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Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 March 2002


Mr Dan Mitchell, Chairman, HSE

Industry Members:

Dr Terry Ritter, LPGA
Mr John Holding, BCDTA
Mr Ian McPherson, UKPIA
Mr Nick Berentzen, CIA

HSE members

Dr Brian Fullam
Mr Ian Travers
Mr Mark Reyland
Mr Ron De Cort
Mr Bill Tomkins
Miss Jane Soloman
Mr Kelvin McFadyen, Secretary

EA Members

Mr Wil Huntley

SEPA Members

Mr John Ford


Jill Cooper


Dr Tom Maddison

Welcome and Introductions

1 Mr Mitchell welcomed members to the sixth meeting of the Review Group. He introduced Kelvin McFadyen (HSE HID Charging Team) who had taken over as Secretary from Charles Ransome and Jill Cooper, a new member of the HID Charging Team, attending as an observer.

2 Mr Mitchell asked for the Group's thanks to be passed on to Mr Ransome for the very good job he had done in servicing the Group since its inception. He added that this would be Ian Travers last meeting as he was moving to another post in HID and introduced Ron de Cort who was head of HID's Chemical Strategy Unit. He also introduced Tom Maddison (HID) who was giving the ALARP presentation at Item 4.

3 Apologies had been received from

Mr Wesson (BOC Gases), Mr Musgrave (Transco), Mr Bosworth (HSE), Mr Burns (SEPA), Mr Hitchings (EA), Ms S Channon (CBI), Mr N Bryson (GMB), Mr J Mowatt (TGWU)

Minutes of the Meeting of 20 September 2001

4 The minutes were agreed.

Matters Arising not covered by specific agenda items

5 On-site/Off-site Time (Min 7): Mr Travers tabled the latest statistics on contact to non-contact ratios for inspection. The data was broken down to the same sectors used in the Guide to charging. He stressed that the figures reflected operational history and were not intended as a benchmark. Also there were great variations in the range of times, which skewed the averages. HSE could continue to provide this data, which should become more accurate as time goes on.

6 COMAH Charging in Eire (Min 10: The data required was attached to the minutes of the last meeting.

7 Meeting charge (Min 13): Mr Holding said that it had been difficult to get any further information on this and suggested the matter be dropped.

8 ICRG Report (Min14): The Chairman's report to the ICRG had been amended as requested.

9 Charging for Advice (Min 32): Mr Travers confirmed the CA's policy that advice was not chargeable, unless it was provided during the course of another chargeable activity such as inspection or investigation. The revision of the Guide to COMAH Charging clarifies this.


10 The Chairman introduced Tom Maddison whose responsibilities included operational policy and advice to inspectors on ALARP. Dr Maddison gave a comprehensive presentation on ALARP. He referred to Regulation 4 of COMAH in which the phrase 'all measures necessary' is used in connection with risk reduction, this phrase being equivalent to ALARP. Guidance is available on HSE's website including the publication Reducing Risks, Protecting People and guidance provided for inspectors covering the philosophy of ALARP. The main points were that the higher societal risks and concerns, the greater the need to look for additional measures over and above relevant good practice. In demonstrating that all measures necessary have been taken Safety Reports should list what additional risk reduction methods are available stating what could and could not be done and why utilising cost benefit arguments when necessary. HSE was not seeking formal QRA exercises in all cases. These would only be required when the level of demonstration had to be high e.g. when potential loss of life could be high. A copy of the presentation overheads is attached.

11 The Chairman thanked Dr Maddison for his practical interpretation of ALARP. Industry members welcomed the approach described as helpful. Dr Maddison said that he would be happy to consider requests to talk to industry associations.

12 Dr Ritter queried whether the approach to ALARP was common throughout the EU and whether HSE took part in events with other member states. He also thought that if it was demonstrated that a Code of Practice were acceptable under CIMAH it should be under COMAH. These points were considered more appropriate to be raised at the Chemical Industries Forum.

Invoicing System

13 The Secretary spoke to a note on the new invoicing system that had been circulated with the minutes. This had been prompted by an issue raised at the last meeting (Min 12). He explained that the way the software extracted data from the work recording system meant that there would always be some time invoiced from the previous quarter, but that this should be limited. He added that if safety report assessment work was invoiced and the timeline was dated after the report's acceptance date it should be queried. Dr Ritter said that the data supplied by EA was less substantial than HSE's. Mr Huntley said that EA supplied at least the level of detail promised by the JCA. Greater detail could not be provided automatically because of systems constraints. If there were queries they could backtrack to provide additional data.

Position of Charges to date

14 Paper CCRG 2002/02 had been circulated prior to the meeting and was for information. However, there was an error regarding the number of Level 3 disputes. No new cases had been received and it should read one case carried forward, one resolved and none outstanding. The corrected version is attached to these minutes.

