HSE delays cost recovery scheme

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced today that its cost recovery scheme, ‘Fee for Intervention’, is going ahead but will now not start in April 2012.

The scheme is to recover costs from those who break health and safety laws for the time and effort the HSE spends on helping to put matters right – investigating and taking enforcement action.

Law-abiding businesses will be free from costs and will not have to pay a penny.

HSE is taking advantage of the extra time to work further with businesses to improve their understanding of the scheme and how it will affect them.

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Landmark fire case put in front of a jury

The Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) has been pretty quiet recently – especially when compared to the Health & Safety Executive. A recent high profile case has changed this, however.

What happened?

Until the conclusion of this case, all previous convictions had been secured either in a Magistrates’ Court or by an individual judge. However, this time the defendant’s case was sent to Blackfriars Crown Court. The offences related to a fire which occurred in a hotel in Finchley, London, on 18th May 2008. Three people escaped from the fire, two by using the stairs and a third by climbing out of a second floor window.

Following the incident, inspectors visited the hotel and raised a number of serious concerns about how fire safety was being managed. The concerns included defective fire doors, blocked escape routes, no smoke alarms in some of the bedrooms and no suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment had been carried out. Just for good measure, staff working at the hotel had no received any training in how to deal with a fire on the premises.

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Simple safety advice for lone women drivers

Below is a list of some simple ways of helping to avoid becoming a victim of violence and aggravation while driving alone on company business or for pleasure. While this list is intended primarily for women drivers, many of the points are equally suited to male drivers.

  • Think about where you park your car where possible, park near the exit in a car park, or park in a well-lit area if it will be dark when you return park so that you can drive away easily (facing the direction you will leave in).
  • Always approach your car with the key in your hand.
  • Always check the back seat of your car before getting in.
  • Carry a loud alarm, preferably a torch alarm, handy in your pocket.

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