How to address Environmental & OHS Opportunities?

#1
During 1st stage audit of ISO 45001 & 14001, external auditor gave us following finding;

1-Criteria for determining Environmental & OHS Opportunities need to be established.

I had already risk register of OHS & EMS, but opportunities were missing.

Could anyone guide me about it. I would be thankful if anyone can share any sample
 
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#2
Good day ahanif,

Do you have a copy of the 45001 standard? Please read the A.6 Planning section, page 28 in the Annex. It lists many examples of opportunities. A.6 in 14001 (page 22-23) gives a discussion but provides fewer examples. Please read both of these standards' Annexes, they are very informative.

An online definition of criteria stated:
a principle or standard by which something may be judged or decided.
"the launch came too close to violating safety criteria"

Criteria is included in ISO 14001:2015's requirements for aspects and impacts as well as operational controls, but not for planning actions for risks and opportunities. Criteria is also included in ISO 45001:2018's section (6.1.2.2, page 30) Assessment of OH&S risks and other risks to the OH&S management system, but not in 6.1.2.3 for Assessment of OH&S opportunities and other opportunities for the OH&S management system.

And so, while I would question if you must have criteria for the purposes of certification because both standards do not specifically require criteria for opportunities, for sound management purposes it still seems very sensible to define how you will decide which opportunity to pursue.

I hope this helps!
 
#3
Thank you very much. I had read the A.6 Planning section, page 28 & page 22-23 in the Annex.

Thing is i was wondering about examples, because i did not able to distinguish between risk & opportunities. Thats why ask for few samples related to opportunities
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#5
Ahanif, what industry is your organization working in? What kind of organization is it? Where are you located? What have you identified as risks?

Section A.6 of 45001:2018 lists many examples of opportunities.

Which of them would appeal to your organization and why? That is criteria.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Differentiating between risk and opportunity is difficult because opportunities are positive risks. ISO 31000 makes this clear but ISO has yet to impose this definition of risk on the technical committees responsible for the ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and ISO 45000 series of standards.

So, you design and make disposable diapers that have an adverse impact on the environment. But consider the alternatives such as the adverse impact of detergents on the environment.

But I imagine that a positive impact on health and safety would be that disposable diapers reduce the spread of diseases caused by fecal matter. Incorporating waste paper and plastic in the design of your diapers would doubtless benefit the environment. Your diapers are reducing the use of detergents.

So, your management system prevents bad things from happening and enables more good things to happen. I recommend that you get your head out of the standard to fully appreciate the benefits of your products.

Many HSE professionals share the same mindset: focusing on the prevention of “bad stuff” when their employers sell the benefits of their products. By ignoring the positives these professionals are making life difficult for themselves.
 
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