CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2023 Annual Meeting and Expo

Occupational Health and Safety

Meeting theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social and Ethical Challenges"

Submission Deadline: Friday, March 31, 2023

The Occupational Health and Safety section invites you to submit high quality abstracts on topics related to workers’ health and safety for the 151st Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association in Atlanta, Georgia. The theme for the conference is on public health building up structures to address social and ethical challenges, however we select abstracts that include a variety of other OHS topics. Accepted abstracts will be grouped with other abstracts on complementary topics. Once you submit your abstract, please remember to join the OHS section.

This year we are focusing on abstracts that outline tangible solutions to important OHS problems, in line with the conference theme on addressing social and ethical challenges. These topic areas can be about any OHS subjects, for example: Aging & young workforce, COVID19,  Climate change,  Disaster response, Emergency response to extreme weather and disasters, Infection prevention and control, Food safety, workers safety and safe environments, Fractionalized workforce, Occupational health disparities, Gig & ghost economy, temp workers, fissured employment, Healthcare patient safety and worker safety, History of OHS, Illness related to work, Immigration, labor and health, Industrial hygiene & exposure assessment, Infectious disease, Injuries related to work, International experiences and efforts in OHS, OHS surveillance, Occupational health & environmental justice, Safety culture, Safety hazard & interventions, Mental health, Workplace violence etc.

    • Creating Change: Translating Data into Action
    • Ensuring Equity & Justice Among Workers
    • How to Use Policy to Advocate for Safer Workplaces
    • Investigating Risks That Workers Face
    • Lessons Learned: Protecting Vulnerable Workers
    • Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP)
      For students that participated in the summer OHIP program.
    • Student/New Practitioner to OHS Poster Competition
      Students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs and new researchers (within 2 years of completion of last degree) can participate in the poster competition.
    • Surveillance Data for Equitable Worker Safety
    • Utilizing Workplace Programs, Interventions, and Best Practices to Protect Workers

    Oral sessions: The 90-minute oral sessions will feature four (15 minute each) scientific presentations and a brief period for audience Q&A. 

    Roundtable sessions: The roundtable sessions include 6-8 speakers who are given 3-5 minutes each to describe their research, outreach, advocacy, or discussion topic. The event is 90-minutes and the speakers describe their topic and then are situated at different roundtables and audience members select a table and engage in a discussion with that speaker for a 20-minute period.

    Posters: The poster sessions typically feature 10 presenters grouped by topic. The event is 60-minutes and presenters stand next to their poster so audience members can walk up to ask questions and discuss.

    Student & new researchers poster 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. If you want to be considered for this competition, please submit under the "New researchers or new practitioners in OHS" topic area. 

    Instructions for preparing abstracts
    Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words. Organize your abstract into four sections: Background and Objective(s), Methods, Results, Conclusion(s). Please include relevant facts outlining the occupational health problem, the strategies of your work, the impact on your population, and implications for other groups. We understand that you may not have results at the time of submission; if not, please include preliminary results or expected outcomes.


    We encourage members of the community, unions, advocates to submit abstracts. If your abstract does not neatly fit into scientific sections, such as methods and results, please still outline an introduction to the problem in your community, the methods your group has implemented to reduce the problem, and the (anticipated) results of the intervention or advocacy.

    For example, safety of late-night workers (problem), workplace- or union-organized carpool system (method implemented), increased workers being on-time while increasing their time at home through the shorter commute time (outcome).

    You do not need to conduct a research study to share your efforts to protect workers, but you do need clear facts so that reviewers understand the problem, solution, and impact of your work to receive high scores from blinded subject matter experts.


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

    • Outline the need for change to protect workers’ health with relevant facts (10 points)
    • Be of sound science and evidence-based practice to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills or competence of public health professionals (15 points)
    • Highlight the research, policy analysis, or other OHS activity clearly and how it relates to the science of OHS and impact on workers (10 points)
    • 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 (10 points)
    • Reflect on how the research/intervention/program supports the requirements that employers bear the responsibility for providing safe and healthful workplaces and that workers’ rights are prioritized (10 points)
    • Detail a particularly urgent OHS topic or conference theme related topic (presentation prioritized)
    • Written to be coherent and relevant to OHS (10 points)
    • Address a public health core competency (5 points)
    • Include measurable learning outcomes (5 points)

    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.

    (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. 

    You will be notified in early summer 2023 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.


    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.  

    Full 90-minute sessions: The OHS Section will also accept abstracts that propose a complete session with 4 unique abstracts and presenters. The organizer of a proposed session must submit a “session abstract.” The title of the abstracts should begin: “Full Session: (title)” 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.
    In addition to the “session abstract,” each proposed speaker must also submit an abstract. 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 are also required to be a member of APHA. Slots for 90-minute sessions are very competitive. If the full session proposal is not accepted, we will consider integrating the individual abstracts into other OHS Section sessions.

    OHS & APHA 2023: In 2023, 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 this years’ conference theme, “Building Capacity to Address Social and Ethical Challenges,” the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section is focused on methods that improve workplace-related challenges and remove barriers to health equity for workers at the workplace and (within the community/when workers are at home). 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 109 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:

    Kerri Wizner, MPH


    Katherine Goscilo, MPH