Understanding ISO 9001:2015
7.1.4 Environment for the operation of processes
environment in this context refers to the work environment and is used to
describe the set of
employees perform their work and under which products and services are produced. Conditions
can include physical, social, psychological and environmental factors (such as temperature, lighting,
recognition schemes, social and occupational stress, ergonomics, etc). It can also
relate to conditions on how work is actually done (complex, repetitive, creative, interactive, team, etc.) in
work processes and procedures.
environmental conditions for product or services (e.g. at a meat packaging plant or delivery of perishable
product) will be discussed later under clause 8.5.4 preservation.
organization should provide and manage a suitable work environment to achieve and maintain the sustained success of the organization
and the competitiveness of its products.
A risk assessment should be done of the
facility work environment conditions to identify and control the
risks related to their impact on:
& service quality,
of business & qms processes,
& safety of employees.
be part of the risk management process (see clause 6.1).
will serve as inputs to the planning of controls of the work environment. The risk assessment should also
include the impact of noncompliance with regulatory requirements.
work environment conditions
should include consideration of ergonomics; nondiscriminatory, calm, friendly and non-confrontational; workplace
stress; health and safety; etc. These factors and related controls are discussed in detail in my
of the work
environment conditions would require many of the infrastructure and people resource maintenance activities
already discussed in the previous sections. Additionally it would require periodic checks by responsible
personnel such as an H&S committee for compliance to any standards and internal criteria established by the
organization for workplace conditions it will operate under, e.g. compliance to temperature, lighting &
ventilation criteria & settings. Many of these conditions could be managed through computerized controls.
environment should encourage productivity, creativity and well-being for the people who are working in or
visiting the organization's premises (e.g. customers, suppliers, and partners). At the same time, the
organization should ensure that its work environment complies with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements and addresses
applicable standards (such as those for environmental and occupational health and safety management).
Again these are huge topics by themselves with plenty of standards and existence of expert literature which goes
far beyond what is expected from this ISO 9001 standard. Apply the laundry list of factors listed in my eBook as
applicable in keeping with the size, nature of business, products & services, risk and other considerations.
The focus should be on employee welfare and safety, effective operation of QMS processes and product
This article is an extract from my eCourse “Understanding ISO 9001:2015”. The rest of the article on this clause discusses in detail the various types of work
environmental conditions an organization may be faced with and how to address them as per the
requirements of clause 7.1.4.