April 1st, 2014 to March 31st, 2015

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 people in Canada. We do this by providing information, education, tools, and solutions that encourage attitudes and methods that will lead to improved worker physical and mental health, and prevention of work-related 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 of Governors representing governments (federal, provincial and territorial), employers, and workers; a structure that ensures an impartial approach.

The Evolution of CCOHS

Adapting to meet the needs of those we serve


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Mail icon


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Floppy Discs

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Inquiries Service

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Conferences / Workshops

Discussion Groups

Discussion Groups



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Classroom Courses icon

Classroom Courses

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(eMail,database, fact sheets)


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Inquiries Service icon

Inquiries Service

Publications icon

(Print, PDF, ePub)

Conferences / Workshops icon

Conferences / Workshops

Internet icon

(eMail, database, fact sheets)

Discussion Groups icon

Discussion Groups

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eCourses icon


eNewsletters icon


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Posters icon

(Print and PDF)

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Social Media

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Chats and Hangouts

CCOHS is Growing

CCOHS by the numbers: 1 office, 37 years, 83 employees, 17 council members
CCOHS by the numbers: $5 million federal government funding
CCOHS by the numbers: 10 million fact sheets views. 148 podcasts. 44,131 listens
CCOHS by the numbers: 16,853 Social Media Followers. 2,981,646 Retweet audience. 104 eCourses. 141,459 uptake.13,168,006 web page views


Council of Governors


Kin Choi
Government of Canada


John Beckett
Federally Regulated Employers

Helder Botelho
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME)

Andrea Nalyzyty
Canadian Bankers Association

Gordon Lloyd
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada


Andrea Peart
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)

Sari Sairanen

Provincial and Territorial

Shelly Dauphinee
New Brunswick

Sophie Dennis

Leslie Galway
Newfoundland and Labrador

Phillip Germain

Dave Grundy
Northwest Territories

Don Hurst

Diana Miles
British Columbia

William Reid
Prince Edward Island

Shelley Rowan
Nova Scotia

Kimberley Henney

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

Message from the Chair

Picture of Kin Choi, Council of Governors Chairperson

As Chair of the Council of Governors of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), I am pleased to report on this year’s key activities. The Council worked hard with the Centre’s executive team to formulate a vision and establish a strategic plan that will direct the Centre’s efforts over the next three years. This plan is centered on continued growth and will focus on improving the domestic coverage of CCOHS, increasing the uptake of the products and services of the Centre and reinforcing CCOHS’ role as a leader in the promotion of healthier and safer workplaces in Canada. Going forward, key performance indicators will be established to support the work of the Centre and assist it in the fulfillment of its mandate.

Our commitment to corporate governance was strengthened with the creation of two new Council sub committees: Human Resources and Governance. These changes better position us as a Council to help drive our long-term strategy forward.

CCOHS continued to support the future of occupational health and safety through the Dick Martin Scholarship Awards. We awarded $3,000 scholarships to Florence Janvier of the University of Montreal and Genevieve Fox of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. In addition, their respective academic institutions received $500. The Council and I are pleased to continue our tradition of supporting students in their pursuit of higher education, helping them become future leaders in the field of occupational health and safety.

Planning for the next CCOHS pan-Canadian, tripartite Forum, to be held in February 2016, is well underway. This unique event will bring together representatives from jurisdictions from across Canada, as well as labour and employer groups, to learn about the changing world of work. The Forum will facilitate a worthwhile exchange of ideas and perspectives.

I am proud to chair our Council of Governors, a body whose membership is composed of leaders with a commitment to occupational health and safety. During the year we welcomed Kimberley Henney (Yukon) and Andrea Nalyzyty (Canadian Bankers Association) to the Council. I look forward to working closely with them and the rest of the Council to meet the changing needs of, and deliver value for, all of our stakeholders.

We said goodbye to outgoing Council members – Gordon Lloyd (Chemistry Industry Association of Canada), Sylvie Charest (Canadian Bankers Association), William Reid (Prince Edward Island), and Don Hurst, (Manitoba). Their contributions to CCOHS are appreciated and will have a lasting impact. We wish them well.

Finally, on behalf of the Council, I would like to thank the employees at CCOHS for their hard work in delivering results that advance our shared goal of ensuring that all workers in Canada are safe and healthy at work.

Kin Choi
Chair, CCOHS Council of Governors

Message from the President

Picture of Steve Horvath, CCOHS President and Chief Executive Officer

Building Action-Oriented Relationships

I have been buoyed by our record successes over this past year. CCOHS has evolved into a vital component of regional and national dialogue on workplace health, safety and wellness.

