CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2024 Annual Meeting and Expo

Occupational Health and Safety

Meeting theme: "Rebuilding Trust in Public Health and Science"

Submission Deadline: Friday, March 29, 2024

The Occupational Health and Safety Section invites you to submit high quality abstracts and programs on topics related to workers’ health and safety for the 152nd Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Oct 27th to Oct 30th, 2024).

Once you submit your abstract, please remember to join the OHS section. Preference will be given to abstracts that feature originality. Use of innovative approaches, potential impact on the field, clarity of presentation, reliance on high-quality scientific data, and potential level of interest to meeting attendees will also be considered in the selection process.

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. 

Roundtable sessions: The roundtable sessions are a total of 90 minutes focused on 6-8 speakers who will first give a short overview of their presentation. Then, each presenter will have approximately 20 minutes to give a more in-depth presentation of their research to those who come to their table. This repeats two more times.

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

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. 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
  • Highlight 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
  • Address the policy or practical implications of the research or program on workers
  • Detail a particularly urgent OHS topic or conference theme related topic
  • Reflect on how the research/intervention/program supports the requirements that employers bear the responsibility for providing safe and healthful workplaces

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 June 2024 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.

List of example topic areas:

    • Building a Health Community
      Every state but Texas has workers’ compensation. But WC in New York is not the same as in Florida, California, or Missouri. What are other states doing that you’d like to copy, what is your state doing that you are shocked is not universal. This session focused on ideas for health and safety in the workplace that can be shared, implemented or have been adapted to make all places better for the worker.
    • Data in the Workplace
      The Department of Labor collects information on workplace morbidity and mortality and the success of Workers Compensation—but the better masks for nurses, how to improve firefighters response time, and the movements that protect spinal Injuries? Those come from YOU, the workers, the reporters, the investigators. What is the data we don’t know about, what is the important data and information we haven’t thought about.
    • From the Ground up
      All of our sessions encourage individuals who are outside worker health science but have created programs or policies to improve worker health with outcomes that are data based (less sick days) to those that are by feel (workers seem happier). However, some programs and policies just make sense. How have you improved your workplace or community workplaces as a worker.
    • Leave No Worker behind!
      As a majority of where we spend our waking hours, this session will focus on how improved safety in the workplace protects our health in spending time with our friends and family. From the 40 hour work-week, to preventing pesticides from coming back with farmworkers to the home, presenters will share how work effects well-being, and how a happy worker is a healthy worker.
    • New Researchers or New Practitioners in OHS
      AI was a big new topic in 2024, but is it the only new topics affecting the workplace? Newer researchers and advocates to the field come with new perspectives, is there an old topic that needs a new angle to solve, or a different perspective we should be focusing on? (All students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs and new researchers within 2 years of completion of last degree).
    • Occupational Health Internship Program
      One of our most popular programs, OHIP is a combined one-year program between our section and the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. Last year, these students presented on injuries among grocery store workers, developing health and safety training materials, construction workers knowledge of heat-related illness, and worker violence prevention control measures.
    • Seeing Is Believing with Worker Health and Equity
      Many companies talk about how they support parents, care about diversity, push for mental health initiatives. But how does it hold up in the day to day.

    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 4-5 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 2024:  

    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 110 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:

    Katherine Goscilo, MPH