a specialist third party consultant.

“We understand the financial pressures that the HSE is under and are supportive of the principle that only offenders should pay. However, the NFU is concerned that the implementation of the scheme will create a quasi-legal system with an unfair appeal system for our members" said NFU regulatory affairs adviser Ben Ellis.

“If anyone wants to dispute their ticket, in a system similar to a parking ticket, they will have to pay the cost of the appeals process at £124 per hour – that’s a clear dis-incentive. Costs will also be recovered even if an enforcement doesn’t take place through the courts - for example, if it is not held to be in the public interest.

“We are also concerned about how material breaches will be identified in practice and the financial implications for our members when an accident occurs. Many of our members are small, often family run businesses. If an accident occurs, this financial burden will only add to the great emotional and economic strain that the family is under.”

The HSE proposals come at a time when the Farm Safety Partnership is growing, with 25 partner organisations now signed up and working together to improve the safety record of the farming industry. The NFU believes the FFI could result in more time and money spent disputing allegedly erroneous bills than proactively working to prevent accidents.

The NFU will be working with the HSE to ensure that only serious contraventions are considered ‘material breaches’ and will be providing further information to members when we have it on what contraventions constitute a ‘material breach’.

Download




Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


Start Date: 22 June 2015
Skilled arable operator. Permanent job in Suffolk

We are looking for a skilled arable operator with PA1 and PA2 certificates who also has experience of spraying operations.&nb...


Start Date: 17 June 2015
Job for Teleporter driver >>Worksop area<<

Contractor requires a teleporter driver to do many tasks.   For insurance purposes you must be over 21.


Start Date: 30 June 2015
Job for Assistant Herdsperson required in West Cornwall from beginning of September for 5 months on a Autumn block calving herd.

Temporary Assistant Herdsperson required to work alongside Dairy Manager and Herdsperson on 330 autumn block calving cow...


Start Date: 18 June 2015
Job  Fencer/ General farm worker in central Scotland

Working along side fencing contractor with sheep and beef work periodically.


Start Date: 17 June 2015
Harvest workers required for large arable business in Aberdeenshire 

Farmcare require two hard working individuals to work as part of a team of eight assisting with harvesting 3300 acr...





Top stories you may have missed
5 June 2015 | Cattle

A strong pound and increased red meat imports coupled with a plentiful dome...


5 June 2015 | Arable

Depression is affecting Wales' farming industry and there is a need to use ...


5 June 2015 | Arable

With just one week to go before the final judging and announcement of the w...


5 June 2015 | Finance

A rural law expert has highlighted the importance of good succession planni...


5 June 2015 | Farmshops

A south Yorkshire dairy farming family is pulling out all the stops to prom...


4 June 2015 | Finance

Predicting what is going to happen to wheat prices is a challenge, but in s...


4 June 2015 | Agri Safety

A Lancashire based livestock theft prevention scheme is aiming to go nation...


4 June 2015 | News

A female farmer has been recognised by the farming and conservation industr...


4 June 2015 | Finance

The new Conservative government appears to be preparing to implement cuts f...


4 June 2015 | Arable

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will have mobile support units at the follo...