It’s always exciting when the investments we make, in our organization and our partnerships throughout Canada, can show benefits for workplaces across the country. We have utilized our understanding of emerging trends in the national health and safety landscape to develop ambitious tools for Canadian workplaces that provide a framework for success in preventing injuries and illnesses.

Against a backdrop of emerging issues and sudden shifts in the occupational health and safety environment, as well as regional economic challenges, CCOHS pursued a national agenda for actionoriented relationships with all of our partners, and product development based on global best practices and our evidence-based principles.

We have advocated that workplace challenges cannot be resolved in isolation. No single organization, health and safety association, Ministry, or individual can provide a solution to a complex issue that traverses regions, generations, business sectors and cultures. Whatever successes we have achieved can be directly attributed to direct dialogue, embracing the value of diversity, and leveraging our partnerships across Canada.

Internally, we have marshalled our resources to expand and enhance capacity to ensure we remain at the forefront of national prevention and wellness promotion and program development. Our investments in technology and software systems will improve efficiency, provide seamless stakeholder interactions, and enhance the customer experience for Canadian workplaces.

This year, with guidance from our Council of Governors, we’ve laid the foundation for sustainable growth with a strategic plan that affirms our guiding principles and a vision that will respond to an uncertain future environment. Along with these internal values, the plan supports our ongoing efforts in building consensus around initiatives such as mental health, GHS, young and new worker programs, and promotion of leading indicators as predictors of organizational performance.

Our record success this past year could not have been achieved without the unrelenting support of our Council of Governors and Chair, Kin Choi. Their vision, leadership and strong advocacy of CCOHS have enhanced our credibility and national profile.

I would like to extend my appreciation to Council and the whole CCOHS team for their passion, commitment and valued contribution in making this an outstanding year for CCOHS.

Steve Horvath
President and Chief Executive Officer, CCOHS

On Trend


This year, the world of chemical health and safety was greatly impacted with the anticipation of changes to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), as Canada prepared to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). For the past several years CCOHS had been preparing for the impending changes and was ready. In partnership with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada (formerly the National Office of WHMIS), and working with the provinces and territories, CCOHS released a collection of WHMIS-related tools and resources to help workplaces in Canada navigate and embrace the long awaited changes.

Mental Health

The workplace can have a significant impact on a person’s health and overall well-being. More than ever the traditional view of workplace health and safety has been replaced with a comprehensive approach to include the total wellbeing and mental health of employees. CCOHS’ commitment to this issue is twofold; as an employer and as a health and safety organization. Several years ago CCOHS began the process of implementing the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. In addition, the Centre has been a participant in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s case study research project, sharing experiences, data and challenges that may benefit others and helping improve the lives of the working population.

New and Young Workers

Young and new workers continue to be at the forefront of concern, and at high risk for workplace injury. The idea of young worker vulnerability has expanded to recognize that the vulnerability has more to do with the “newness” of the employee as opposed to their age. With a changing world of work that includes workers of all ages returning to, and being retrained for, new jobs, CCOHS is adapting materials and guidance to reflect this shift in understanding to address the health and safety needs of new workers in addition to providing a web portal to deliver youth-specific information and tools.


Public Service

An important part of CCOHS’ mandate is to serve working people in Canada by providing the credible and relevant tools and resources that employers need to create healthy workplaces, and workers need to work safely. The Centre does this by making a wide range of credible resources and services, in a variety of formats, freely available for all to use. Among the public services offered is the Safety InfoLine, the person-to-person service that addresses the questions and concerns of Canadians, as well as online fact sheets, awareness e-courses, and posters.

Safety InfoLine

Safety InfoLine chart

Safety InfoLine (also known as CCOHS’ Inquiries Service) is a unique service that provides free, confidential advice and information related to occupational health and safety to Canada’s working population. When Canadians have a question they need answered, they can call or email the Safety Infoline and be served personally by a qualified Inquiries Officer. The service is provided in English and French languages. Safety InfoLine received 7,652 questions, a 1% drop from last year. Users included employers (36%), government (2%), labour (36%) and the general public (26%), from every province and territory. The top three provinces using the service were Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. A summary of the inquiries received by each jurisdiction is as follows:

