April 1st, 2012 to March 31st, 2013

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and 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, management systems and solutions that support health and safety programs and the prevention of injury and illness.


The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and 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. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety 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
  • 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.
  • Young Workers Zone 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 4.1 million individual visitors accessed health and safety question-and-answers, in English and French, through the free OSH Answers service on the CCOHS web site.


Council of Governors

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is governed by a tripartite council representing governments (federal, provincial and territorial), employers, and labour, which assists in delivering a trustworthy and complete occupational health and safety service, and ensures that the information CCOHS disseminates is unbiased.

Government of Canada

Kin Choi

Employer Associations

John Beckett
Federally Regulated Employers

Helder Botelho
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Normand Côté*
Canadian Bankers Association

Jean Dalton
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
(term expired)

Gordon Lloyd
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada

Labour Organizations

Matthew Firth*
Canadian Union of Public Employees

Nancy Hutchison*
United Steelworkers

Marie Clarke Walker*
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)

Sari Sairanen

Denis St. Jean*
Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)

Provincial and Territorial Governments

Glennis Bihun

Shelly Dauphinee
New Brunswick

Sophie Dennis*

Leslie Galway

Dave Grundy
Northwest Territories

Don Hurst

Stuart Maclean*
Nova Scotia

Stephen Mansell*

Diana Miles
British Columbia

William (Bill) Reid
Prince Edward Island

* Term expired / resigned / retired

To read more about individual Council members, visit our Council of Governors web page.

Chairman's Message

Picture of Kin Choi


It was an honour to be appointed as Chair of the Council of Governors at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), in May 2012.Over the past fiscal year, I have had the pleasure of working with the other Governors to advance the mandate of CCOHS by providing input into new and innovative initiatives that address and promote the total well-being- physical, psychosocial and mental health of working Canadians.

CCOHS has had a very satisfying year. CCOHS' Inquiries and Client Services team received 8,226 questions through its traditional person-to-person information service, and over 4.5 million unique visitors accessed the OSH Answers site. Other highlights include the 10th anniversary of the Health and Safety Report, which continues to be a trusted source of occupational health and safety information for Canadians and others around the world.

On the financial side, overall sales of products and services were up, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of CCOHS staff who are adept at understanding the needs of our clients.

CCOHS continued to be at the forefront of important occupational health and safety issues, with subject matter experts presenting at 23 conferences in the last fiscal year, and conducting 36 media interviews on various subjects. CCOHS continued to develop partnerships at both a national and international level, and I look forward to supporting the organization further to build these relationships in the coming years.

CCOHS clients, and the general public, trust that the information provided by the organization is credible and unbiased. It is for that reason that CCOHS is governed by a tripartite council made up of employers, employees and government representatives. This approach ensures that unique perspectives are brought forth and considered in the overall objective of providing complete occupational health and safety services.

I am proud to chair a Council of Governors that are leaders in Occupational Health and Safety. We had three new members join our Council this year: Stephen Mansell, representing Nunavut, Sari Sairanen, representing the Canadian Auto Workers and Helder Botelho, representing the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. They all bring unique experience and viewpoints to the Council, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with them this fiscal year.

I would also like to extend my appreciation and well wishes to six outgoing Council members – Nancy Hutchison (United Steelworkers), Matthew Firth (Canadian Union of Public Employees), Jean Dalton (Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters), Normand Côté (Canadian Bankers Association), Glennis Bihun (Saskatchewan) and Stuart MacLean (Government of Nova Scotia). Their positive contributions to CCOHS will have a lasting impact.

CCOHS is recognized as a leader, both here in Canada and abroad, in disseminating high-quality and relevant information to aid in the elimination of workplace injuries and illnesses. I look forward to continuing to work with CCOHS staff and the Council of Governors in the pursuit of this important goal.

Kin Choi
Chair, Council of Governors

President's Message

Picture of Steve Horvath

President and
Chief Executive Officer

In April 2012, I marked my first year as President and CEO at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. It has been a tremendous honour to be surrounded by staff, stakeholders and clients who are as passionate about workplace health and safety as I am. The 2012-2013 fiscal year has been one of transformation, as we looked inwardly to see how we could become more effective as a customer-centric organization, adopted new technologies to better serve our clients and raised awareness of important workplace health and safety issues in the public sphere. As Canada's authority on occupational health and safety matters, CCOHS must lead by example and be a catalyst for change. To do so, we have worked on strengthening our relationships with new and existing stakeholders to not only understand their needs, but also their decision-making processes and priorities. In particular, we facilitated cooperation and collaboration amongst diverse stakeholder groups, including provincial governments and national and international bodies to share each other's resources and collaborate on new tools.

