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What is Clause 8 Operation in ISO 14001:2015?

In this article, Auditor Training Online's director and triple certified real-world auditor, Jackie Stapleton sits down and explains the importance of Clause 8 to your ISO 14001:2015 Management Systems.

No more guessing or confusion! 

Clause 8 refers to Operation, so when I see this, it helps me to understand that “Right – now we’re at the stage of implementing stuff”. We’ve done all the planning, set some objectives, understand what resources we need, now let’s do it!

There are only 2 sub-clauses in Clause 8 for ISO 14001. These are:

> Clause 8.1 Operational planning and control, and

> Clause 8.2 Emergency preparedness and response

Clause 8.1, as it states is all about planning and control at an operational level. The areas touched on in this clause include:

> Implementation of actions identified in clause 6.1 and 6.2 Controlling changes

> Using a hierarchy of control (elimination, substitution, administration)

> the control of outsourced processes

> establishment of controls consistent with a life cycle perspective

Then the next and final clause in ISO 14001 clause 8 Operation is clause 8.2 Emergency preparedness and response. This clause is as it says, it is all about preparing and responding to emergencies.

So, when there has been an environmental emergency or incident, what processes are in place to manage the response as well as a requirement to periodically test the planned responses. So, you don’t sit around waiting for something to happen to test the response procedures, you have to proactively schedule testing to make sure that what you think will work, will actually work if an incident does occur.

I do hope that this gives you a high-level idea of what clause 8’s intent in ISO 14001 is without too many nitty-gritty details.