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Health risk assessment

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Health Risk Assessment (Scoping) Guidelines (PDF 500KB)

Development is going on all around us in WA. Yet developments such as:

  • land use developments
  • industrial activities or
  • clean up of old waste sites

can put communities at risk and possibly cause ill health.

Health Risk Assessment is the process WA Health requires of developers to demonstrate that their proposals will not adversely affect the health of the surrounding community. It requires proponents to consider:

  • each aspect of their proposed development
  • the potential impact of chemical, biological, physical or social agents on a specified human population
  • the risks associated and
  • to consider what could be done to ensure that the community is protected from the risks

In 2008, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) commenced a review of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process for WA. The key outcomes from the Review are the establishment of:

  • A new risk-based approach to EIA
  • Outcome focused environmental conditions

WA Health is supportive of these outcomes and is establishing complementary processes for assessment of potential health impacts. WA Health developed the:

in consultation with many health specialists and government and industry representatives to provide a more specific health characterisation of potential risks to the WA community from new proposals.

This framework is being trialled until July 2011.

The framework should be used in conjunction with the EPA’s risk assessment procedures for the consideration of public health risks and the following publications:

Information on the current status of the EIA review and the risk-based approach can be obtained from the Environmental Protection Authority''s website (External link).

Risky business (PDF 617KB): Is an enHealth resource to help Local Governments manage environmental health risks (this resource) has been developed for local government elected representatives and senior management. The aim of the resource is to raise awareness of how to minimise the financial, health and reputation risks related to the environmental health responsibilities of local governments and thereby protect the best interests of both their communities and their organisation.

For further information please contact the Environmental Health Directorate on (08) 9388 4999.

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