Are environmental compliance documentation quality records?

A

Arena

#1
We are a small organization (less than 103 employees) and certified ISO 9001. At the end of the year, all the documentation is archived in retention boxes and stored in an specific area.

We have an environmental department but since we are not ISO 18000 certified, their documents are stored but not controlled as ISO 9001 requires nor are binded to the quality records procedure. Therefore, their documentation are handled by them, archived in their office area etc.

IMHO eventhough we are not ISO 18000 certified, environmental compliance documentation is very important for external auditing purposes therefore should at least follow our quality records procedure...Any thoughts???
 
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#2
Environmental records (to ISO 14001, not 18001) can be quality management system records if the controls are done as per requets of customers, and if they help keep the employees healthy and productive.

Where they are stored makes no difference in any case. The important things are that they are securely retained for appropriate, defined periods, can be accessed in a timely way by the people who need them, and there is a plan for getting rid of them when no longer needed.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#3
Jennifer is right, you're a bit confused.

But,..........it would be advisable to maintain your environmental records according to your quality procedure as a good business practice. I started doing that 10-12 years ago when I managed environmental compliance and it really helped.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Leader
Admin
#4
Environmental records should be kept in accordance with (possible) requirements from the environmental regulations one is subjected to.

If you are to use your quality record retention procedure for your environmental records, be sure that you would not be violating a local law.

Who knows? Maybe they have a regulation in Puerto Rico that requires an organization to keep environmental assessment and compliance records for 25 years. If your quality procedure states that you could dispose of the record, after 5 years, and you do so, you would be in conformance to your "quality procedure", but in violation of a regulatory mandate. That means fines would likely be assessed against your organization.
 
A

Arena

#5
Thanks Jennifer and Randy for your replies! I was confused between ISO 14000 (environmental) and ISO 18000 (health & safety). :rolleyes:
 
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