Shrewsbury health & safety expert sends penalty charge warning
18th November 2011
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Businesses across Shropshire are being urged to ensure their health and safety procedures are up to date ahead of plans to introduce financial penalties for even the most minor breaches of regulations. 

Under controversial proposals that could come into force as early as April 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is intending to charge companies in ‘material breach’ of any legislation with the cost of carrying out inspections and preparing letters and enforcement notices.

Shrewsbury-based consultancy Building Trust in Safety Ltd claims the new ‘fee for fault’ principle could hit local firms with a £750 bill per letter, or £1,500 charge per enforcement notice, even if no accident actually takes place. 

“These charges are being introduced to help the HSE reclaim some of the cost involved in the work it carries out inspecting premises and identifying potential problems. The implications of these charges for small businesses in particular could be catastrophic,” Ruth Ross, Managing Director of Building Trust in Safety Ltd, explained. “As yet, there is no firm definition of what constitutes a ‘material breach’ – which is a situation that could cause an accident – so companies may end up being penalised for fairly minor issues.”

To help businesses avoid being on the receiving end of the new charges, Building Trust in Safety has developed a free Health and Safety Checklist, comprising a short series of simple questions which businesses can work through to discover if they have any issues that may fall foul of the current regulations. 

“While the checklist doesn’t cover every single eventuality, it does offer a good guide as to whether a company could have any problems that need addressing. Any business interested in receiving a copy of the checklist should email me at ruth@btsltd.co.uk, and if any of their answers flag up potential problems, we’d be more than happy to also carry out a full, no-obligation free health and safety appraisal, which will review all current policies and procedures, and offer advice on any specific steps that need to be taken to comply with all relevant rules and regulations.”

Building Trust in Safety Ltd was launched in 1999 and is now one of the most respected health and safety consultancies in the UK, with a head office in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and a network of experienced consultants operating across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lancashire and the North West of England.  Offering a comprehensive and practical solution to all health and safety needs across all industry sectors, Building Trust in Safety’s team of dedicated specialists provides an extensive range of services, enabling businesses to flourish without fear. 

For further information please call a member of the dedicated team on 01939 200 221, email ruth@btsltd.co.uk or visit www.btsltd.co.uk.

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