British Standards generally
have no basis in Law. There are some limited exceptions, which I will give example of in a moment.
They are not a 'guidance note' note as your tutor state; they are a National Standard for a particular product category or type of item. Just as UL in the USA, or TUV in Germany.
They are recognised by the Courts as 'Best Practice', because they are a high benchmark; they are not an ACoP, because that is a 'layman's guide' to the legalese of the relevant statute.
Now, back to the exceptions I spoke of. There are some, though not many compared to the overall number of BS, but a couple that come to mind are :
The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994
- this specifies what Plugs/Sockets are to be used for certain equipments (it's the law that means when you buy a new electrical appliance, with few exceptions in WILL have a plug fitted already). It specifies the various BS for connectors.
The Safety Signs Regulations 1980
used to specify BS signs, but was replaced by The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996
- which illustrates signs, without actually quoting a BS for them. Which is a good job, since the standards change more frequently than the regulations
But, they do refer off to BS for additional hand signals for crane operations.
So in summary, generally not Law, though sometimes they are, but definitely seen as the Best Practice Benchmark by the Courts.
Lyle wrote: In fact standards rarely cite the law as legislation could change within the lifetime of the standard
I can't think of any reason why a BS would quote a statute, but as I've shown, it sometimes works the other way around. There's more chance, IMHO, of a BS being revised within the lifetime of the statute.