  • Alberta (13.2%)
  • British Columbia (8.6%)
  • Manitoba (3.4%)
  • New Brunswick (1.9%)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador (1.5%)
  • Nova Scotia (2.6%)
  • Northwest Territories (0.3%)
  • Nunavut (0.2%)
  • Ontario (49.2%)
  • Prince Edward Island (0.4%)
  • Quebec (13.5%)
  • Saskatchewan (5.0%)
  • Yukon (0.2%)

Safety InfoLine’s inquiries spanned across many subjects and areas of concern. The top subject categories were:

  • Safety/ergonomics/occupational health and safety administration 43.2%
  • Chemical hazards, trade names, industrial processes 18.2%
  • Medical, psychosocial and biological 9.4%
  • Legal (general) 9.6%

A survey of Safety InfoLine users found that 89% were overall satisfied, or very satisfied, with the information they received (an increase of 7% from last year); while 59% (no change from last year) said that their use of CCOHS information will lead to current or future changes to the workplace that may result in improved health and safety performance.

Respondents indicated that a high number of individuals within their organization access the information provided by CCOHS, resulting in an extended reach of 816,277 individuals (down 21% from last year).

OSH Answers Fact Sheets

OSH Answers Fact Sheets chart

CCOHS shares occupational health and safety information online, for the benefit of workers in Canada and throughout the world by way of free fact sheets known as OSH Answers. Published in English and French, these fact sheets are intended for workers, managers, supervisors, and joint health and safety committee members who are the end users of the information. The collection is continuously expanded and the information in the fact sheets is widely repurposed, providing the foundation for many of CCOHS’ products. They cover a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from physical hazards, occupational diseases, and ergonomics, to good practices and health promotion.

Overall usage of CCOHS’ collection of 567 fact sheets continues to increase, as well as usage of the service by Canadians. They were viewed 10,067,740 times (up 9.5% from previous year) in over 190 countries. They were accessed 6,228,542 times (up 5.86%) of which an estimated 1,450,000 (23%) originated from Canada (up 8.3%).

This year, there were 82 requests for copyright authorization (up 2.5% from last year), generating 207,981 copies of CCOHS information.

WHMIS 2015 Fact Sheets

CCOHS collaborated with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Directorate of Health Canada (formerly the National Office of WHMIS) to develop a series of fact sheets related to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), that employers can use to supplement their workplace training programs. In June 2014, the fact sheets were updated to reflect the expected WHMIS 2015 requirements and this was communicated to over 10,000 registrants. The WHMIS 2015 Fact Sheets cover all of the WHMIS basics for training and are organized under three categories: WHMIS Basics; Hazard Topics; and Workplace Controls. They were updated again in March 2015 to reflect the final WHMIS 2015 requirements and two new fact sheets were added to clarify variances with, and exemptions to the US OSHA requirements.


CCOHS produces posters about workplace health and safety issues that organizations can use as reference tools or to reinforce health and safety messages, techniques, and best practices. Each poster also prominently bears the CCOHS brand and website URL; the free download versions also promote the phone number for the Safety InfoLine. The posters are produced in English and French and can be downloaded for free from the CCOHS website or purchased in print format. The program consists of 33 posters that cover topics ranging from technical subjects such as WHMIS 2015, to psychosocial issues such as violence, bullying, and mental health. This year 61,915 posters were downloaded from the website; a significant increase of 69% over the previous year. The most popular poster topics were WHMIS and safe lifting.

Health and Safety Report Newsletter

Health and Safety Report Newsletter chart

CCOHS' largest communications channel, the Health and Safety Report, is a free monthly e-mail newsletter, delivering current workplace health and safety news, information and tips to its robust readership comprised of workers, employers, health and safety professionals and those interested in workplace health and safety.

This year, the number of Health and Safety Report subscribers continued to increase to 36,119 (up 4.6%). There are subscribers from 178 countries, however, 75.5% are from Canada. Approximately 92% of subscribers share the newsletter with others, resulting in an additional 891,888 monthly reach. The content from the newsletter was repurposed 40 times (up 11% from last year) by other organizations and publications, generating an additional reach of 909,255 impressions (down 32%). The drop in impressions is attributed to the lower circulation/web stats of the publications and sites that repurposed the information.

In the 2014-15 readership survey, results remained fairly consistent with the previous year. 1,509 respondents gave the newsletter a 99.5% overall satisfaction rating with the content and format. 96.6% said that the newsletter provides value to their organization. 67.9% of users indicated that they use the information in the newsletter to make current or planned changes in their workplace that might improve occupational health and safety.

