Risk management and special events

The Disaster Preparedness and Management Directorate (DPMD) represents WA Health on a number of committees aimed at:

  • managing risks to the welfare of the State
  • ensuring the safety of public events.

The risk management and special projects portfolio covers 2 areas:

  • health risk management
  • public events.

Risk management

Western Australia is subject to a wide variety of natural and man-made hazards that have the potential to cause loss of life, damage and destruction. A risk management approach to emergency management is utilised in WA to lower the risks from these hazards to a tolerable level.

Within Western Australia, the emergency management arrangements are detailed in the Emergency Management Act (external site).The Act describes State, district and local levels of planning and preparation, including the identification of risks and the development of resilience to those risks in all tiers of governance.

In Western Australia, the State Emergency Management Committee, supported by a number of sub committees, determines and directs the priority mitigation and resilience initiatives of the State. DPMD represents Health on these subcommittees and working groups. The Directorate also contributes to the development and implementation of risk management policies and guidelines.

Key State, national and international risk management documents are available at the State Emergency Management Committee website (external site).

Public events and health risk management

WA is unique in its size and geographical isolation. This makes it especially important to ensure that adequate plans are put in place to cater for any medical emergencies that may occur at any pre-planned public event, particularly those which have an anticipated number of attendees that is larger than the normal daily population at that location.

Event medical services need to be considered for all phases of the event, including set-up, the event itself, post event and clean-up. The level of medical service needs to reflect the identified risks and likely consequences. Event medical services should be adequate to manage event-related patients with minimal or no significant extra demand on local emergency ambulance services and health care facilities.

The Environmental Health Directorate of WA Health has developed the Guidelines for Concerts, Events and Organised Gatherings 2022 to assist event organisers to determine the specific medical risks, the location and medical resources available to the public, and determine the level of medical planning required for an event, and the need for a medical intervention plan for an event.

Advice for event organisers is in Guideline 7 of the Guideline for concerts events and organised gatherings (PDF 846KB), including the medical risk classification tool.

Additional information on mass gatherings / public events risk management strategies can be found at the Australian Disaster Resilience Handbook Collection (external site), through the public buildings and mass gatherings webpage or via email.

Visiting overseas health professionals

International sporting teams and event organisers may wish to use overseas health professionals to provide some of the first aid and medical requirements at major events. Visiting overseas health professional may not practice in WA unless registered according to Australian standards.

Visiting overseas health professional may seek special event exemption for specified persons to practice in WA for the duration of a special event.

More information

Event organisers should contact the Disaster Preparedness and Management Directorate for more information

Phone: (08) 9373 3833
Email: Public.Events@health.wa.gov.au.

Produced by

Public Health