Health and Safety Executive (HSE) site visits and notices explained.

Owen Construction Consultancy receive a number of calls every year from builders’ and developers, after the HSE have visited their construction sites and issued a Notification of contravention letter, improvement notice, or prohibition notice.

A notification of contravention is a letter that tells you about health and safety laws your organisation has broken. Your organisation will be issued with this letter if the inspector visiting your site thinks you are in ‘material breach’ of the law. This means the inspector thinks you have broken the law seriously enough for them to write to you about it.

An improvement notice, means there needs to be improvement with working practices on site as work practices do not comply with health and safety laws. The notice will identify the breaches in law, that need to be addressed.

A prohibition notice is issued for serious breaches of health and safety. If the inspectors believe that your work activities give rise to a risk of serious injury to people.

The prohibition notice normally requires you to stop that activity straight away. You must not resume the activity until you have acted to remove or control the risk.

The HSE prior to October 2012 was public funded, however as from October 2012 the HSE is self-funding known as Fee for Intervention (FFI) and charge Companies an hourly rate of £154.00 per hour if a notice is served. There has been concern that it is within the interests of the HSE once attending site to carry out enforcement against the builder.

How much could this cost you?

The fee will include the costs for the time of the entire original visit and work carried out after the visit.
The average cost for being issued with a Notification of contravention is over £800.00 rising rapidly for prosecutions.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of (FFI) with the current HSE prosecution success rate of 95%-year 2019-20, the builder needs to resolve the issues on-site and address the breaches in the notice as quickly as possible.

How we can help in the event of a site inspection by the HSE and notice issued.
(a) We will provide you with all statutory health and safety paperwork.
(b) A safe system of works to address the breaches.
(c) We can provide telephone support and speak on your behalf to the HSE.
(d) Draft any letters that maybe requested from the HSE.

The HSE will expect you to work with a Construction health and safety specialist.

The best way to prepare for an HSE visit is to ensure you have safe systems in place and access to a health and safety consultant.

When you compare the average costs £800.00 incurred after an HSE visit and issue of Notice, to the £30.00 per week fee charged by Owen CC, providing your organisation with all the information and expertise to avoid HSE issue of notice, it makes sense to let us look after your on-site health and safety.