ISO 14001 Incident Reporting Procedure

Incident reporting procedure

In a pre-audit I have been asked to develop an incident reporting procedure for internal and external issues, whilst I have no argument against the principal of this I am however unclear against which part of the standard I can cross reference this to (I need to do this because fo the way our electronic manual is set up)?.

I already have a procedure for Non conformance and my immediate thoughts are just to expand this to cover incidents (sureley incidents could be classed as non conformances?).

Thanks in advance for your help.


Super Moderator
Try 4.4.7 Emergency Preparedness and Response, 4.4.3 Communication, 4.5.3 Records, 4.4.6(a) Operational Control

It's dealers choice.
Thanks for the promt response, can I assume from your reply that 4.5.2 is not the correct place?.

I was hoping it wasn't 4.4.7, the auditor specifically said "for the reporting of issues" I thought that if he had wanted a procedure for emergency prepardness and response he would not have used the term issue, or am I getting too hung up on the wording here?.



Involved - Posts
Your auditor should have clearly identified the clause of ISO 14001 they believed had been violated. If the did not or cannot do this maybe there is no nonconformance. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.


Super Moderator
Kevin is right about the clarification thing. When I see "incident" I immediately think along 4.4.7 and related clauses. An incident can be an N/C under 4.5.2. It just depends on your perspective I guess.

What do yoy think Kevin?
The audit was a pre audit so technicaly there was no non conformance raised. It was a recommendation and whilst I agree with the auditors comments I am still unclear where to put it against a clause.

I believe it is effectively a non conformance = 4.5.2 but I am looking for other peoples perspective on this.

Once again thanks for the help.


mdobovsek - 2005

I hope this will clarify a little our mess. :)

In our system we clasify incidents and accidents: without and with loss respectively.

To be a non conformance we need to have three elements:

objective evidence of
a non compliance of a
addressed specification

In cases when one fail it is an observation

Both (non-conf or observation) can lead to a corrective or preventive action.

In the case of incidents, 4.4.7 addresses to have a sistematic search of accidental or emergency potential situations.

Incidents are markers of future accidents.

The conceptual differences between them is only the "good luck".

That is: looking and dealing with incidents in your system fullfill partially 4.4.7 (partially because is not the same as looking for a "potential of accidents"), you already only register and evaluate incidents (that are "potential" accidents that happened)

Good Luck!!
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