Consultation on proposed changes to Cost Recovery

Closed 4 Sep 2023

Opened 12 Jun 2023

Results updated 7 Mar 2024

This consultation is now closed. You can read the response report below.



This consultation is issued by the Health and Safety Executive in compliance with its duty to consult under section 50(3) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and in line with the Government’s Consultation Principles for consulting with stakeholders for proposed policy and legislation changes.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) undertakes a wide range of regulatory functions fundamental to enabling a safe and healthy workplace with our mission being the prevention of death, injury and ill health to those at work and those affected by work activities.

Great Britain has one of the best workplace health and safety performances in the world and achieves some of the lowest rates of occupational injury and fatality in Europe. HSE’s work supports innovation, productivity and economic growth in GB and its influence and value has a positive impact which far outweighs the cost of the organisation.  Businesses that adopt effective, proportionate health and safety practices increase jobs, employee engagement and productivity.  We are also playing an important role in the transition to net zero and some of the activity included in these proposals supports this and seeks to ensure health and safety risks are managed effectively during this period of growth.

We currently charge major hazard businesses for our regulatory activity (e.g. for onshore chemicals through Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 (COMAH), and The Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 2005 where a person meets the definition of a duty holder in the Regulations.  HSE introduced Fee for Intervention (FFI) in October 2012, for regulatory activity where there is a contravention of the relevant statutory provisions in the Health and Safety at Work Act etc (1974) and where that activity is not covered by other HSE cost recovery regimes.  Under FFI, we recover our costs where a risk-based intervention identifies a ‘material breach’ of the law.  If there is no material breach, then there are no charges imposed on the duty holder.

The independent Tailored Review of HSE (published in November 2018)  recommended that HSE should explore opportunities for expansion of the use of cost recovery in certain sectors, building on the lessons learned from FFI to ensure clear objectives.

HSE has reviewed the scope of its regulatory activity and identified where current cost recovery mechanisms do not recover the full cost of the regulatory activity.

Full cost recovery proposals

Our main proposal is that HSE recovers the full cost of all its regulatory activities in the following three sectors: 

  • Oil, Gas and Chemicals Pipeline Systems
  • Onshore Oil, Gas and Geothermal Exploration and Production 
  • Wind and Marine Energy (Renewables)

These sectors are highly specialised and high hazard, with strategic national importance from both an economic and social infrastructure perspective. In some cases, they present some new health and safety challenges in complex, high growth emerging technology industries. It is therefore essential that HSE is proactive in ensuring these sectors are properly managed to minimise risks to not only the immediate workforce but also the environment and the public.

For the three sectors identified, it is essential that HSE recruits and retains highly specialised staff to maintain our regulatory excellence and support these high hazard sectors with strategic national importance to effectively manage the associated risks.  There is  a significant amount of sector specific activity which is not currently cost recovered.  Continuing to deliver these functions and in some cases the expected growth is only possible through additional funding or cost recovery.

The policy aim on which HSE is consulting is to ensure full cost recovery where the risk profile of the sector, the hazard or the nature of emerging technologies require risk-based interventions to reduce the potential for injury or ill-health to workers and / or the wider public.  This proposal focuses on high hazard activities and emerging technologies with strategic national importance.  The implementation of these cost recovery proposals will not change HSE’s regulatory approach to these sectors, which are evidence-based, but will provide a sustainable financial model to ensure effective regulation now and in the future.

We are committed to continually seek efficiencies in the work that we deliver, making sure our charges are fair and transparent.

This consultation sets out the activities for which HSE proposes to introduce new cost recovery regimes, some simplifications to existing regimes and changes to cost recovery rates to ensure full cost recovery.

How to respond to this consultation

The easiest way to submit responses is by using the online survey further below, or alternatively you can:

Respond by email

Download the Word document version of this consultation and email it to

Respond by paper

Download the Word document version of this consultation and send it to:

Cost Recovery Consultation
Health and Safety Executive
Building 2.3 Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Merseyside L20 7HS

Responses must be received by 4th September 2023.


  • Public


  • Legislation change