CCOHS also made great strides on the technology front. We are more effective at enacting change in a workplace when we understand how our stakeholders intend to use our information, in what format and what they hope to achieve. The information must be presented in plain language and in a format that is universally accessible and flexible enough to adjust to today's fast-paced society and new work environment. We are making our information available in mobile readable formats through apps, online, and via web portals (housing all relevant resources in one central repository). Continued outreach to our audiences through social media channels and podcasts have resulted in building community, and changes and improvements to our website to meet accessibility requirements have resulted in a more user-friendly experience. As an organization, we must not only embrace innovation, but leverage it to make our stakeholders more successful.

It was important for me to see a "transformational" culture evolve throughout the organization. It is an open and networked environment where everything we do will have an impact on our client organizations and promote the understanding that a progressive health and safety strategy is an integral part of any organization's successful competiveness and growth strategy.

CCOHS had the opportunity to lend its voice to a number of important issues this year. In particular, this was a watershed year for the promotion of mental health in the workplace, as a facet of overall employee well-being. CCOHS spread awareness of the new national Standard for psychological health and safety in Canadian workplaces, unveiled by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and CSA Group on January 16, 2013. Psychosocial and mental health issues were also at the forefront of CCOHS' Forum IV: Better Together, held in Halifax, Nova Scotia in October 2012. I was pleased to be a part of the dialogue that occurred between the experts, leaders, professionals and workers from across Canada on these very important subjects.

I would like to acknowledge the leadership and dedication of our Chair, Kin Choi, our Council of Governors and the CCOHS staff for all they have done to help promote CCOHS and advance the principles of occupational health and safety throughout Canada, as they continue to reflect the core values of our organization.

In closing, as we look outwards and to the future, as an organization, we must nurture a culture of prevention in all Canadians, where an unsafe work environment becomes as socially unacceptable as driving without a seatbelt. It is a shared responsibility and we must all become sensitized to the tragic consequences of not taking action.

Steve Horvath
President and Chief Executive Officer



CCOHS is a leader in promoting occupational health and safety in Canada, producing and maintaining a myriad of credible resources to help Canadians work safer, and to create healthier workplaces. Informing Canadians of the resources that are available to them, as well as helping build awareness of the importance of health and safety at work are accomplished through the efforts of the CCOHS Communications Service.

CCOHS develops and, using its various channels, deploys services and initiatives that increase outreach and CCOHS' user population, and help advance health and safety in the workplace, and the physical, mental and total well being of working Canadians. CCOHS fosters stakeholder relations and collaborates with like-minded organizations toward fulfilling this vision

Information Dissemination


CCOHS Website chart

Health and Safety Report

Health and Safety Report chart

Connecting Throughout Canada

Connecting Throughout Canada chart

Podcasts, Videos and Webinars

Podcasts, Videos and Webinars chart

Web Portals

Web Portals chart


Stakeholder Relations and Community Engagement

Health and Safety Events

Forum IV – Better Together collage

Other Events

Membership Program

Membership Program collage

Dick Martin Scholarship

Dick Martin Scholarship chart

Social Media and Media Relations

Social Media and Media Relations chart

* A Klout Score is the measurement of someone's overall online influence. The score ranges from 1 to 100 (the higher the score, the better). Klout measures True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score to represent ones sphere of influence.

Media Relations

Media Relations chart

CCOHS referenced in

  • and CTV National News,
  • COS Magazine,
  • OHS Canada,
  • Canadian Safety Reporter
  • Victoria Times Colonist,
  • Huffington Post Canada,
  • Canadian Manufacturing,
  • Plant Magazine,
  • Port Alberni Times,
  • Ottawa Business Journal

International Reach

  • |
  • Yahoo! Lifestyle UK |
  • European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums collage

New Alliances

CCOHS continues to cultivate new relationships with various stakeholders to increase impact on Canadian workplaces even further by partnering on its webinar and podcast programs, and other work on committees and initiatives. CCOHS forged new alliances with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Arthritis Society of Canada.


Liaison chart


Building Awareness

Posters, Pins and Stickers

Forum IV – Better Together collage

Training and Education Services

Providing a high quality and dependable service to fulfill the health and safety related training and education needs of Canadian workplace participants.

CCOHS offers both instructor-led classroom and e-learning programs (e-courses) to help meet the occupational health and safety education and training needs of working Canadians. E-learning continues to provide a significant and growing revenue stream for CCOHS. Courses are developed following well-established procedures to ensure they are of the highest quality. CCOHS staff create courses with assistance and advice from outside technical experts when required. The tripartite external review of courses by representatives of government, employers and labour helps ensure balance, accuracy and understanding by all parties in the workplace.

