HSE News and Prosecutions: March 2017

A round-up of the latest news and prosecutions from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

HSE to Make Cost Recovery Dispute Process Fully Independent

The HSE has announced that it will consult on proposals to make its cost recovery dispute scheme, Fee for Intervention (FFI), fully independent. FFI was introduced in October 2012 in an effort to shift the cost of regulating workplace health and safety away from the public to the businesses that break the law.

Until now, a panel that consisted of two members from the HSE and one independent person considered disputes.

Construction Company Director Imprisoned After Safety Failings

The director of a construction company was imprisoned for eight months and disqualified from being a company director for seven years after he failed to take appropriate actions that resulted in a worker receiving serious burns. In its investigation, the HSE found that the director did not institute or enforce safe work practices, failed to administer first aid and did not inform the HSE of the incident.

University of Northumbria Fined After Botched Experiment Nearly Kills Pupils

The University of Northumbria was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £26,468.22 after two students fell seriously ill following a laboratory experiment. As part of the experiment, two students ingested a caffeine solution, which mistakenly had 100 times the intended caffeine amount. Immediately, the students suffered from dizziness, blurred vision, vomiting, shaking and rapid heartbeat, and had to be rushed to hospital. In its investigation, the HSE found that the protocols set out for the experiment were not followed nor were they properly monitored.