All companies have a legal obligation to comply with existing legislation. In addition, a number of Environment and H&S management standards require companies to identify, maintain and update a list of relevant legislation.
From ISO 14001 - Environmental Management System Standard: 4.3.2 Legal And Other Requirements
The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s)
To identify and have access to the applicable legal requirements and other requirements to which the organisation subscribes related to its environmental aspects, and
To determine how these requirements apply to its environmental aspects.
From OHSAS 18001:2007 - Managing Occupational Health And Safety: 4.3.2 Legal And Other Requirements
The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for identifying and accessing the legal and other OH&S requirements that are applicable to it. The organization shall ensure that these applicable legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes are taken into account in establishing, implementing and maintaining its OH&S management system. The organization shall keep this information up-to-date.
The organization shall communicate relevant information on legal and other requirements to persons working under the control of the organization, and other relevant interested parties.
From I.S. EN 16001:2009 - Energy Management Standard
Step 6: Identify and evaluate legal obligations and other requirements. One of the important clauses of I.S. EN 16001 is that organisations ensure they comply with all energy related legislation and other requirements which are applicable to their energy aspects.
When identifying legal requirements, it is helpful to start out with an "action word" such as inspect, mark, train, notify, record, document, establish….etc. The most important legal requirements are the ones that require that some action be taken and it is important to clearly identify what that action is. In some cases, this will require careful reading of the regulation or standard to determine what action is needed to ensure compliance.
What is important is that you (1) identify WHAT needs to be done to be in compliance, (2) establish processes to take the required actions as an integral part of your OHSMS and (3) evaluate whether or not the appropriate compliance actions has been completed.
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