OSH Answers

OSH Answers Chart


Training and e-Learning

e-Learning Programs

e-Learning Programs chart

Classroom Training

This year, the demand for public classroom-based training programs declined, however there was continuing interest in on-site courses. Classroom training, however is not a growth area, therefore the majority of our efforts have been directed towards the expansion of our e-learning program. The classroom courses that are delivered at CCOHS as well as on-site include:

  • Health & Safety Training for Managers and Supervisors; and
  • Health & Safety for Managers and Supervisors in the Federal Jurisdiction.


Fourteen courses have been held in various cities in Canada, for a total of 175 participants.



Publications Chart


Health and Safety Management Systems

OSH Works™

OSH Works is a service to help organizations improve their occupational health and safety performance. It provides a framework and guidance material to help organizations develop and improve workplace health and safety programs to meet regulatory compliance; develop comprehensive workplace health and safety programs; or achieve certification to national or international Occupational Health and Safety Management System standards.

Occupational health and safety legislation in Canadian provincial, territorial and federal jurisdictions requires organizations to have an occupational health and safety program. Because of this legal requirement, many organizations will already have an occupational health and safety program in place, with all the necessary documentation and records available. Others will be highly motivated to have a demonstrable occupational health and safety program in place. CCOHS created the Program version of OSH Works for these organizations.

The trend with health and safety programs today is to go beyond the consideration of traditional workplace hazards, and to take a more holistic approach. As well as considering the physical work environment, organizations are considering the psychosocial work environment; personal health resources; and enterprise community involvement. For organizations that want to address these 'avenues of influence', CCOHS created the Comprehensive Workplace Health and Safety version of OSH Works. Organizations with well established health and safety programs may choose to implement an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) and receive certification to either the Canadian OHSMS standard CSA Z1000 or one of the international OHSMS standards such as OHSAS 18001. An OHSMS involves integrating health and safety into all aspects of an operation including production, human resources, administration, finance, maintenance, and purchasing. CCOHS has created an OHSMS version of OSH Works to provide a framework for organizations implementing and continually improving an OHSMS.

OSH Works benefits organizations by helping them to establish an occupational health and safety program, improve an existing OH&S program and/or create a healthy workplace through effective employee awareness programs and implementation of standards. As a result of using any of the OSH Works programs, organizations will not only be able to meet or exceed regulatory compliance, but create a healthier workforce, enhance productivity and foster a culture of safety and prevention of injury and illness.

In the second half of the fiscal year, CCOHS began developing a simplified compliance version of OSH Works, intended for small to medium sized enterprises. This new version will be available in fiscal 2013-2014.


OSH Works is being actively promoted, and has ten subscribing organizations. These organizations use OSH Works and are contributing towards its ongoing development.

Monitoring and Continuous Improvement

A Technical Specialist is assigned to each client account to provide the necessary support needed to set-up the service and to improve the health and safety program. CCOHS staff check in with each client quarterly to monitor the progress and to identify areas of the service for improvement.

Inquiries and Client Services

Inquiries and Client Services provides free, confidential access to occupational health and safety information, in both English and French, to Canada's working population. The service responds to telephone, e-mail and in-person inquiries, providing information that is unbiased and relevant to workers, employers, unions and governments alike. The service also provides information regarding CCOHS products and services.


Inquiries and Client Services Chart


Client Services

Inquiries and Client Services Chart

Chemical Services

Providing a comprehensive information service on all aspects of chemical safety to fulfill the needs of Canadian workplaces.

CCOHS has for many years provided support to thousands of its clients - suppliers, employers and regulators who prepare or evaluate MSDSs for their accuracy, consistency and reliability. New tools have been developed to create more reliable and accurate MSDSs, label information and also to support and manage workplace programs. The CCOHS MSDS Management Service (MMS) also ensures that workplaces have a well-managed collection of MSDSs on hand to respond to workplace requirements. CCOHS supports every Canadian's right to know about hazardous chemicals through its product and service lines.

Special Projects include: WHMIS after GHS, WHMIS Classification Discrepancy, MSDS Evaluation Study, GHS Implementation Variances, WHMIS/GHS Education and Communication Ad Hoc Committee.

