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Companies warned to bin mailshot from fake 'Health and Safety' agencies

HSE InfoLine : 20 April, 2004  (New Product)
The Health and Safety Executive today urged companies and other organisations to ignore information they receive from three firms purporting to regulate health and safety legislation.
HSE has received hundreds of complaints from companies across the country that have been sent requests for payment in return for compliance with health and safety law.

The three firms, all based in north-west England, have written to companies all over Great Britain asking for between 125 and 249 to ensure they comply with health and safety law.

A Liverpool firm calling itself the Health and Safety Enforcement Agency demands 125 for a health and safety compliance pack. The Manchester-based Health and Safety Compliance Agency says a health and safety compliance register will become law on 1 May and that all businesses should apply for registration, for a fee of 129.25. A third company, the Health and Safety Registration Enforcement Division, which gives a Rochdale address, tells recipients to pay up to 249 for health and safety registration.

Anyone receiving literature from any of these companies can ignore it; there is no legal need for anyone to buy literature or services from these companies.

Justin McCracken, HSE's Deputy Directory General, said: 'None of these companies is connected to HSE. Organisations should be very wary of any approach from these firms, or any company 'offering' similar services. All three firms use wording suggesting they are official enforcement bodies, but they are not.

'HSE never writes indiscriminately to firms seeking advance payment for services which it has not provided.

'These companies are asking for significant sums of money, claiming they will send out information, much of which HSE provides free of charge,' added Mr McCracken.

'HSE's legitimate Health and Safety Starter Pack is available to any business for 30. Not only does the pack cost a lot less than the information provided by these companies, but it is also the real thing.'

HSE is liaising with trading standards offices and the police, who are investigating all three companies.

Copies of The Health and Safety Starter Pack: Health and Safety Advice and Guidance for New and Small Businesses are available from HSE Books, priced 30. ISBN 0 7176 2738.
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