If the HSE visit your premises or site and find something wrong, they will expect you to put it right. We’ve put together an essential guide on HSE Improvement Notices. For those who aren’t aware of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Improvement Notice scheme, or how it’s operated, this guide will help educate you and take the necessary steps in your business to prevent receiving an improvement notice.
HSE Improvement Notices
If the HSE visit your premises or site and find something wrong or suspects you to be in
material breach of the health and safety regulations, they will expect you to put it right. They may give you verbal or written advice, issue a formal caution or an enforcement notice.
Depending on the severity of the risk and the actions that need to be taken, an inspector will formally write to the business to give Notification of Contravention (NoC), also known as an improvement notice. The NoC will include these three elements:
- The law that the inspector considers has been broken, specifying the reasoning for and the breaches
- The best method to resolve the issue raised
- The period for compliance is specified (typically no less than 21 days from the date of the notice). This is the period in which the duty holder may submit an appeal with an employment tribunal.
Depending on the severity of the risk, you may be liable and served a HSE Improvement Notice. This notice would be served depending on whether your business was in breach of section 21 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
When an improvement notice is served to the business owner or duty holder, a discussion will be had to agree on how it can be complied with. A conscious effort should be made to resolve any points of difference and an appropriate date should be nominated for ensuring compliance is met.
HSE Improvement Notice Example
If an inspector were to visit your workplace and deem one of your working processes to be in breach of health and safety laws, for example, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations 2002 and not have the right control measures (such as local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems) in place. Depending on the risk involved or associated with the materials and subsequently, the airborne contaminants from the process.
The HSE will serve you an enforcement notice informing you of which laws have been breached and educate you on how to rectify them. By providing an LEV system, you’ll be able to capture dust or fumes from the process at-source, before they have the opportunity to escape into the wider working environment.
HSE Improvement Notice Public Register
Did you know that if you’re served a HSE Improvement Notice, then details of the notice will be added to a public database for a 5 year period. Notices are typically added to the register 5 weeks after the notice is served, to ensure that the HSE have done a thorough process and have adhered to the Enforcement Management Model (EMM), see details below, but also to allow adequate time for the appeals process to take place. Click here to view the public register.
Fee For Intervention Scheme
HSE run a Fee for Intervention scheme (commonly known as FFI). The FFI scheme is a cost recovery scheme whereby the HSE can charge businesses that fail to meet their legal obligations and are found to be in material breach of health and safety law. If you’ve received an improvement notice, you’ll likely already be under the FFI scheme. Read our post, Fees For Intervention: Explained.
How Is The Improve Notice Process Regulated?
HSE has produced an Enforcement Management Model (EMM), which is used in tandem with the Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS). The EMM is a framework that all inspectors adhere to when making enforcement decisions. The framework ensures that inspectors adhere to the same process between different businesses between various material breaches of the legislation. The framework creates consistency when investigating, taking enforcement action and serving health and safety fees on businesses.
HSE Improvement Notice Appeals
If an appeal is brought against a HSE improvement notice, the notice is suspended until the appeal is either heard or withdrawn. You can find additional Notice of appeal guidance here.
How Can You Avoid Fee For Intervention Costs?
You can avoid Fee For Intervention costs by providing a comprehensive local exhaust system, that’s tailored to your business’s process and extraction requirements.
Fee For Intervention Case Studies
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Auto Extract Systems is the UK’s leading LEV company. Over the last 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of businesses create pollution-free workplaces, and avoid a costly fee for intervention fines.
We are experts in all things LEV, we can help your business become COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulation 2002 compliant with a tailored LEV solution. We provide comprehensive design, installation, maintenance and certification services across a range of industry sectors. Find out more about us here.
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We’ll call to arrange a convenient time and date to visit your site. We’ll analyse your working processes, assess the substances used and the contaminants generated. We’ll work out how best to control the dust and fume in a way that’s in line with your COSHH risk assessment. Next, we’ll design you a comprehensive LEV system that adheres to HSG258 guidance and send this you to via email.
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