CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo

Occupational Health and Safety

Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence

Submission Deadline: Thursday, February 20, 2020

We are seeking high quality abstracts on topics related to workers’ health and safety for the 148th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association in San Francisco.  Accepted abstracts for oral and roundtable presentations will be grouped with other abstracts on complementary topics by the OHS program committee into 90-minute sessions.  Once you submit your abstract, please remember to join the OHS section.

Oral sessions:  The 90-minute oral sessions will typically feature four (18-20 minute each) scientific presentations and a brief period for audience Q&A.  (Individuals wishing to propose a full 90-minute oral session should follow the instructions provided below.)

Roundtable Sessions:  The 90-minute roundtable sessions will typically feature six to eight speakers who are given 3-5 minutes each to describe their research, outreach, advocacy, or discussion topic.  The speakers are then situated at different roundtables and audience members select a table and engage in a discussion with that speaker for a 20-minute period. A second 20-minute discussion period is offered to allow the audience to switch tables and speak with a different presenter.  Projectors and other audio visual (AV) equipment are not provided in the roundtable sessions.  In this more interactive format, the OHS Section encourages speakers to use other methods to present their work, such as a handout, photos, a poster, or tablet/laptop display.  If a roundtable session is your preference, please write “interested in roundtable” in the notes section on the on-line abstract submission form.

Student and New Researchers Poster Competition:  This year we will again feature a Student and New Researcher Competition. All Students (currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs) and New Researchers (within 2 years of completion of last degree) are encouraged to submit abstracts on worker health and safety topics. If your abstract is accepted for a poster presentation, it will be evaluated by the Program Planning Committee for possible inclusion in the poster competition. (Evaluation criteria for the poster competition will be provided to the participants in advance of the meeting.) If you want to be considered for this competition, please submit under the "New researchers or new practitioners in OHS wanting to participate in the new researcher or new OHS practitioner poster competition (any OHS topics welcome by new researchers and students)" topic area. 

Special Information for Students and Community Members:  The OHS section encourages students and local community members to submit abstracts for our program.  The OHS Section offers a limited number of scholarships for students, labor union representatives and community-based organizations.  Please see the OHS Section page on the APHA website for scholarship information.  

Instructions for preparing abstracts:  Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words.  Where applicable, organize your abstract into four sections: Background and Objective(s), Methods, Results, Conclusion(s).  We understand that you may not have results at the time of submission; if not, please include preliminary results or expected outcomes. 

The OHS Section strives to offer a full program of scientific sessions at which participants are able to earn the following continuing education (CE) credits: CME, CHES, CNE, CPH, MCHES.  

The OHS Section strives to provide CE credits for EVERY session in our program. In order to do so, each abstract must include each of the following:

(1) At least one learning outcome, which must include one of the following action words: explain, demonstrate, analyze, formulate, discuss, compare, differentiate, describe, name, assess, evaluate, identify, design, define, or list. Note: ‘to understand’ or ‘to learn’ are not learning outcomes.  If there is a connection between your topic and health equity, please state it clearly and convincingly in the abstract as an objective.

(2)  No mention of any trade and/or commercial products.

(3) A signed Conflict of Interest form with a relevant qualification statement. 

(4) Your qualifications statement should list your unique expertise to present the information identified in your abstract.  Note: Examples of acceptable qualifications statement would be: “I have conducted research on the ABC topic for 5 years, and was the co-PI on this project,” or “I conducted the data analysis on this project.”  “I am a professor at XYZ university” is not deemed an acceptable qualifications statement by the CE accrediting organizations. 

The CE accrediting organizations expect the educational learning content to be of sound science or professional practice, and serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills and professional competence of the health professional. Learning content should be evidence-based if available. A list of over 20 areas will be provided online from which to choose. You will be asked to choose at least one or up to six areas that your presentation will address. Failing to address the mentioned CE guidelines, may result in abstract rejection.

Abstract reviewers will focus on the following, please use this as a guide in developing your abstracts.  Abstracts with high scores should:

  • Describe the research, policy analysis, or other OHS activity clearly and how it relates to the science of OHS
  • Describe what novel actions and/or research methodology has been taken (e.g. policy making, policies, regulations, unionization, etc.) and describe impact on workers' health
  • Integrate policy or practical implications in the presentation of the research or program implementation
  • Involve a particularly urgent OHS topic
  • Describe how their research addresses this year's conference them "For science. For action. For Health."
  • Describe how the research/intervention/program reflects and supports the requirements that employers bear the responsibility for providing safe and healthful workplaces

Information for those who wish to submit a proposal for a full 90-minute session:  

The OHS Section will also accept abstracts that propose a complete session with 4-5 presenters.  The organizer of a proposed session must submit a “session abstract.” The title of the abstracts should begin: “Full Session:” e.g., “Full Session: H&S hazards for animal control officers.”  In the first sentence of the abstract write, “this is an abstract for a 90-minute session,” and then describe briefly the session objectives.  In the "Comments to Organizers" box in the Title step, include the names of each proposed presenter and the title of their presentations. (Do not include the names of each proposed presenter and the title of their presentations in the body of the abstract.)   List the organizer or key contact person for the proposed session as the “first author” on session abstract. 

