Approved code of practice

Approved code of practice
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Methods and techniques

Approved Codes of Practice (ACoP) are related to legal issues and published in highly developed countries. Tehey are created in state and federal government, regulatory agencies or global federation agencies, such as European Agency of Health & Safe at Work. ACop's are a guidance for employers and employees to describe and explain proper ways of what and how they should behave and as well what kind of equipment or safety precautions they should undertake in a specific situations, for example how to deal with dangerous materials, to comply with specific health and safety legislation. Codes of Practice are designed to be used as a support to common laws and commercial or industry standards[1].

Most advanced regulations have been introduced in Australia, New Zeeland and in Western Europe. Legal character of Approved Codes of Practice is stated in the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission Act 1985 written in January 2006. As it is written in Part 4. National Standards and Codes of Practice: "38(2) Except as otherwise provided by a law other than this Act or by an award or instrument made under such a law, a national standard or code of practice is an instrument of an advisory character"[2]. Listed below are chosen Codes of Practice, principal in force, which can be found in Federal Register of Legislation of Australian Government[3] :

  • A Code of Access to Telecommunications Transmission Towers, Sites of Towers and Underground Facilities (also known as the Facilities Access Code),
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Code of Practice) Determination 2017,
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Instrument No. 4 (MRL Standard) 2012,
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (Notifiable Variations) Instrument 2016,
  • Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (Pre-application Assistance Fee) Instrument 2015,
  • Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016,
  • Code of Behaviour for Public Interest Criterion 4022 - IMMI 13/155,
  • Code of Conduct for Trans-Tasman Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys 2018,
  • Financial Planners and Advisers Code of Ethics 2019.

Legal status

Approved code of practice acquires the advisory character after legal proceedings leading to the approval of the Minister responsible for a health and safety matters. Highest government institutions aren’t the only establishment approved to create codes of practice. Smaller, state or even territorial authorities can create its own codes or, when it is better for health & safety issues take over a national code of practice by approving it, what is made with the use of suitable statute. Approved codes of practice are commonly made to be used in addition to the statutes and regulations, but those Codes do not possess legal force at the same level. Having this in mind, cases of failure in complying with Approved Code of Practice are not enough for legal proceedings against a businessman, worker of even a company . In spite of that, during the contravention proceedings or failure of complying with the H&S legislations, lack of acting in accordance with particular code of practice may be used against the sued party.

Summary

Approved Codes of Practice are created and commonly used for the purpose of providing actual guidance for individuals dealing with health and safety issues and companies as well. Those Codes should be taken under consideration, except when another solution is available. However that solution needs to achieve the same or even better result while complying with the specific statute or law. It is advised to comply with the codes of practice. Failure in meeting the standards stated in the Codes is insufficient to file a lawsuit. However it can be used as a support for prosecution during court proceedings.

Footnotes

  1. Workplace Safety and Health Council,(2015)
  2. National Occupational Health and Safety Commission,(2006)
  3. Codes & Codes of Practice,(2019)

References

Author: Artur Bućko