The service includes the following performance areas and products and services:

MSDS Services

MSDS Management Service (MMS)

MSDS Management Service (MMS) chart

MSDS and FTSS Databases

MSDS and FTSS Databases chart


Chemical Information



Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances

Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances chart


CHEMpendium™ chart


Chemical Tools


MSDS and SDS Authoring Software

CANWrite™ chart


CANLabel is an online service that creates WHMIS, OSHA and GHS labels, and includes label management, custom phrases, translated phrases and Workplace labels for employers. Clients have the option of subscribing annually or monthly and have continual access to the labels regardless of period.


Collaborative Projects

International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS)

International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) chart

Health Canada Projects

WHMIS After GHS Resources

WHMIS After GHS Resources chart

WHMIS Classification Discrepancy

CCOHS continues to collaborate with the Quebec Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) and the Health Canada National Office of WHMIS (NOW) to harmonize WHMIS classifications available on the CCOHS and CSST websites and to respond to classification questions submitted by stakeholders. During this fiscal year, CCOHS and the CSST exchanged information and reached consensus on the WHMIS classification of propylene and hydrogen iodide.

CCOHS' participation in WHMIS Classification Discrepancy impacts WHMIS stakeholders across Canada, in that technical agreement on WHMIS classifications – when challenges or concerns are raised by industry, labour or government – are achieved, providing a mechanism for resolution of concerns for Canadians.

CCOHS participates and provides support for this national activity as a public service. CCOHS' involvement in this committee over more than a decade has been seen as vital for supporting Canadian WHMIS harmonization.

MSDS Evaluation Study

Health Canada and CCOHS have a mutual interest in the quality of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) as a hazard communication tool in Canada. Research evaluating the quality of MSDSs for workplace chemicals has shown that many MSDSs fail to adequately communicate health hazards. The overall objective of this work was to use a research approach to review, and evaluate the accuracy of hazard information disclosed on MSDSs for products containing lead compounds that are intended for use in Canadian workplaces. During Phase 1 of the study, which was completed in March 2012, CCOHS identified the lead compounds of interest, the health effects to be evaluated, and approximately 90 MSDSs for evaluation. Phase 2 of the study was completed in June, 2012. The selected MSDSs were audited, the data collected was analyzed, and a final report was submitted to Health Canada.


The study provided information to help improve the quality of MSDSs for products used in Canadian workplaces. The results will help support WHMIS enforcement at the federal, provincial and territorial levels.

GHS Implementation Variances Project

At the request of Health Canada, CCOHS analyzed the impact of several potential variances between the U.S. OSHA implementation of the GHS and the proposed Canadian WHMIS implementation. CCOHS assessed the potential scope and magnitude of the implications of specific variances and identified the general value of retaining the variance from a health and safety perspective.

Principles which guide the implementation of the GHS in WHMIS include:

  • harmonization to the greatest extent possible both internationally and with other sectors in Canada;
  • no reduction to the current level of protection for workers in Canada;
  • respect of the GHS building block approach; and
  • that recommendations should be founded on consensus agreements by regulators, industry, organized labour and employers, to the extent possible.

In addition, the Government of Canada, as part of the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), has agreed to work with US-OSHA to use the implementation of GHS as an opportunity to achieve as much regulatory alignment as possible between Canada's workplace hazard system (WHMIS) and that of the US.


CCOHS provided information to Health Canada and its stakeholders to assist in identifying the impact of retaining or eliminating variances between the Canadian implementation of the GHS as compared to the U.S. implementation. This work helped increase harmonization of chemical hazard classification and communication between Canada and the US, while maintaining the current level of worker protection in Canada.

WHMIS/GHS Education and Communication Ad Hoc Committee

CCOHS has been asked to participate on the CAALL-OSH/AWCBC/Health Canada Ad Hoc Committee for WHMIS/GHS Education and Communication. This committee will encourage cooperation and sharing among jurisdictions to ensure efficient and timely resources for workers, suppliers and regulators.

Occupational and Environmental Cancer e-course

Occupational and Environmental Cancer e-course chart

General Health and Safety Services

Legislation Services

Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards

Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards collage



National Labour Operations Resources

Produced in cooperation with the Labour Program of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), this service provides the full text of the Canada Labour Code and related CSA and CGSB standards as well as interpretive material and guidelines. Other key federal legislation relating to topics such as employment equity is included along with HRSDC publications for the workplace. In addition to the CD-ROM, a web-based version is also available.


The content of this product is critical to both government inspectors and federally regulated organizations in such industries as transport, banking and broadcasting. For example, CD-ROM portability ensures that HRSDC Labour Affairs Officers in workplaces where Internet access may be unavailable can access this information.