Topic-based Web Portals

Topic-based Web Portals chart

CCOHS offers specialized subject-specific web portals to help workplaces recognize, understand and address trending health and safety topics such as mental health, healthy workplaces, and young workers. These websites offer a collection of links to tools, research and information from credible sources from Canada and around the world.

Advancing Healthy Workplaces

Advancing Healthy Workplaces is a service that provides Canadian employers, employees and practitioners free and easy access to a comprehensive range of 300+ credible resources and practical tools for creating and promoting healthy workplaces. The portal is home to useful articles, posters, fact sheets and research reports from national, provincial and local agencies and non-profit organizations across Canada. This year the portal had 42,201 page views (up 11.1% from last year).

Young Workers Zone and Teaching Tools

The Young Workers Zone is a web portal dedicated to providing occupational health and safety resources and information to young workers, their parents, teachers, and employers. A single-point of access to information from all Canadian jurisdictions on workplace health and safety issues that affect young workers, the Young Workers Zone had 63,636 page views (up 0.2% from last year).

Through the Young Workers Zone portal, CCOHS offers a web-based resource called Health and Safety Teaching Tools to help teachers lay a foundation of health and safety for students. This year there were 96,538 unique page views of the basic web version (up 143% from last year), available to Canadians as a free public service.

Healthy Minds at Work

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 20% of Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their lifetime. A healthy Canadian economy and a psychologically healthy workplace relies on healthy minds. The Healthy Minds at Work portal houses a collection of credible resources offering information on how to create a healthy, supportive work environment, promote mental health, and effectively handle mental health issues that may exist. This year the portal had 22,878 page views (up 34.3% from last year).

Flu and Infectious Disease Outbreaks

The outbreaks of Ebola and H1N1 virus created a renewed interest in business continuity and the impact that outbreaks could have on workplaces. CCOHS rebranded the Planning for Pandemics portal to Flu and Infectious Disease Outbreaks and updated content to provide Canadians with the latest information, tools and resources they need to be prepared in the event of an infectious disease outbreak. This year the portal had 19,340 page views (up 49.6% from last year).


The CanOSH portal continues to be Canada’s most extensive gateway to occupational health and safety services and information across all jurisdictions, since its release in 1998. The portal provides easy access to, and searching of, resources from the Canadian federal, provincial and territorial governments and their agencies. This year the portal had 38,335 page views (down 9.9% from last year).

Outreach and Engagement

As a leader in the advancement of occupational health and safety in Canada, CCOHS continuously works to meet the needs of the changing world of work and increase outreach, user population and impact on Canadian workplaces. It is imperative that the Centre has a presence in and engage audiences across the country and in every province and territory to listen and learn about their issues and priorities. This past year, CCOHS deployed an engagement strategy to strengthen relationships with users and stakeholders and to support initiatives to advance the well-being of workers. CCOHS experienced exponential growth in traffic to the website, in the number of users of its free public services and communication channels, and in its social media audience and engagement.


Website: chart

This year, CCOHS committed to making practical workplace health and safety information, resources and tools easier to find and access on its website. For over a year, CCOHS worked to develop a new, easier-to -navigate website that incorporated the extensive feedback collected from focus groups, card sorting exercises and stakeholder input. The updated website features a simplified layout and design that complies with the Web Standards for the Government of Canada. The new design also demonstrates CCOHS’ commitment to delivering websites and applications that are more accessible, usable, interoperable and optimized for mobile devices. This year, the website had 13,168,006 total page views (up 12.8% from last year) and an average of 569,569 unique visitors per month (up 7% from last year). There was a substantial increase in Canadian usage of the site with approximately 29% of the visits from Canada (up from 27%), followed by 26% from the United States and 45% from other countries.

Liaison Newsletter

Published six times per year, the Liaison e-mail newsletter keeps CCOHS clients and opt-in subscribers updated about the latest developments at the Centre, from the newest products and services, to upcoming interactive social media events, to shareable information resources that can help promote awareness of health and safety.

The number of subscribers to Liaison increased 22% from last year to 23,150. In the annual survey that was conducted, 87% of respondents indicated that, overall, Liaison delivered value to their organization. 70% said that they used information from Liaison in relation to current or planned changes in their workplace to improve health and safety. In addition, Liaison has excellent pass-along value, with over 78% of respondents indicating that they forward or share the newsletter with others.

Social Media

Social Media chart

The use of social media is an important component of CCOHS’ initiatives to promote a comprehensive approach to workplace health and safety and to strengthen CCOHS’ position as a “go to” resource for tools, information and means to create healthy workplaces. Through its main social media channels of Twitter and Facebook, CCOHS has developed robust online communities that increase engagement and encourage discussion.

