Management system guidance
6.1 Address Risks and Opportunities
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6.1.4 Planning action
This is a new element of ISO 14001: 2015 and ISO 45001:2018. The essence is that it be clear how the management system addresses the risks, opportunities, legal and compliance obligations and emergency preparedness and response measures arising from 6.1.2, 6.1.3 and 8.2.
This can take the form of control measures in the implementation section (8), or formulating objectives (including for improvement), as seen in 6.2. The ‘familiar programme’ from OHSAS 18001 is now linked to the objectives (6.2.2).
This is new requirement is for ensuring that once your processes are determined; your organization must identify the risks and opportunities associated with these processes. In order to realize the benefits associated with the identified risks and opportunities, subsequent changes may be needed. These changes could relate to any aspect of any process, such as:
Changes are intended to be beneficial but they need to be carried out when determined by your organization as relevant and achievable. In addition, consideration of newly introduced risks and opportunities should also be taken into account. To achieve the benefits associated with changes, your organization should consider all types of change that may occur. These changes may be generated, for example, in:
- Processes and procedures;
- Documented information;
- Process equipment;
- Employee training;
- Supplier evaluation;
- Stakeholder management;
- Interested party requirements.
You should seek and record evidence that your organization has retained documented information relating to planning and implementing changes that impact upon the EMS/OH&SMS. Check that organizational knowledge is reviewed before changes to the EMS are made when responding to any change. Ensure that your organization has planned how to integrate and implement the changes into its EMS/OH&SMS processes. Check that your organization has considered:
- The purpose of the changes and their potential consequences (risk and opportunities);
- The integrity of the management system (how does the change effect current process?);
- The availability of resources (are resources allocated to affect change?);
- The allocation or reallocation of responsibilities and authorities (are the right staff allocated?)
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