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Good Practice Guidance on Health Impact Assessment

25 February 2010

This guidance focuses on an approach that takes account of emerging health impact assessment (HIA) methodology and the needs of the mining and metals sector. It describes a flexible and holistic approach that can easily be modified to take account of the needs and requirements of mining and metals companies and their projects.

  • All communities have existing health problems and health assets. Similarly, all development projects have the potential to generate positive and negative health and wellbeing impacts.
  • Assessment and management of community health, safety and wellbeing impacts is increasingly considered part of the risk management and social responsibility of mining and metals operators.
  • The purpose of HIA is to support and add value to the decision-making process on whether, and in what way, a policy, plan, programme or project goes ahead. It does so by providing a systematic analysis of the potential community health impacts as well as developing options for maximizing the positive health impacts, minimizing the negative impacts and enhancing health equity/reducing health inequalities.
  • HIAs are used to: identify and maximize the positive and avoid and minimize the negative community health and wellbeing impacts, and identify opportunities that a mining and metals project can bring.
  • An HIA is a flexible approach that can be adapted to a wide variety of project types, budgets and timeframes. A nine-step process is provided in this guidance.