Academic Support Program

Academic Support Program collage

Bibliographic Databases and the ILO Encyclopaedia

Bibliographic Databases and the ILO Encyclopaedia collage


Collaborative Projects

Marine Inspectors' Bookshelf

The Marine Inspectors' Bookshelf (MIB) CD-ROM was created at the request of Transport Canada personnel who were familiar with the work that CCOHS had completed for HRSDC on the National Labour Operations Resources CD-ROM. Previously, it was impractical for those working in marine safety to carry around print publications, and getting accurate information was very time consuming, especially for those aboard ships and in remote areas without Internet access. The MIB is an excellent example of how CCOHS has worked with its partners in Marine Safety to create an innovative and proven solution to improving access to information. Over 300 Transport Canada Marine Inspectors are the sole users of this product. The 22nd release of the MIB was issued in March 2013 and the 10th anniversary of this collaborative project was celebrated in 2012.

Canadian School Board Safety Zone Web Portal

The Canadian School Boards Web Portal is a bilingual gateway to Canadian school board specific health and safety information, resources and networking opportunities.

The web portal focuses on three key areas:

  1. Discussion among school boards throughout Canada on school board-specific health and safety issues via the customized discussion board;
  2. Sharing policies, procedures, best practices and other health and safety resources among school boards across Canada through a members-only repository;
  3. Easy access to evidence-based CCOHS resources including OSH Answers and the School Workers Health and Safety Guide.

This is an opportunity for all school boards to increase and enhance their health and safety awareness at a national level. Measures to encourage school boards across Canada to join the portal and share their efforts with each other have been undertaken.


The Systems group is responsible for system design and implementation, and providing technical support for CCOHS systems hardware and software related infrastructure, including network, servers, desktops, supporting equipment and application systems. The team works with internal staff and outside technical resources to ensure that CCOHS systems infrastructure work effectively and run smoothly. It also provides systems analysis, programming and technical support to other working groups in various projects.

Product Delivery

Product Delivery Chart



Sales via the CCOHS e-commerce system were 29% higher than the previous year. The e-commerce system is continually monitored and updated to improve security, usability for clients, and overall quality. The order fulfillment email sent to clients upon completion of their purchase was redesigned to better highlight the important information for clients and to reduce the number of questions directed to Client Services. The programming for tighter integration with the finance systems and electronic renewals was completed. Testing is underway with a launch of these enhancements in 2013-2014. Internal reporting functions were improved to provide better sales intelligence to staff.


Annual IT security awareness training was provided to all staff. This succeeded in improving staff's ability to recognise and deal with malware threats. Threat and risk assessments were conducted to identify potential vulnerabilities and provide mitigation of the vulnerabilities. Security certificates are renewed yearly and deployed to provide proper encryption of sensitive information (e.g. credit card numbers and passwords). A new corporate firewall was deployed, which provides improved protection, flexibility, and reliability. The end result is an improvement to the overall security posture of CCOHS.

Numerous enhancements were completed to improve the performance and usability of CCOHS' internal Planning Tool. Connections between the various internal systems were enhanced to further improve data transfers and work processes.

Technical support is provided to internal users on a regular basis. Regular maintenance was performed on workstations and servers for both hardware and software required to allow internal users to complete their daily work. New servers, workstations and disk units were deployed to improve the reliability and performance for internal users and outward facing services.

Support is also provided to Inquiries and Client Services to help solve problems with CCOHS products and services encountered by clients.


Corporate Culture

CCOHS is active, both within their organization and throughout the community. Every year, staff at CCOHS participate in over 25 activities that demonstrate their commitment to healthy workplaces and the community.

Health and Fitness

Health and Fitness chart

Giving Back

Giving Back chart


Financial Review


To the Council of Governors of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety and the Minister of Labour

I have audited the accompanying financial statements of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, which comprise the statement of financial position as at 31 March 2013, and the statement of operations and net financial position, statement of change in net debt and statement of cash flow for the year then ended, and a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information.

Management's Responsibility for the Financial Statements

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards, and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

Auditor's Responsibility

My responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on my audit. I conducted my audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards. Those standards require that I comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement.

An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor's judgement, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity's preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity's internal control. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements.

I believe that the audit evidence I have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for my audit opinion.


