Admittedly, Health & Safety law can be difficult to understand at first glance. With countless phrases used across many different laws, some people find themselves struggling to understand the difference between similar phrases.
One example of this is the differences between an Act, Regulations, Guidance, etc. Do they all have different meanings?
Here’s what you need to know...
Acts are pieces of statutory legislation that have been passed by Parliament, which means that they are laws. Breaching of an act creates liability enforceable in court.
Some examples of statutory legislation include:
Regulations are supplementary to acts. They link to existing acts and they are designed to aid a person to apply the principles of the primary act. Essentially, they are formal guidelines, and breaching them is not necessarily enforceable in courts.
Some examples of regulations include:
- The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
Guidance (AKA Codes of Practice) sit below acts and regulations. A breach of guidance or codes of practice is not necessarily an offence and would need to be directly linked back to the primary act offence.
An example of guidance is The HSE First Aid at Work Approved Code of Practice. Browse our range of eLearning courses including essential Health and Safety training.