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ISO 14001 Environmental Aspects and Impacts - The Chicken Bone Thread


Captain Nice
Staff member
Originally posted by kalehner

Here is a link to a site where you can download a procedure that covers 4.3.1, 4.3.3 and 4.3.4 and all the supporting forms.
kalehner didn't identify himself, so be aware this is his/her web site (as opposed to 'a' web site as stated) and there are conditions attached. They require the following info:

Your Name:
PO Box / Suite:
Email Address:

And it specifically states:

You must accurately fill out this form to have authorization to use the procedure for your company. Any reuse of the procedure for companies other than that listed in this form is not authorized.

This is to say they are not free per se, but rather an exchange for your company information. And you can't download it and post it here to share with everyone. This reply is in keeping with our theme here that affiliations must be stated.


Dem Bones

Originally posted by Randy can write each aspect on a chicken bone, toss all the bones into the air,, and the ones that land face up you can call your significant ones.:biglaugh:
Dem bones dem bones dem dry bones....Is that some kind of roostertail voodoo?:rolleyes: Because this is, like six sigma, a topic I could care less about, I need to learn to more. I may be missing something. As an outsider, there appears to be some younger sea lions trying to take the harem from the Bull. My money's on the reigning Bull Shi...! Go for it Jarhead.:agree:
There may come a time when Management hears about this stuff and it becomes the fad of the month. I really am learning a lot of stuff not to worry about!:eek: :smokin:


Super Moderator
I use the chicken bone thing as an illustration when I teach and assist organizations on 14K implementation.

Too many times folks are told that the only way to do Significant Aspect determination is to follow some pre-concieved rules and formulas and all that crap.

I tell folks all they have to do is have a procedure (of their choosing not some stumble butt auditors...remember I'm an EMS-LA myself) and follow that procedure. They can use charts, or formulas, lengthy complex spreadsheets, chicken bones or a blindfolded chimp with a dartboard, it's the organizations business on how they do it. They do need to 'consider' regulatory issues and all that other hoopola too, but there is no need to complicate this stuff.

I find it quite disheartening when "Professionals" fail to accept that 14K only requires that the 'minimums' be met, and they try to over complicate a relative simple document.



Involved - Posts
I believe that almost all EMS auditors regularly auditing for Registrars would consider the chicken bones approach and no action on any significant aspects a showstopper.


Super Moderator
I'm an EMS Auditor and I do some work for Registrars, and as long as an organization does what the standard requires and they state they will do according to their procedures and policy where can I find them wrong?

As an auditor your job is to determine conformance to the standard in question, and not to impose your own mindset on the auditee.

Do they confrom to the standard? Yes No

Are they complying with their policy? Yes No

Are they complying with their procedures? Yes No

What else is there pardner?:confused:
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Involved - Posts
Randy, I guess you and I just disagree on this. To me no action on significant aspects would probably cause me to find that there is no evidence of commitment to prevention of pollution or continual improvement (a major nonconformance to 4.2) especially if the organization had what I would consider, as an environmental professional, many significant aspects.

This discussion highlights some of the problems with the standard and the registration system. The standard is vague and registrars are applying a wide range of interpretations of it during audits. The registration game is becoming more competitive and there is a chance that registration decisions could be influenced by a need to retain customers rather than a reasonable interpretation of the standard.

This could lead interest groups to rightfully characterizing an ISO 14001 registration as simply green wash rather than objective evidence of an organizations commitment to continual improvement, regulatory compliance and prevention of pollution. I believe as EMS professionals we need to be diligent and try to prevent the proliferation of that sentiment. If we fail it is likely that an ISO 14001 will become meaningless.


Super Moderator
I guess this is a subject that seperates the men from the boys (or ladies from the girls as the case may be).

Where is it written or implied that significant aspects must be of the negative/potential polluting kind? The term is neutral. What if the only significant aspects identified by an organization were of the positive type...i.e recycling program, energy conservation program, hazardous waste management program, etc..? What if the organization determines that they are under control, being properly managed and in a state of continual improvement from the get go? What does the organization do now? Does the organization not have the right to determine how it conducts its business?

Have you ever heard of the word "initiative"? What would be wrong with dis-regarding the above significant aspects in lieu of something else. What would be wrong with let's say..An aspect that was identified (non-significant using whatever blackmagic procedure that was in place) was the vehicle parking areas for potential non-point source pollution. What would be wrong with looking at it or at any other aspect that may provide the opportunity to comply, prevent and improve?

You need to step back along with many others, take a breath of fresh air, and get away from this tripe that significant aspects are and must only be negative in nature and they 'must' be assigned O&T's. I say Bullfritters.:p
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Involved - Posts
I fully agree that significant aspects can be positive, negative or both. I still think if you call something like energy use significant you need to be doing something about them even if they are listed as positive aspects. My bologna detector starts twitching when an organizations claims they have already done everything they possibly can to improve their energy usage performance and see no need to establish an objective and target for this significant aspect. How can an auditor obtain objective evidence of an organizations commitment to continual improvement if the organization claims that it has already done everything it possibly could to improve its performance?
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