CCOHS experienced steady growth in followers and influence across all of its social media channels.

Facebook: CCOHS’ community on Facebook increased 27.5% to 5,702 fans. This year, CCOHS posted content 91 times on Facebook which resulted in a reach of 95,277, and thousands of post likes, comments and or shares. The average Facebook post had a reach of 1,047, 85 post clicks and 33 likes, comments and or shares.

Twitter: The CCOHS Twitter handle [@CCOHS] had 7,184 followers (up 26.6% from last year) with an annual retweet audience of 2,981,646 (up 136.3% from last year).

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a social media channel that CCOHS uses to network with working professionals, the business community and other organizations interested in workplace health and safety information and resources. CCOHS’ LinkedIn page started two years ago with just 500 followers, growing to 3,818 followers.

Google+: Often referred to as Google Plus, Google+ is a social media tool which uses photos and videos to engage its audience. CCOHS uses Google+ to share its resources, tools and news. While uptake has been slow with 149 followers, the Google+ pages have had more than 60,000 views since its inception last year.

Klout Score: The Klout Score remained steady at 60. A Klout Score measures overall online influence, from 1 to 100, with the average score being 40. Klout measures True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score to represent one’s sphere of influence.


CCOHS’ podcast program Health and Safety to Go provides health and safety tips in audio format suitable for use on devices such as smart phones, tablets, and MP3 players. This year CCOHS produced a total of 25 podcasts (11 of them in French) bringing the total episode count to 148. The most popular podcast was Managing Workplace Stress, garnering 2,661 listens from its October 2014 release.

The podcast program had a resurgence in uptake with 44,131 listens this year (up 32.2% from last year).


CCOHS continues to be known as a “go to” resource for trustworthy health and safety content, perspective, advice, and guidance. This year CCOHS noted 455 media sightings (up 67.2%) in which CCOHS was quoted or referenced as an information source, or in which our online fact sheets, articles or media releases were repurposed by other publications. These various media mentions represented an estimated reach in excess of 104,021,164 impressions. The 49.8% decrease in impressions were reflective of the circulation and web traffic of the media citing CCOHS.

Conference/Speakers Bureau Program

Conference/Speakers Bureau Program chart

Exhibitions, conferences and trade shows are important platforms for outreach and awareness building about the CCOHS brand as it provides the opportunity to meet directly with clients to help foster business relationships and understand the needs of specific sectors and regions. More than that, through our conference and speakers bureau program, CCOHS is able to showcase its expertise, products, and services and demonstrate their value to workers, employers, and governments in Canada.

CCOHS has made a commitment to participating in events in every province and territory. In 2014, CCOHS travelled to Yukon and Northwest Territories to exhibit for the very first time. Additionally, CCOHS strives to achieve balance in events between labour, governmental (jurisdictional) and employee conferences.

The demand for CCOHS speakers and participation in events has sharply increased the past two years. As a result, CCOHS participated in 43 conferences/events as well as 37 speaking engagements (up 19.4% from last year), representing a total conference reach of 29,980 (up 17.4% from last year).

Dick Martin Scholarship Award

The CCOHS Council of Governors established the Dick Martin Scholarship Award, an annual, national award for post-secondary students enrolled in degree or diploma granting occupational health and safety programs in Canada, to encourage interest in the field of workplace health and safety. Two scholarships of $3,000 each were awarded to a university and college student and $500 was awarded to each winner’s school. This year CCOHS received 53 applications from every jurisdiction that offered an occupational health and safety program. The winning students were from British Columbia and Quebec.

Education and Training

Having a well-developed health and safety program that includes an education and training component is not only essential for keeping people safe at work, it is often a legislated requirement. CCOHS has built an extensive program of credible health and safety education and training resources to meet the needs of workplaces in Canada.

Education and Training chart

For most workers in Canada, learning about occupational health and safety is not only a benefit - it’s a legislated requirement. There are many reasons why many companies prefer e-learning as a way to train their staff, managers and supervisors including:

  • Convenience and comfort - people can learn at their own pace when it suits them best
  • Availability - courses can be accessed at any time, on demand
  • Progress evaluation - the multi-user license includes reports on the users taking a particular course, and how well they’re doing
  • Value - every training dollar goes to actual education instead of airfare and hotels
  • Consistency - everyone receives the same information and the same high standard of training

CCOHS offers 104 online courses (e-courses), developed to help Canadian workplaces fulfill their health and safety related training and education needs, and to provide the public with workplace health and safety information that could help keep workers free from injury and disease.

