ISO 14001:2015 Aspects and Impacts: Haze occurrence (Supplier related)

#1
Hi,
Would like to seek opinions. My company is in South East Asia and we are a manufacturer. For the last few years, there have been annual occurrence of haze due to deliberate setting of fire to clear land and burn chopped down palm trees by the palm oil plantations in Indonesia. Our certification body Auditor issued an observation requiring us to put Occurrence of Haze as an Environmental Aspect. High particulate matter in the air is the environmental aspect. The resulting impact is adverse health effect on our workers. As the haze is not a result of any activity by our company or our suppliers or our neighbours, i fail to see why this should be included in our Aspect and Impact. I would agree that the occurrence of haze be included as an external environmental issue which can have an impact on our operations which comes under clause 4.1.
 
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Randy

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#2
Unless you have control or "real" influence then the haze is none of your business and the auditor is showing a definite lack of understanding or competence in this regard.
 

Jane_S

Starting to get Involved
#3
Hello!
I hope I did not misunderstand your question.

In my opinion it is something you maybe should consider (depends on what exactly you are manufacturing and what kind of environmental control you are using in the production rooms).

It sounds quite funny at first, but the auditor's suggestion might not be baseless. Some time ago I was reading the book "Control of particulate matter contamination in healthcare manufacturing" by Thomas A. Barber and somewhere between those 500+ pages was an example describing how one of the manufacturers has been struggling with the increased particle counts in his controlled environment rooms. Turned out the train station which was close to the facility significantly increased the number of trains coming and going through it (or something similar, I apologize, I don't remember precisely) which resulted in increased contamination. I think they solved it with the help of HEPA filters.

What I am trying to say - maybe it is worth to perform a simple risk assessment.
 
#4
thanks for both replies. indeed, i'd see the Haze as more of an external issue Jane, the resulting impact that the auditor mentioned was adverse health effect on workers! sorry, i've corrected my first post. high particulate matter has no impact on our operations and he said it's a significant aspect as health matters would be under OSHA. :(
We've included haze occurrence as an external issue and under our risk register, it's evaluated as not a significant risk.
 
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