What are Approved Codes of Practice?

Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs) are guidance with specific legal standing. They deal with a wide range of hazardous materials and working practices.

Employers who are prosecuted for a breach of health and safety law, who have not followed an ACOP, are likely to be found at fault by the courts.

Failure to follow an ACOP is not an offence in itself, but an employer will need to be able to show that equally effective methods have been adopted to demonstrate compliance with the law.

The ACOPs for each main area of health and safety law can be found on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

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