Chapter 36: Emergency Management

Chapter 36: Emergency Management


All organisations are vulnerable to emergencies and, consequently, must plan for them as part of their health and safety framework and systems. While expert advice may be required, the generalist Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) professional has a pivotal role in facilitating and managing an organisation’s emergency management, preparedness and response capability. Australian Emergency Management arrangements are based on partnerships across governments, emergency response services, businesses, industry and the community with the approach being both comprehensive and integrated. This chapter facilitates such a broad approach by introducing the OHS professional to the principles and concepts underpinning two commonly used emergency management frameworks, the Australasian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS) and the US National Incident Management System (NIMS). It should also be recognised that while these are the primary systems used by both industry and hazard management agencies in Australia, there are any number of hybrid systems and systems developed by industry for specific applications. The chapter examines the four components of an emergency management system: understanding threats; planning; response and recovery and their underpinning elements of an all hazards approach, risk assessment, vulnerability, competency, interoperability, flexibility; minimising impacts, management by objectives and incident action planning. The chapter concludes with a role statement for OHS professionals in emergency management.

Keywords: emergency, planning, threat, preparedness, response, recovery, mitigation

First year of publication: 2012
Current Version: 2019

Chapter 36: Emergency Management

Table of contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Definitions
2 Historical perspective
3 Legislation and standards
4 The Australian context
4.1 Key agencies
4.2 Incident management systems
5 A tiered management structure
5.1 Level 1 – Local emergency response
5.2 Level 2 – Incident management
5.3 Level 3 – Crisis management
6 Components of an emergency management system
6.1 Understanding threats
6.2 Planning
6.3 Response
6.4 Recovery
7 Working with emergency response agencies
8 Implications for OHS practice
8.1 Strategic role of OHS professional
8.2 Operational role of OHS professional
9 Summary
Useful websites and resources

Andrew Stanbury DipWHS, DipPubSafety(Emerg Manag)

Special Inspector of Mines, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Western Australia

Andrew is a health, safety and emergency management professional with more than 25 years’ experience across many industry sectors in Australia. Early in his career, Andrew was employed by the State Emergency Service in Western Australia and, more recently, has provided emergency management consulting services to a range of Australian and global resource organisations, and organised crisis and emergency management exercises both locally and overseas. He has worked with regulators to develop national standards and codes of practice as a result of incidents and investigations to drive continual improvement in OHS and emergency management. Currently, Andrew works for the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety as a Special Inspector of Mines and Emergency Management SME

Peer reviewers

Helen Keen
Dyer Senior Lecturer and Discipline Lead, Emergency & Disaster Management, Department of Transport, Emergency and Safety Sciences, CQ University

James Heffernan MCom, DipTeach, AdvDip Public Safety (EM), Dip Security and RM, MBCI
Senior Security, Emergency and Continuity Manager, Origin Energy

Danny Spadaccini CFSIA EHS
Director – Alumina, Alcoa

Leanne Treadwell, BE (Chem)(Hons)
Lecturer, University of Wollongong

Learning Outcomes: Mitigation: Emergency preparedness

The OHS Body of Knowledge takes a conceptual approach which enables it to be applied in different contexts and frameworks. To optimise its value for education and professional development learning outcomes have been developed for each technical chapter in the Body of Knowledge.

The learning outcomes as described give an indication of what should be the capabilities of a new graduate OHS professional in the workplace. I t is up to those developing OHS education programs, OHS professionals planning their CPD or recruiters or employers selecting or developing people for the OHS function to consider the required breadth vs. depth


Download information about the learning outcomes

Download learning outcomes for this Chapter


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