The Health and Safety Ordinance gives the Committee for Employment & Social Security the powers required to approve Codes of Practice. The code of practice could be produced by officers of the Health & Safety Executive or any other source which in the Committee’s opinion is suitable for the purpose.
The effect of the Approved Code of Practice is to give employers etc. working in specific employment areas, a way in which they can discharge the general duties applied to them by the ordinance.
An approved code of practice has therefore a unique position in the hierarchy of Health and Safety Legislation, as failure to comply with an Approved Code of Practice, is not an offence in itself but is admissible as proof that the defendant has failed to comply with a statutory requirement to which the code is relevant, unless the defendant can demonstrate that he complied with the statutory requirement in some alternative and equally effective way