Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

Our 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 105 years and the International Labor Organization celebrates 100 years.  What an historic year it is going to be!

We have more than 800 members.  While many in our Occupational Health and Safety Section self-identify as "OHS Professionals", we represent and recruit members from a multitude of disciplines that influence and improve work and working conditions from 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.

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. 

What we do saves lives! We are public health!  

Over 145 million workers in the U.S. — and several billion people around the globe — face the risk of work-related injuries and illnesses that can cause serious immediate or long-term health problems. Members of the OHS Section are involved in preventing injuries, illnesses, disabilities and deaths to those who work through advocacy, research, education and training, surveillance, designing preventive controls, diagnosis and treatment, policy, and regulatory compliance.

The O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, states that every fifteen seconds, a worker dies from a work-related injury or disease. Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational injuries or work-related diseases. Of the more than 300 million injuries or illnesses that occur on the job annually, many of these result in extended absences from work, and millions more are permanently or temporarily disabled. This means a loss of income and social protection for workers and their families, and a loss of human resources for the national and international economies.

Join us to help ensure that every worker returns home safe, healthy, and well.

To learn more about the OHS Section and how you can be involved, contact Section Chair Amber Hogan Mitchell, DrPH, MPH, CPH.

photos of worker protections throught the century