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Fake agencies target Suffolk businesses

PUBLISHED: 22:00 30 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:49 02 March 2010

FAKE health and safety agencies are today targeting businesses in the Suffolk Coastal area - demanding cash to ensure they comply with the law.

Council chiefs warned firms to be on their guard and said three companies claiming that they regulate health and safety legislation had approached businesses and organisations in the district.

FAKE health and safety agencies are today targeting businesses in the Suffolk Coastal area - demanding cash to ensure they comply with the law.

Council chiefs warned firms to be on their guard and said three companies claiming that they regulate health and safety legislation had approached businesses and organisations in the district.

The fake companies, all based in north-west England, have asked firms for between £125 and £249 to meet new registration rules.

Businesses and organisations should ignore the requests for payment as there is no legal requirement for them to buy literature or services from the companies.

"Where organisations are required by law to register, they can do this free of charge with their enforcing agency which could be the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or their local council," said Patricia O'Brien, cabinet member for community well-being.

"Much of the information that these companies are claiming they will send out, for exorbitant sums of money, can be obtained free of charge from Suffolk Coastal's food and safety team, or from the HSE."

The fake letters have come:

n A Liverpool firm calling itself the Health and Safety Enforcement Agency demands £125 for a health and safety compliance pack.

n The Manchester-based Health and Safety Compliance Agency says a health and safety compliance register will become law on May 1 and that all businesses should apply for registration, for a fee of £129.25.

n The Health and Safety Registration Enforcement Division, which gives a Rochdale address, tells recipients to pay up to £249 for health and safety registration.

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

Businesses who are approached by a company claiming to regulate health and safety law should report it to the HSE on their infoline 08701 545500.

There is a genuine Health and Safety Start Pack available from the HSE costing £30 which contains basic health and safety advice to help a business comply with the law and protect its employees.

It also includes copies of the HSE Accident Book and the Health and Safety Law Poster, which must be displayed in business premises by law.

For more information on health and safety regulations, people can contact Suffolk Coastal's food and safety team on 01394 444357.

WEBLINK: www.hse.gov.uk/startup/content/starterpack.htm

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