ISO 14001 Calibration Requirements: Do ALL measuring devices need to be calibrated?

  • Thread starter Andrew Shepherd - 2010
  • Start date

Andrew Shepherd - 2010

Calibration & 14001


"Do ALL measuring devices (guages, scales, flowmeters, etc) need to have calibration records, or only those that measure processes that may impact the environment if they are incorrect? "

This is an old question, but I re-vist it because as result of or last audit:


The EMS auditor claimed that where we were monitoring our landfilled waste stream by weight taken from the local landfills scale we were bound to verify this system was calibrated & needed evidence that proper calibration method (17025) was used.


Super Moderator
I'll start off by being polite and not saying anything about your auditor probably smoking dope and being high.....we have to be nice here.

Your dirt is being weighed by the ton or at the least in lots of pounds, not by the gram!!!! As for the calibration, most likely your local dump is operated either directly or indirectly by a government agency or department and most definitely is required to make periodic reports to another higher agency like the EPA or state equivalent regarding tonnage going into the location. Trust me when I say that the scales are probably as accurate as they are going to get and if this individual knew anything about landfill operations this topic would never have come up.


Couldn’t you just request a calibration certification from your supplier (the landfill operation)?

It seems to me that any scale that was built and installed for such a purpose would have to be calibrated and certified regardless of intended use and resulting accuracy requirements.

That may be the path of least resistance with regard to satisfying the dope smoking auditor. LOL!



Since you (probably) have to pay the landfill in order to deliver your stuff there, it seems like they are a supplier. What certificaton do you require from other suppliers about verified accuracy and traceability of measurements? What records does the landfill provide? How can the gap (if any) be filled?

I agree with Randy and BadgerMan that the landfill's scale is virtually certain to be regularly checked by your state's bureau of weights and measures. (After all, it probably means revenue ($$$) and I have not lived in a state yet that will knowingly pass up money!) The landfill is probably giving you a weight ticket, and they should have a label on the scale or a copy of its calibration report, so the information should be available in some form -- IF you really need it.

Andrew Shepherd - 2010

Thanks for the sentiment I thought he was getting silly.

I also explained to the auditor that in my state all scales / metering devices used for trade are required by law to be calibrated & our state lab is an accredited lab. I defended our position as best I could but to no avail.

What is worse is where else this leads, we also monitor fuel oil consumption, electrical (we have our own substation) and several others via similar means.

I feel if I give up on this I'll end up creating another monster sub-system :mad: that holds little value.


Super Moderator
Then get ahold of your registrar and tell them to get rid of that dip-stick. You're a customer, they're a supplier. The auditor cannot make up his own requirements and if he/she has no understanding of the real world and real business issues and relationships a change in career is advisable. This clown better do a re-read of 4.5.1.
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