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FPDC has teamed up with the Association of Interior Specialists (AIS) and NAS (National Association of Shopfitters) to get clarification from the HSE on the Fee For Intervention (FFI) scheme.

The controversial scheme, which landed its first bills on contractors at the end of January, is designed to recover costs from companies caught breaking health and safety laws. However, it appears that the fit out sector is being unfairly targeted and it is not entirely justified.

FPDC’s Steve Halcrow said: “Health and safety is of paramount importance on any construction site and we’d support any improvements in its implementation. However, we are concerned that the current proposals to adopt the FFI scheme could unfairly penalise specialist subcontractors. It is essential that a clear set of guidelines outlining what is required is put into action by the HSE. The HSE also needs to ensure probity as we see the need for an independent third party to monitor the scheme and ensure it is applied fairly and avoids being seen as tax to generate income.”

David Frise,  chief executive at AIS, said: “I believe it is right that those who break the law should pay their fair share of the costs to put things right but I am uncertain as to how fair the system is – what exactly constitutes a material breach serious enough for HSE to notify in writing? It appears to be highly subjective and open to the interpretation of the inspector.”