Yesterday, 1st October 2012, HSE’s new powers to recover costs came into effect, they are called Fee For Intervention (FFI).
Now, if you are judged by an HSE Inspector to have breached Health and Safety legislation, that is if you receive notification in writing of a contravention, an improvement notice, or a prosecution, HSE can recover the costs of the investigation at the rate of £124 an hour.
This is significant for all statutory duty holders in the field of education and educational visits including: local authorities, academy schools, voluntary aided schools and independent schools.
If you are a duty holder, you must ensure you know what your statutory duties are; and ensure that you have in place suitable systems, processes, procedures and competent advice to ensure that you are complying with health and safety law in respect of off-site educational visits and activities.
N.B. FFI is not being applied by local authority enforcement i.e. Environmental Health Officers.
See this pdf document from the HSE: What I Need to Know.