CCOHS creates courses with assistance and advice from outside technical experts when required, while the tripartite external review of courses by representatives of government, employers, and labour helps achieve balance, accuracy and understanding by all parties in the workplace. This year CCOHS developed four new e-courses: Domestic Violence in the Workplace, Bullying in the Workplace, WHMIS 2015 for Workers and HPA Inspectors.

The most popular e-course that was sold was WHMIS for Workers (WHMIS 1988).

This year, 97,351 e-course seats were sold, an increase of 170% from the previous year.

Free Awareness E-Courses

CCOHS offers a collection of e-courses free of charge to promote awareness of important health and safety issues. They provide users with an introduction to the CCOHS e-learning experience and provide the user with a general awareness about the safety issue at hand. The most popular awareness course this year was Violence in the Workplace: Awareness.

This year, 44,108 free awareness e-courses were accessed (up 64% from last year).

WHMIS 2015 Instructor’s Toolkit

To meet the education and training needs with respect to WHMIS 2015, CCOHS developed a comprehensive instructor’s guide, participant’s guide and accompanying PowerPoint slides. For organizations that prefer instructor-led education, this kit provides the materials that an instructor needs to educate workers on WHMIS 2015 and provides accompanying guides for the workers. The content development, review and graphics work was completed and the kit is expected to be available for sale in April 2015.


CCOHS has a legacy of innovation - deploying and embracing new technologies to deliver information and services to Canadians. In keeping with the spirit of this legacy, CCOHS has experimented with new ways to engage our audiences and provide access to health and safety information and tools in innovative ways. These efforts included creating infographics on trending topics, experimenting with social media events (Twitter Chats), and developing apps for mobile devices.


Infographics chart

Infographics are a visually appealing way of illustrating data, and can present complex information quickly and clearly. They can improve understanding and comprehension by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends. As infographics are becoming more common in the health and safety industry, there is an opportunity to cover this subject area from a Canadian perspective. CCOHS experimented with this medium and created 6 infographics on the topics of ladder safety, manual materials handling, slips, trips and falls, safe and distracted driving, and workplace violence prevention. The infographics were promoted through Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter and were the top link in each issue of Liaison, with clickthroughs averaging 774 (26%) per issue. They were widely shared and repurposed by individuals and organizations alike including The National Post. Based on user feedback, the size and format of the infographics were reworked to allow easier printing, sharing and repurposing.

New Social Media Events

CCOHS continues to seek, and experiment with, innovative ways to connect with and engage various audiences. This year CCOHS plunged into new territory and hosted its first Twitter Chat and Google Hangout. These inaugural events provided important learning opportunities to fully understand the value and opportunities the new channels present. Going forward, topic relevance will be key to future success of the social media events.

CCOHS held its first Twitter chat (a live topic-driven discussion online) in February 2015 on workplace violence and bullying, with 10 participants, 44 tweets from CCOHS, and 21 re-tweets. The tweets from the chat were aggregated and archived into a transcript or “story” via, generating 133 views.

CCOHS’ first Google Hangout on Air (a live webcast) took place on March 11, 2015 on the topic of workplace violence, with 22 participants. The hangout was available for free on CCOHS’ YouTube channel after the event and had 150 views (70% from Canada) during the period of March 11 to March 31, 2015.

OSH Answers Mobile App

The OSH Answers Mobile App puts hundreds of health and safety fact sheets into the palms of users via their mobile device, without needing to access an Internet connection. This is especially helpful for those working in remote areas. In an effort to deliver relevant information to workers who need information at their fingertips, CCOHS redeveloped the app for Apple devices using adaptive user interface design to support multiple size screens, allowing for better support of various size iPhone and iPad devices. There was a soft launch of the app this year with the public release scheduled for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Other Services

There are many different components that can contribute to the success of a healthy and safe work environment. CCOHS has created products and services that meet the unique needs of various occupations and workplaces, whether it be to help them know their legislative requirements or write a material safety data sheet.

CANWrite™ – (M)SDS Authoring Software

Chemical manufacturers and suppliers provide (material) safety data sheets to help employers and workers understand product hazards and how to work safely with them. To help meet the challenges of producing (material) safety data sheets, CCOHS offers an online authoring tool, CANWrite™. This tool allows suppliers and manufacturers of chemical products to author (material) safety data sheets in English and French.