In my opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety as at 31 March 2013, and the results of its operations, changes in its net debt, and its cash flow for the year then ended in accordance with the Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Lucie Cardinal, CPA, CA
For the Auditor General of Canada

27 June 2013
Ottawa, Canada

Statement of Management Responsibility Including Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the accompanying financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2013, and all information contained in these statements rests with the management of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). These financial statements have been prepared by management in accordance with the Government's accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards. The presentation and results using the stated accounting policies do not result in any significant deficiencies from Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Management is responsible for the integrity and objectivity of the information in these financial statements. Some of the information in the financial statements is based on management's best estimates and judgment, and gives due consideration to materiality. To fulfill its accounting and reporting responsibilities, management maintains a set of accounts that provides a centralized record of the Centre's financial transactions. Financial information submitted in the preparation of the Public Accounts of Canada, and included in CCOHS' Annual Report and Departmental Performance Report, is consistent with these financial statements.

An Audit Committee appointed by the Council of Governors of CCOHS has reviewed these statements with management and the auditors, and has reported to the Council of Governors. The Council of Governors has approved the financial statements.

Management is also responsible for maintaining an effective system of internal control over financial reporting designed to provide reasonable assurance that financial information is reliable, that assets are safeguarded and that transactions are properly authorized and recorded in accordance with the Financial Administration Act and other applicable legislation, regulations, authorities and policies.

Management seeks to ensure the objectivity and integrity of data in its financial statements through careful selection, training, and development of qualified staff; through organizational arrangements that provide appropriate divisions of responsibility; through communication programs aimed at ensuring that regulations, policies, standards, and managerial authorities are understood throughout CCOHS and through conducting an annual assessment of the effectiveness of the system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR).

An assessment for the year ended March 31, 2013 was completed in accordance with the Treasury Board's Policy on Internal Control and the results and action plans are summarized in the annex. The annex is available on CCOHS' website at the following location:

The system of ICFR is designed to mitigate risks to a reasonable level based on an on-going process to identify key risks, to assess effectiveness of associated key controls, and to make any necessary adjustments.

The Office of the Auditor General, the independent auditor for the Government of Canada, has expressed an opinion on the fair presentation of the financial statements of CCOHS which does not include an audit opinion on the annual assessment of the effectiveness of CCOHS' internal controls over financial reporting.

Approved by:

Steve Horvath
President and Chief Executive Officer
Bonnie Easterbrook, CGA
Chief Financial Officer

Hamilton, Canada
June 27, 2013

Approved by:

Kin Choi
Steve Horvath
President and Chief Executive Officer
Bonnie Easterbrook, CGA
Chief Financial Officer

For the year ended March 31, 2013 (in dollars)

  1. Authority and Objectives

    • The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) was established in 1978 under the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Act and is a departmental corporation named in Schedule II to the Financial Administration Act. The objectives of CCOHS are to promote the right of Canadians to a healthy and safe working environment and to enhance the physical and mental health of workers. CCOHS' operating expenditures are funded in part by its operating revenue and by a budgetary lapsing appropriation.
    • CCOHS has one program activity for reporting purposes, in addition to internal services. The activity is occupational health and safety information development, delivery services and tripartite collaboration.
    • The goal of this program is to provide free information on occupational health and safety to support Canadians in their efforts to improve workplace safety and health. Citizens are provided information through a free and impartial personalized service via telephone, e-mail, person-to-person, fax or mail. Alternatively, they can independently access a broad range of electronic and print resources developed to support safety and health information needs of Canadians. This may include cost recovery products and services and is supported financially by contributions from various stakeholders.
    • Through health and safety information development, CCOHS collects, processes, analyzes, evaluates, creates and publishes authoritative information resources on occupational health and safety for the benefit of all working Canadians. This information is used for education and training, research, policy development, development of best practices, improvement of health and safety programs, achieving compliance, and for personal use. When the product or service provided by CCOHS is to identifiable external recipients with benefits beyond those enjoyed by the general taxpayer, a user fee is charged.
    • CCOHS promotes and facilitates consultation and cooperation among federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions and participation by labour, management and other stakeholders in the establishment and maintenance of high standards and occupational health and safety initiatives for the Canadian context. The sharing of resources results in the coordinated and mutually beneficial development of unique programs, products and services. Collaborative projects are usually supported with a combination of financial and non- financial contributions to the programs by partners and stakeholders and result in advancement of the health and safety initiatives.
    • Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Material Services; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.
  2. Significant Accounting Policies

    • These financial statements have been prepared using the Government's accounting policies stated below, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards. The presentation and results using the stated accounting policies do not result in any significant differences from Canadian public sector accounting standards.

