Difference between Approved Code of Practice and Health&Safety Regulation

Approved Code of Practice (ACOP)

The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) has special legal status and gives practical advice for all those involved in construction work. If you follow the advice in the ACOP you will be doing enough to comply with the law in respect of those specific matters on which it gives advice.
. If employers are prosecuted for a breach of health and safety law, and it is proved that they have not followed the relevant provisions of the Approved Code of Practice, a court can find them at fault unless they can show that they have complied with the law in some other way. 

  • the legal duties placed on clients, CDM co-ordinators, designers, principal contractors, contractors, self-employed and workers
  • how to assess the competence of organisations and individuals involved in construction work
  • how to improve co-operation and co-ordination between all those involved in the construction project and with the workforce

Health & Safety Regulation

Regulations are law, approved by Parliament. These are usually made under the Health and Safety at Work Act, following proposals from HSC. 

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and general duties in the Management Regulations, are goal­setting (see ‘What form do they take?’) and leave employers freedom to decide how to control risks which they identify. Guidance and Approved Codes of Practice give advice. But some risks are so great, or the proper control measures so costly, that it would not be appropriate to leave employers discretion in deciding what to do about them. Regulations identify these risks and set out specific action that must be taken. Often these requirements are absolute ­ to do something without qualification by whether it is reasonably practicable. 
It lead to prosecution in the courts enforcement authority.

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