Fees Regulations 2002

15 Mr Reyland reported that the Fees Regulations had been signed and would come into force on 2 April 2002. From that date the HSE rate would be £110 per hour. The EA and SEPA rates of £110 ph and £92 ph would take effect from 1 April. The Secretary added that a letter would be sent out the week commencing 25 March informing operators of all the new rates.

Review of Charging

16 Four reports had been circulated to members covering:

Miss Soloman advised the meeting that a paper covering these four reports would be considered by the HSC on 16 April. She would welcome views on them, particularly on a component scheme where we had said that the HSC would be given an update when the paper was considered. It was stressed that the 'Reasonableness Report' was still a draft and should be treated as for personal information only. There were a number of issues to be pursued with Deloitte & Touche before the report could was finalised. This was expected after Easter.

Component Charging

17 Mr Berentzen said that the CIA had trialled the draft scheme with a member company and it had proved more expensive. Component charging would be acceptable if it worked out cheaper for all. The BCDTA had had similar results. UKPIA felt that with the improved invoice information and the difficulties of the component scheme it would be better to stay with actuals. The LPGA said that its members' costs would be lower as they were mainly storage sites, but the system was too complex.

18 HSE had little latitude to average costs across industry. The total costs to be recovered would still be the same so there may be winners and losers under a component scheme. The review group's views could be summarised as limited and conditional support for a component scheme, in particular for a simpler scheme. Equally some members supported staying with actuals. Dr Ritter thought it was probably too late now to be looking at a component scheme as Safety Reports had already been submitted and any scheme would be introduced after the assessment work was complete. He felt that a review in time for the submission of report updates would be more practicable. Mr Travers agreed that more work was needed which would delay introduction, saying that a component scheme would have to be developed against the background of an evolving situation.

Impact of Charging

19 Industry asked how the reports would be collated. Bill Tomkins replied that Deloitte & Touche would produce a consolidated report once the work on the other charging regimes had been finalised and any extra recommendations that applied across all regimes had been added. This report was expected in early summer and would result in a paper to the HSC and Ministers. In the meantime, where recommendations were sensible and could be implemented they would be. That was already happening.

Reasonableness of Rates

20 This report was still a draft; the final report will be circulated to members. HSE had concerns over the methodology used by Deloitte & Touche and particular concerns over the difficulty reflecting HSE's costs as a regulator. HSE would continue to look at ways of improving efficiency and effectiveness; indeed that was built into HSE's planning and management systems. Mr Huntley endorsed HSE's concerns and emphasised the different natures of the JCA's COMAH charge rates and the EA's IPC/RAS daily unit charge.

Revision of Guidance on Disputes

21 Miss Soloman said that at its last meeting the ICRG had asked HSE to review the lessons learned from dealing with disputed invoices, particularly at Level 3, with a view to helping duty holders use the procedure better. It was found that more information could be given and this has been placed on the website as an annex to the main procedure.

Revision of Charging Guide

22 A draft of the revised guide had been sent out to members. Mr Travers said that the two priorities were the provision of updated examples of charges and better guidance on advice. The revised version will only be published on the website, although HSE will provide a hard copy on request. Comments on the redraft should be sent to Mr Travers by 5 April.

Action: Members

23 Members felt the section on advice was clearer now. Mr Travers asked whether the sectors used for the examples made sense. He said that the dataset for this information was improving, although the data on assessment is still largely a partial picture. Mr De Cort added that assessment time depended on the quality of the safety report as regards to detail, structure and demonstration of risk reduction.

24 Dr Ritter commented that the examples were now more expensive and asked that non-chargeable work be highlighted better. Mr Travers agreed and said that the previous examples were based largely on guesswork as they had been compiled before COMAH came into force.

Any Other Business

25 Dr Ritter raised three items. He asked when the 5-year revision date ran from. HSE replied that it ran either from the date the report was sent or the date a re-submitted report was sent. Dr Ritter said there was an impression that more information is being required for lower tier sites to the extent that mini safety reports were wanted. The Chairman said that that was a subject more appropriate to the CIF and should be raised there, with specific examples if possible. Dr Ritter commented that HSE used guidance published after a safety report had been submitted to assess the report. The Chairman commented that ALARP moves as technology moves and situations change.

26 Mr Holding commented that the time taken to reject safety reports, given in the examples in the Guide, could be overlong. Mr de Cort said that an early screening process had been put in place to reduce the time taken.

Frequency of Meetings

27 Members deferred discussion on this until the next meeting.

Date of Next Meeting

28 The date of the next meeting was set for 9 October 2002 in Rose Court.

Updated 2008-12-05