      Significant accounting policies are as follows:
      • Parliamentary authorities
        • CCOHS is financed in part by the Government of Canada through Parliamentary authorities. Financial reporting of authorities provided to CCOHS do not parallel financial reporting according to generally accepted accounting principles since authorities are primarily based on cash flow requirements. Consequently, items recognized in the statement of operations and net financial position and the statement of financial position are not necessarily the same as those provided through authorities from Parliament. Note 4 provides a high-level reconciliation between the bases of reporting.
        • The planned results amounts in the Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position are the amounts reported in the future-oriented financial statements included in the 2012-13 Report on Plans and Priorities.
        • Liquidity risk is the risk that the Centre will encounter difficulty in meeting its obligations associated with financial liabilities. The entity's objective for managing liquidity risk is to manage operations and cash expenditures within the appropriation authorized by Parliament or allotment limits approved by the Treasury Board.
        • The entity's risk exposure and its objectives, policies and processes to manage and measure this risk did not change significantly from the prior year.
      • Net Cash Provided by Government
        • CCOHS operates within the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). The CRF is administered by the Receiver General for Canada. All cash received by CCOHS is deposited to the CRF and all cash disbursements made by CCOHS are paid from the CRF. The net cash provided by Government is the difference between all cash receipts and all cash disbursements, including transactions between departments of the Government.
      • Net cash provided by government
        • Amounts due from or to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) are the result of timing differences at year-end between when a transaction affects authorities and when it is processed through the CRF. Amounts due from the CRF represents the net amount of cash that CCOHS is entitled to draw from the CRF, without further authorities, in order to discharge its liabilities. This amount is not considered to be a financial instrument.
      • Revenues
        • Revenues are accounted for in the period in which the underlying transaction or event occurred that gave rise to the revenues. Subscriptions revenues are recognized in the period when the initial shipment is made for all physical goods, such as CD-ROM, and DVD. Revenues for subscriptions of internet based products are recognized over the term of the subscription.
        • Subscriptions are based upon the right to use the information for a specified period. Information may be updated during the subscription period.
        • Contributions to inquiries service received in advance are recognized in the next fiscal year as this relates to the service period for the contribution.
        • Cash that has been received but not yet earned is recorded as deferred revenue. The deferred revenue represents cash received in advance of initial and ongoing product delivery, services or granting of access to the website.
      • Expenses – Expenses are recorded on the accrual basis:
        • Vacation pay and compensatory leave are accrued as the benefits earned by employees under their respective terms of employment.
        • Services provided without charge by other government departments for accommodation, the employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans and audit services are recorded as operating expenses at their estimated cost. A corresponding amount is reported as government funding.
      • Employee future benefits
        • Pension benefits: All eligible employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan, a multiemployer plan administered by the Government of Canada. CCOHS' contributions are currently based on a multiple of an employee's required contributions and may change over time depending on the experience of the Plan. CCOHS' contributions to the Plan are charged to expenses in the year in which the services are rendered and represent its total obligation to the Plan. Current legislation does not require CCOHS to make contributions for any actuarial deficiencies of the Plan.
        • Severance benefits: Employees are entitled to severance benefits under laboured contracts or conditions of employment. These benefits were accrued as employees render the services necessary to earn them and are estimated based on employees' salaries, duration of service and age. Entitlements stopped accruing on April 1, 2011. The remaining balance will be paid upon termination.
        • Accumulated sick leave: employees are entitled to sick leave benefits that accumulate but do not vest. No amount has been recorded in the financial statements in respect of these benefits as they are not significant.
      • Accounts receivable
        • Accounts receivable are stated at amounts expected to be ultimately realized. A provision is made for receivables from external parties where recovery is considered uncertain.
        • Credit risk is the risk that one party to a financial instrument will cause a financial loss for the other party by failing to discharge an obligation. The entity is not exposed to significant credit risk. The entity provides services to other government departments and agencies and to external parties in the normal course of business. Accounts receivable are due on demand. The maximum exposure the entity has to credit is risk equal to the carrying value of its accounts receivables.
      • Contingent liabilities
        • Contingent liabilities are potential liabilities that may become actual liabilities when one or more future events occur or fail to occur. To the extent that the future event is likely to occur or fail to occur, and a reasonable estimate of the loss can be made, an estimated liability is accrued and an expense recorded. If the likelihood is not determinable or an amount cannot be reasonably estimated, the contingency is disclosed in the notes to the financial statements.
      • Foreign currency transactions
        • Transactions involving foreign currencies are translated into Canadian dollar equivalents using rates of exchange in effect at the time of those transactions. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated using the rate of exchange in effect at year end. Gains and losses resulting from foreign currency transactions are included in the statement of operations and net financial position according to the activities to which they relate.
      • Inventories for resale
        • Inventories for resale are valued at the lower of cost and net realizable value. Inventories for resale are primarily print materials held for resale.
      • Tangible capital assets
        • All tangible capital assets and leasehold improvements having an initial cost of $1,000 or more are recorded at the acquisition cost. Tangible capital assets are amortized over their estimated useful life on a straight-line basis, as follows:
      • Measurement uncertainty
        • The preparation of these financial statements are in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards and requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses reported in the financial statements. At the time of preparation of these statements, management believes the estimates and assumptions to be reasonable. The liability for employee future benefits and the estimated useful life of tangible capital assets are the most significant items where estimates are used. Actual results could significantly differ from those estimated. Management's estimates are reviewed periodically and, as adjustments become necessary, they are recorded in the financial statements in the year they become known.
  3. Net Debt