In addition to the “session abstract,” each proposed speaker must also submit an abstract.  The organizer of the session is responsible for ensuring that the “session abstract” and all individual abstracts are submitted by the submission deadline of February 20, 2020.  They should indicate in the ‘notes’ field of the on-line abstract submission form that their abstract is part of the [proposed title of session] organized by [name of organizer].

It is the session organizer’s responsibility to inform each proposed presenter that, if their abstract is accepted, they will be required to register for the conference, and pay the registration fee.  All presenters are also required to be a member of APHA, and session organizers should ask their presenters to designate the OHS Section as one of their APHA Sections.

Slots for 90-minute sessions are very competitive.  Proposals for a 90-minute session will be evaluated by the OHS Section reviewers based on the quality of each individual abstract, as well as the degree to which the individual abstracts complement each other, the diversity of the speakers e.g., different disciplines, organizations, backgrounds and the proposed session’s potential contribution to the overall OHS Section scientific program. If the full session proposal is not accepted, we will consider integrating the individual abstracts into other OHS Section sessions.

You will be notified on or around June 3, 2020 if your session abstract is accepted or rejected.  Due to large number of abstracts we receive and limited time slots available for presentations, preference will be given to speakers who designate “Occupational Health & Safety” as one of their APHA Sections.

If you have any questions about where you think you might fit or if you want to propose a full session please contact the program planners.

List of example topic areas:

    • Aging & Young Workforce Health and Safety
    • Disaster response (Disaster cleanup, Spill remediation, Disaster, Climate Change)
    • Emergency response to extreme weather events and other disasters
    • Emerging infectious diseases, infection prevention and control
    • Food safety, workers safety and safe environments (essential for sustainable food systems)
    • Fractionalized workforce and/or occupational health disparities (e.g., low-wage workers, temporary workers, day laborers, temp workers, misclassified workers, force labor, human trafficking)
    • Gig economy, temp workers, fissured employment
    • Healthcare, community health workers, & intersection of patient and worker safety
    • Healthcare: patient safety and worker safety
    • History of occupational health & safety in U.S. and across the globe
    • Illness related to work (e.g., cancer, dermatitis, chronic disease)
    • Immigration, labor and health
    • Indoor air quality
    • Industrial hygiene & exposure assessment (e.g., biomonitoring; laboratory safety; nanotechnology
    • Infectious disease (Bloodborne pathogens, Zika, Healthcare and non-healthcare (e.g., waste handling, transportation, airport workers, agriculture, food, etc.)
    • Injuries related to work (e.g., acute and chronic, ergonomics, slips/trips/falls)
    • International experiences and efforts in OHS
    • New researchers/practitioners in OHS poster competition
    • OHS surveillance (e.g., state/local agency surveillance, BLS SOII and CFOI, injury epidemiology methods)
    • Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP)
    • Safety culture, behavior-based safety
    • Safety hazard investigations, hazard interventions
    • Safety in the workplace (e.g., new hazards, effective interventions, safety culture)
    • Violence in the Workplace
    • Worker's Compensation including Department of Energy workers' compensation: Community and worker impacts
    • Worksite wellness/worksite health promotion
    • Other OHS Topics (e.g., intervention effectiveness, prevention through design, built environment)

    In 2020, APHA is focused on an ongoing mission to create the healthiest nation in one generation by improving the health of the public and achieving equity in health status.  In light of 2020’s conference theme “Preventing Violence.” – the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section is focused on preventing violence at the workplace thereby positively impacting the health and safety of working people around the world.

    The OHS Section is one of the oldest within APHA, advocating for the health, safety and well-being of workers, families, communities and the environment since 1914. This year the OHS Section celebrates 106 years.  Every step of the way, OHS professionals including medicine, nursing, industrial hygiene, and safety engineering to epidemiology, toxicology, environmental health, statistics, community and labor organizing, social justice, injury prevention, education, history, law and journalism have been using science to influence and improve action to better and safer work and working conditions.

    The OHS Section recognizes the intrinsic link between the work environment and the health and safety of working people, their families, communities, and the environment at large.  Presenters should know how science impacts action and how that results in safer workers, safer working conditions, and safer communities for people around the world. This can be accomplished in several ways including: describing how research, policy analysis, or other OHS activity relate to the science of OHS; describing what novel actions and/or research methodology have been taken (e.g. policy making, policies, regulations, unionization, etc.); describe impact on workers’ health and safety; integrating policy or practical implications into research or program implementation.   


    Program Planner Contact Information:

    Elizabeth Kim
    Asian Health Services
    Oakland, CA 94607

    Aditya Stanam, PhD, MPH, MBBS
    Data Quality Department
    Prime Healthcare
    3300 E. Guasti Road
    Ontario, CA 91761
    Phone: 2816307738

    Elgin Avila, MPH
    School of Public Health, Division: Environmental Health
    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN

    Kerri Wizner, MPH
    MDGuidelines/American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
    10355 Westmoor Drive
    Westminster, CO 80021
    Phone: 3038985503

    Jeanette Zoeckler, PhD, MPH
    SUNY Upstate Medical University
    SUNY Upstate Medical University, Occupational Health Clinical Center
    6712 Brooklawn Parkway
    Syracuse, NY 13211
    Phone: 315-432-8899

    Miriam Weil, ScD Radiation Safety Program Coordinator
    Environmental Safety and Health Department
    Boston Chidren's Hospital
    300 Longwood Avenue
    BCH 3248
    Boston, MA 02115
    Phone: 857-218-3682