Information received under the Freedom of Information Act shows that the HSE have set a budget equivalent to £12 million per year for fees gained under the Fee for Intervention (FFI) process started on 1st October 2012.
Whilst I don't have a problem with the concept that companies who are at fault should pay, there is something wrong with this budget. At the FFI rate of £124 per hour, £12 million requires 96,000 hours or 55 man years per year. Or if we take a guess and say that each intervention will take 5 hours, then there needs to be 19,200 interventions per year.
Whilst the HSE are never going to hit this budget, it is reasonable to expect that inspectors would be set targets and would change from being proactive to escalating the levels of problems they see. This will kill off the concept of reducing the health and safety burden on industry.