    • The net debt is calculated as the difference between liabilities and financial assets. Employee severance benefits and vacation pay obligations represent the most significant components of net debt as these obligations are paid from future parliamentary authorities.
  4. Parliamentary Appropriations

    • CCOHS receives its funding through annual Parliamentary authorities and external revenues. Items recognized in the Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position and the Statement Financial Position in one year may be funded through Parliamentary authorities in prior, current or future years. Accordingly, CCOHS has different net results of operations for the year on a government funding basis than on an accrual accounting basis. These differences are reconciled as follows:

  5. Revenues

  6. Tangible capital assets

  7. Accounts receivable

  8. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

    • The accounts payable and accrued liabilities are measured at cost, all of which are due within the next 12 months. The following table presents details of accounts payable and accrued liabilities:
  9. Deferred revenue

    • Donations
      • CCOHS, by virtue of subsection 6(3) of its Act, may acquire money or other property by gift or otherwise and expend or dispose of those donations subject to their terms, if any. CCOHS received $7,095 in donations in 2013 (2012 – $1,500). The balance at March 31, 2013 is $106,402 (2012 – $99,307).
    • Contributions to Inquiries Service
      • CCOHS receives contributions from agreements with provincial parties to support the Inquiries Service for a fiscal year. The contributions are meant to be used in the year of contribution by the provincial organization, which may differ from the year end of CCOHS. Deferred contributions may occur when cash is received in advance of the funded year.
  10. Employee future benefits

    • Pension benefits
      • CCOHS employees participate in the Public Service Pension Plan, which is sponsored and administered by the Government of Canada. Pension benefits accrue up to a maximum period of 35 years at a rate of 2 percent per year of pensionable service, times the average of the best five consecutive years of earnings. The benefits are integrated with Canada/Quebec Pension Plans benefits and they are indexed to inflation.
      • Both the employees and CCOHS contribute to the cost of the Plan. The 2013 expense amounts to $787,772 (2012 – $808,152), which represents approximately 1.7 (2012 – 1.8) times the contributions by employees.
      • CCOHS' responsibility with regard to the Plan is limited to its contributions. Actuarial surpluses or deficiencies are recognized in the financial statements of the Government of Canada, as the Plan's sponsor.
    • Employee severance benefits
      • CCOHS provides severance benefits to its employees based on eligibility, years of service and final salary which provides for one week of salary per year of service up to 30 years. These severance benefits are not pre-funded. Benefits will be paid from future authorities. Information about the severance benefits, measured as at March 31, is as follows:
      • As part of the collective agreement negotiations and changes to conditions of employment for other employees, the accumulation of severance benefits under the employee severance pay program ceased for these employees commencing in 2012. Employees subject to these changes have been given the option to be immediately paid the full or partial value of benefits earned to date or collect the full or remaining value of benefits on termination from CCOHS. These changes have been reflected in the calculation of the outstanding severance benefit obligation.
  11. Related party transactions

    CCOHS is related as a result of common ownership to all Government departments, agencies, and Crown Corporations. CCOHS enters into transactions with these entities in the normal course of business and on normal trade terms. During the year, CCOHS received common services which were obtained without charge from other Government departments as disclosed below.

    • Services Provided Without Charge by other government departments
      • During the year, CCOHS received services without charge from certain common service organizations, related to accommodation, audit services, the employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans. These services provided without charge have been recorded in the Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position as follows:
      • The Government has centralized some of its administrative activities for efficiency and cost-effectiveness purposes so that one department performs these on behalf of all without charge. The costs of these services, which include payroll and cheque issuance services provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada are not included in CCOHS' Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position.
    • Other Transactions With Related Parties
  12. Segmented information

    • Presentation by segment is based on CCOHS' program activity architecture. The presentation by segment is based on the same accounting policies as described in summary of significant accounting policies in note 2. The following table presents the expenses incurred and revenues generated for the main program activities, by major object of expense and by major type of revenues. The segment results for the year are as follows: