1. The Governments Quinquennial Review of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommended that charging schemes should be worked up to extend the range of charges to the permissioning regimes in the gas transportation, offshore, and railway industries. In each of these industries, HSE has to assess and accept safety cases. In effect, HSE has to give permission for activities to be undertaken for establishments in these industries to operate (a "permissioning" regime). The Government has now decided to extend charging to cover assessing safety cases, granting approvals and regulatory activities to ensure compliance with the safety case in the gas, offshore and railway industries. The Government has asked the Commission and Executive to implement charging regimes which will recover the cost of HSEÕs work in these areas. It is proposed that this will be in the form of charging regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) which will give the HSE the power to charge operators for such work.
2. The regulatory regimes in question are based on the Gas Safety (Management) Regulations 1996 (GSMR); the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 1992 (SCR); the Railways (Safety Case) Regulations 1994 (RCSR); and the Railways and Other Transport Systems (Approval of Works, Plant and Equipment) Regulations 1994. The general provisions of HSWA are also relevant to regulating operations in those industries. In general, HSE will charge for all of its safety case assessment work and inspection to ensure compliance with the safety case in the gas transportation and offshore sectors, for similar work in relation to the functions and operations of the railway infrastructure controllers and for approvals and exemptions in these sectors. The details of activities carried out under these regulations including commentaries are set out in Annex A.
3. This consultation document provides the details of the scope of the proposed charging regime as well as highlighting some further issues on charging on which your views are sought.