Do I have to write a procedure covering 6.4 Work environment?



I am writing a procedure covering 6.4 Work environment and would appreciate if someone would be kind and help me out on this question.

Am I right in my asumption that this paragraph cover issues of separating such procucts (ei chemicals) that may well cause dangerous reaction if allowed to contact each other?



Why ?

Trolle my friend ! Why are you writing a procedure for 6.4 ? Here's what I do with 6.4: Absolutely nothing ! I have been manufacturing and selling my product since 1913. My facility is compliant to all state and governmental regulations. Obviously, I have determined and managed a work environment needed to achieve conformity to product requirements.

Forget about 6.4 and put that energy toward improving your system !


Trusted Information Resource
My reaction to this question is exactly the same as noboxwine's. There is really no need to write a procedure to cover this. A short statement in the quality manual should suffice.

Greg B

The QMS is 6.4

IMHO I think the fact that we have a QMS shows that we are 'determining and managing the work environment to achieve conformity to product requirements.' as stated in the clause.
6.4 to me is a waste of paper but we covered it in about 4 paragrpahs in the QM relating to how the QMS manages the system. (Training, Specifications, QC,Management etc - which are mostly covered in Section 6.1, 2 and 3)

Greg B

M Greenaway

Ditto the above.

I would say however that your requirement to keep seperate dangerous chemicals is more to do with handling and storing than 'the work environment'.

To my mind this clause is more to do with temperature, humidity, dust, noise, etc controls that you need in your facility in the production area to produce conforming product - i.e. clean room facilities for chip manufacture.

Others will extend this requirement if they want to things such as ergonomics, or even stress in the workplace !


Quite Involved in Discussions
Remember that 6.4 says "achieve conformity to product requirements". If you are/were a 9002 company, chances are that your Customer will tell you of those.
Re: Work environment

Hi Trolle,

I agree with the others. You need no written procedure covering 6.4 per se, but have a look at ISO9004:2000, 6.4:

Management should ensure that the work environment has a positive influence on motivation, satisfaction and performance of people in order to enhance the performance of the organization. Creation of a suitable work environment, as a combination of human and physical factors, should include consideration of

— creative work methods and opportunities for greater involvement to realize the potential of people in the

— safety rules and guidance, including the use of protective equipment,
— ergonomics,
— workplace location,
— social interaction,
— facilities for people in the organization,
— heat, humidity, light, airflow, and
— hygiene, cleanliness, noise, vibration and pollution.

Imo separating chemicals that may cause dangerous reaction together falls into this cathegory. A procedure covering that aspect may be a good idea.

You'll also need to consider ISO9001:2000 5.1a. We need to follow the law, and we have laws covering this.


Al Dyer

I agree with Claes in the first part of his response, work environment covers many areas and not just hazard or safety.

My only area to expand upon is that having procedures for chemicals, safety, exposure etc... and such may not be a specific requirement of any standard or requirement but they are probably a requirement of government regulations.

Try to explain to OSHA why you do not have a procedure for handling toxic chemicals. I've been there and know the feeling and pain.

Otherwise, I agree with all above that 6.4 does not need or require a "procedure". Maybe just a mention in various procedures or the policy.




Wow, the response generated by my humble question is surprising and at the same time encouraging, (a lot!)

The trouble I’m having interpreting this here (ambiguous?) paragraph, is not made any easier using the two handbooks I have access to. The one in my very own national tongue is downplaying the legal stuff and emphasizing what comes to product preservation and my English (e.g. American) is doing just the opposite.

This is confusing since I believe: Legal compliance is best addressed through 5.2. Product protection is covered in 7.5.5

Ambiguous yes, just best to address paragraph by referring to some general statement or perhaps just let it be as recommended by some of you gentlemen out there.

But then, why is it there in the first place?

Could it be it is meant for those businesses whose national environments do not include rules and regulation for staff? And if so why does the handbooks not say this instead of promoting variants of, do this and do that’s.

Well one answer could be that its just an issue of providing resources. If the company got a good track record, those resources are in place. If the opposite is true, then this paragraph will be an issue for auditors/customers?

The reason why I was considering a procedure here was related to my task of tuning a 9002 version to 9001. I thought I had found a hole to plug but your coments has shown me otherwise.
Much appreciated by this here rookie!

Hej Trolle,

Yep.. That's the Cove. I have been around here for a while now, but I'm still amazed by all the help and hints we share here. I have benefited immensly from this resource.

As for 6.4, I interpret it as an admission that a suitable work environment (note all the aspects mentioned in ISO 9004:2000) is essential in order to be able to provide a quality product.

This is also why we should merge quality, environmental and safety management systems into one complete management system. What's good for one of them is usually good for the other two as well.

Top Bottom