The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) is Canada's national resource for the advancement of workplace health and safety. CCOHS promotes the total well being - physical, psychosocial and mental health - of working Canadians by providing information, training, education, and management systems and solutions that support health and safety programs and the prevention of injury and illness.
Established in 1978, CCOHS is a federal departmental corporation reporting to the Parliament of Canada through the federal Minister of Labour, and is governed by a council representing governments (federal, provincial and territorial), employers, and workers; a structure that mandates CCOHS’ impartial approach.
CCOHS promotes health and safety in the workplace by:
- facilitating consultation and cooperation among federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions, and participation by labour and management;
- assisting in the development and maintenance of policies and programs;
- serving as a national centre for information relating to occupational health and safety.
CCOHS makes a wide range of occupational health and safety information as well as training and educational courses readily available. The materials are written in clear language and available in relevant formats that are appropriate for all users, from the general public to the health and safety professional.
CCOHS partners and collaborates with agencies and organizations from Canada and around the world to improve the quality and quantity of resources and programs, as well as expand the breadth of usage of OSH information to many different segments of society. CCOHS is a Collaborating Centre of the World Health Organization for occupational health and safety, and is renowned internationally and at home, as an innovative, authoritative occupational health and safety resource.
CCOHS fulfills its mandate to encourage attitudes and methods that will lead to improved worker physical and mental health through a wide range of courses, products and services designed in cooperation with national and international occupational organizations.
Services for specialty resources are provided on a cost recovery basis. These include classroom courses and an extensive, ever-growing collection of e-courses intended to extend outreach and accessibility to occupational health and safety training; databases (legislation, MSDS); and CHEMINFO – chemical health and safety information database on more than 1,700 workplace chemicals. CCOHS has also developed software solutions such as: OSH Works, an occupational health and safety management system; MSDS Management System (MMS) that provides organizations access to a customized collection of MSDSs specific to their workplace; and CANWrite – an MSDS authoring system.
CCOHS products are offered in English and French as well as in various formats (print, CD ROM, DVD, PDF, and Internet). CCOHS offers posters and has sold thousands of health and safety pocket guides and disseminated many thousands of information sheets, articles and other publications to millions of people in Canada and other countries.
CCOHS provides a variety of free, public services including:
- Inquiries Service - the confidential, person-to-person service for Canadians
- “OSH Answers” - easy-to-read questions and answers on the CCOHS website
- Health and Safety Report - monthly electronic newsletter
- Healthy Workplaces portal with information on creating healthy workplaces
- Pandemic Planning web portal
- Webinar presentations on current topics
- WHMIS Classification Database
- Workscape online discussion board to facilitate the professional exchange of ideas and information related to occupational and environmental health and safety.
- JobOne Canada website for new and young workers
- CANOSH portal with links to OH&S information and service in federal, provincial and territorial governmental agencies.
Since CCOHS began statistical tracking in 1980, tens of millions individual queries have been handled between the website and the inquiries service. This past year* more than 2.5 million individual visitors accessed health and safety question-and-answers over 6.8 million times, in English and French, through the free OSH Answers service on the CCOHS web site.
CCOHS addresses the need to reduce high levels of injuries and illnesses incurred by new and young workers through the “JobOne Canada” site dedicated to employees new to the job force. The “Youth Zone” section of CCOHS’ website also contains practical information and resources specific to young workers, their employers and parents.