8.2 Emergency Preparedness and Response [ISO 14001]

What is 8.2 Emergency Preparedness and Response?

The emergency situations that require preparedness and response measures may originate from within your organization, and have the potential to affect the environment, or conversely, it may be an environmental condition that has the potential to affect your organization.


An environmental emergency can arise at any moment within your company. This may very well affect the surrounding environment, which will, in turn, affect your business. Verify that your organization has the processes in place which are ready to trigger a planned response to environmental emergencies.

Processes flowchart

Establish and Maintain Which Processes?

The emergency response section requires your organization to establish and maintain process to:

  • Identify potential environmental emergency scenarios
  • Respond to environmental incidents and emergencies by triggering response actions
  • Personnel are trained before they are required to participate in the emergency response
  • Regularly test (drill), review and revise emergency responses (after an incident)
  • Ensure that interested parties are made aware of these arrangements
  • Prevent and mitigate any impacts and risks that may be associated with incidents and emergencies

Emergency Response Procedure

The emergency response procedure(s) should describe how you plan to mitigate potential environmental emergency situations which might could include the following scenarios:

  1. Fire
  2. Accidental emissions to the atmosphere
  3. Accidental discharges to water
  4. Accidental discharges to land
  5. Specific health and safety effects from such accidental releases and emergency situations

When determining potential environmental incidents and emergency situations, consult the following sources:

  • Environmental consultants
  • Environmental aspect and impact evaluations
  • Designers and process engineers
  • Equipment manufacturers and retailers
  • Incident reports and records
  • Maintenance processes and personnel
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • COSHH data sheets

Walk-through Inspection

In addition to consulting the above resources, it is useful to perform a walk-through inspection to identify potential environmental incidents and emergency situations.

Walk-through inspections are most effective when performed during typical operating conditions using observational and non-threatening interview and communication techniques.

Miners Walking EMS plan

Environmental Emergency Plans

Environmental emergency plans are the result of prior planning, testing, and the coordination of internal and external resources. Emergency response plans should provide written instructions and information to use during an emergency situation.

Such plans can also provide information to prevent or mitigate environmental impacts and health and safety risks.

It is Recommended that Emergency Response Plans Include:

  • Emergency organization and responsibilities
  • A list of key personnel
  • Provisions for safe evacuation, assembly and accounting of personnel details of emergency services (e.g., fire department, ambulance services, spill clean-up services, etc.)
  • Internal and external communication plans
  • Actions taken in the event of different types of emergencies
  • Information on hazardous materials (COSHH & MSDS) that include each materials potential impact on the environment
  • Measures to be taken in the event of accidental release
  • Training plans
  • Procedures to test the plan’s effectiveness

Environmental emergency response plans should include facility layouts and MSDSs, and should be filed with the emergency responding agencies.

Emergency Responders

Emergency responders must be familiar with facility layouts and potential hazards, and must be adequately trained to prevent and mitigate a variety of human and environmental impacts.

Test, Review & Revise

Your organization must review and revise, when necessary, its emergency preparedness and response procedures, especially after an incident or emergency situation has occurred.

You must also periodically test such procedures where practicable. Otherwise, your emergency response plans may never be tested and determined to be adequate until after an incident or emergency that may have been avoidable had proper testing been undertaken and documented.

Updated: 30th October 2021
Author: Richard Keen

Richard Keen

Richard Keen

Richard is our Compliance Director, responsible for content & product development.
But most importantly he is ISO's biggest fanboy and a true evangelist of the standards.
Learn more about Richard

ISO Checklist

Don’t Try to Manage It All Alone!


Our ISO Auditors and Quality Manager Trainers have been in this industry for years, and since 2002 we’ve been providing thousands of small businesses and large corporations with the tools they need to get certified.

Instead of trying to create everything you need to follow this process from scratch, use ours. We have procedures, templates, checklists, process maps, forms and gap analysis tools to help your documentation without missing a single input or output.

Before you invest all the hours reinventing the wheel, before you spend countless dollars outsourcing the task — try our templates.

Start with expert templates, then make them yours


ISO Procedures