Incident Preparedness

Scope of Work

Response operations involving natural disasters, emergencies, and technological and man-made incidents pose numerous types of physical, chemical, radiological, and biological hazards to responders and the public. Without engaging the expertise of an OEHS Professional in the planning, preparing, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts, those responsible for anticipating, identifying, and controlling these hazards may fail to protect the health of responders and the affected communities. Given the growing complexity of multi-agency, multi-discipline responses with the public and private sectors working together with volunteers, the need for adequate OEHS support throughout all phases of emergency management has become evident. To be effective, OEHS Professionals must be extremely flexible in their technical competencies and have broad professional experience in order to contribute successfully. This working group’s goal is to help OEHS Professionals understand these issues and have the knowledge, skills, and abilities they may need through training, education, development of reference documents, and outreach.

Goals and Objectives

OEHS Professionals play a significant role in protecting the lives of our nation’s response personnel, its support staff, and the surrounding community before, during, and after an incident occurs.

The IPRWG aims to prepare and support the OEHS community by providing guidance, information, educational opportunities, and tools for all phases of an incident.

Current Projects

  • Developing a new body of knowledge/framework titled "Role of the OEHS Professional in Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning."
  • Developing metrics for OEHS Professionals involved in incident preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation for a new edition of the "2001 IH Performance Metrics Manual."
  • Writing a new chapter for an update to the "Role of an Industrial Hygienist in a Pandemic" guide
  • Developing and presenting a webinar for AIHA titled: The Role of OEHS Professionals in Continuity Planning: A Practical Application
  • Updating the IPRWG white paper to describe why it is essential for OEHS Professionals to be involved in all phases of an incident
  • Developing new professional development courses and educational sessions for the annual AIHce.

Products Produced by the Group

  • AIHA Incident Safety and Health Management Handbook (2nd edition).
  • AIHA bodies of knowledge/frameworks:
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response for the Industrial Hygienist.
  • Role of the OEHS Professional in Continuity Planning.


Named as an Outstanding Volunteer Group (2020).

Collaboration Efforts

We often collaborate with other committees and working groups, such as the Museum and Cultural Heritage Working Group.

Group Dynamics

Our members range from students to early career-long professionals, with a varied mix of IH/OEHS practitioners from industry, academia, government/military, and consulting. We are a friendly and active group with engaging virtual committee meetings. You can choose the level of involvement that fits your availability and earn CM points by:

    • Join a project team and learn from each other while producing real-world solutions and tools to protect the health and safety of workers around the world.
    • Participate in monthly committee meetings—provide feedback, recommend exploring areas, and communicate collaboration opportunities.
    • One-and-done micro-volunteering tasks as the needs arise.
    • Leadership development (serving as an officer of the group, project team leader).


Joselito Ignacio OEHS Emergency Preparedness and Response Award

The Incident Preparedness and Response Working Group will evaluate posters and educational sessions based on a scoring system:

  1. Presentation (40%)
  2. Applicability to Emergency Response (40%)
  3. Originality (20%).

Select workgroup members will review the conference agenda and identify candidate posters or educational sessions. The review workgroup scores criteria for each domain based on applicability to OEHS-related preparedness and response efforts.