CANWrite™ has had increased sales from United States (U.S.) and Canadian companies with the U.S. deadline of June 2015 approaching. As a result, CCOHS began implementing changes for a major release of CANWrite™ for WHMIS 2015 (which also meets OSHA-GHS requirements) for release in mid-2015. CCOHS saw a 105% increase in clients from last year.

MSDS Management Service

Thousands of hazardous substances are used in workplaces every day, from gas and oil, paint and cleaning products, to the toner used in photocopiers. Under occupational health and safety law, employers are required to keep workers informed on the hazards of chemicals found in the workplace and must provide a (material) safety data sheet for each hazardous substance they have on site. CCOHS’ online MSDS Management Service provides support and assistance to employers, providing ready, online access to their specific collections of (material) safety data sheets, and helping track currency to help ensure employers comply with the legislation.

This year, enhancements to the service included: automated binder-printing tools, Excel export of data and features to support changes to WHMIS 2015. This year the service gained 11 new clients bringing the total up to 158 (7.48% increase from last year).

Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards Service

The Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards online service provides Canadian workplaces with the means to obtain legislation and referenced standards to identify and understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. The majority of subscribers to this service are Canadian organizations with a small international client base. Currently, there are 318 total subscribers (a 20% decrease from last year). To help improve the service and increase revenue, a Legislation Innovation Team was created. This team of internal staff members were tasked with hosting user surveys and focus groups to help identify the service’s strengths and opportunities to enhance the customer experience. Further research followed by enhancements made to the service is expected to overlap into next year.


The CHEMINFO database is an internationally recognized resource containing critical safety information for over 1,775 key workplace chemicals. Developed by CCOHS experts, CHEMINFO provides key health and safety information about chemicals to control workplace exposures and prevent accidents, and includes scientifically supported regulatory classifications. CHEMINFO clients viewed over 53,296 records online this year (up 11.7 % from last year). In addition, there are two CHEMINFO spin-offs: Chemical Profiles (listed under the OSH Answers Fact Sheets) and the WHMIS Classification Database which is offered as a public service. Chemical Profiles was viewed 37,193 times in English and in French (up 4% from last year) while the WHMIS Classification Database was used 43,260 times.

Projects and Partnerships

CCOHS has an established history of collaborating with Canadian and international partners alike. Projects with leading health and safety organizations in Canada such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Health Canada and WorkSafeNB, have expanded the quality and quantity of resources and programs available to workers and employers across the country. Work with international partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union, has helped to advance health and safety in the workplace on a global level. These partnerships, in addition to being a Collaborating Centre of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and WHO, allow CCOHS to provide Canadians with the best information from international sources as well as share its own knowledge, expertise, and Canadian perspective with the world.

In partnership, CCOHS has created websites, developed e-courses, managed projects, written publications and conducted research. Together, we can work to prevent injuries and illnesses, and help create workplaces that are healthy and safe for everyone. Web Portal Web Portal chart

With the anticipation of the changes to Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015), CCOHS collaborated with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada (formerly the National Office of WHMIS) and each of the federal, provincial and territorial occupational health and safety regulatory jurisdictions across Canada, to help Canadians transition to the new WHMIS 2015 which implements the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). was officially launched in February 2015. It houses the most current information about WHMIS 2015 from all of the jurisdictions across Canada. The website also contains helpful tools and resources for workers, employers, suppliers, and trainers.

In the two months it was available in this fiscal year, the portal had 44,607 worldwide page views. Of those, 39,727 (89%) page views were from Canada. The top three provinces accessing the portal were Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec. A summary of the page views by province and territory is as follows:

  • Alberta (17.2%)
  • British Columbia (5.2%)
  • Manitoba (2.9%)
  • New Brunswick (2%)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador (3.2%)
  • Nova Scotia (2.1%)
  • Northwest Territories (0.62%)
  • Nunavut (0.1%)
  • Ontario (39.1%)
  • Prince Edward Island (0.4%)
  • Quebec (11.5%)
  • Saskatchewan (4.2%)
  • Yukon (0.2%)

Free WHMIS After GHS For Workers e-Course

To help educate workers about WHMIS 2015, CCOHS released a new e-course, in partnership with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada (formerly the National Office of WHMIS) and funded by Health Canada. Available in English and French, the course, WHMIS After GHS for Workers, was made available free for up to 100,000 Canadian workers for one year. A similar version was made for a fee for employers who want to track that their workers successfully completed the e-course (fee-based courses come with a multi-user account with automated tracking). As of March 31, 2015, 8,763 individuals had registered for the free e-course, and 816 multi-account user courses were sold. The top three provinces accessing the e-courses were Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. A summary of the courses taken by province and territory is as follows:

  • Alberta (18.8%)
  • British Columbia (9.1%)
  • Manitoba (7.8%)
  • New Brunswick (5.8%)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador (2.8%)
  • Nova Scotia (8.4%)
  • Northwest Territories (1.6%)
  • Nunavut (0.7%)
  • Ontario (26.5%)
  • Prince Edward Island (1.4%)
  • Quebec (13.5%)
  • Saskatchewan (3.0%)
  • Yukon (0.07%)

GHS Webinar - Canada’s Implementation of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Workplace Chemicals

To help Canadians learn more about the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Workplace Chemicals, and its impact on WHMIS will affect users, CCOHS collaborated with Health Canada to produce the webinar Canada’s Implementation of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Workplace Chemicals. The free webinar gave participants a better understanding of Health Canada’s proposed approach to implementing the GHS in Canada and outlined proposed new hazard classification and communication obligations in WHMIS. This year, the webinar had 1,611 combined views in English and French since its release on April 17, 2014.

Health Canada Inspectors e-Courses

Health Canada and CCOHS worked together to develop e-course modules for inspectors who will be enforcing the Hazardous Products Act and Hazardous Products Regulations. The e-course modules were released and inspectors were provided passwords on February 11, 2015, the day the Hazardous Products Regulations were published in Canada Gazette Part II.

Workplace Stress Questionnaire Mobile App

CCOHS worked with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to develop a free smartphone application which allows users to measure their stress levels by answering the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire. The app was made available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices. Development is underway on a second app with OHCOW to provide tools to assist with musculoskeletal disorders; this app will be released next year.

WorkSafeNB Web Tool

CCOHS and WorkSafeNB partnered to create an online portal to act as a plain-language guide to New Brunswick’s occupational health and safety legislation. The bilingual portal, A Guide to OSH Legislation, features 30 construction-related topics with links to resources, including interpretations, summaries, legislation, hazard alerts and safety talks, all in an easy-to-read format. CCOHS hopes to potentially deploy this model with other provinces and territories. The web tool is set to launch in the Spring of 2015.

Hamilton Port Authority

The Hamilton Port Authority approached CCOHS in January 2014 to help them ensure that their safety procedures met the highest industry standards, and to create a health and safety management system to support ongoing maintenance and improvement. The project was undertaken in three phases (assessment, development, implantation and review) to achieve a logical and informed approach to the development of the components of the Hamilton Port Authority’s health and safety program. The health and safety program was completed in December 2014.

CSA Group Standards

CCOHS and the Canadian Standards Association have had a long standing relationship, partnering on a number of initiatives over the years. This year, CCOHS became a reseller of CSA Group Standards to help put relevant health and safety related standards into the hands of workers in Canada. CCOHS began selling CSA Group Standards on April1, 2014, and to date, 151 standards have been sold.

Transportation Safety Board

CCOHS is currently working on two projects for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to improve their workplace health and safety program. The Respiratory Protection Program and Confined Space Entry Program will be developed for investigators who are responsible for gathering evidence from air, marine and rail accidents across Canada, and abroad. Work on these two projects began this year and are expected to progress into the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Canada School of Public Service

Use of online training among public servants has doubled in the last year, with an increasing number of public servants requiring learning opportunities anytime and from anywhere. CCOHS and the Canada School of Public Service (the School) partnered to provide online health and safety training courses to federal public servants this year. The partnership provided federal public servants throughout Canada with access to a wide variety of credible and relevant online health and safety courses. School clients who purchase a CCOHS e-course received access to CCOHS’ Learning Management System. This management system provides the opportunity for employers to track and confirm that their workers successfully completed the training, with detailed usage reports. The courses offered by CCOHS add to the School’s existing suite of online products and are a cost-effective way to meet the health and safety training needs of organizations and federal employees.

It’s Your Job! Youth Video Contest

Creating a shared set of values and expectations for a safe and healthy work environment amongst the next generation of workers starts with education at a young age. The It’s Your Job! Youth Video Contest encourages Canadian high school students to develop an original video that can be used in social media to illustrate the importance of working safely on the job. CCOHS assumed administration of the national contest this year, including the overall promotion and communications, judging of the national contest entries, awarding of prizes, and execution of online voting for Canada’s Fan Favourite award. In total, the contest had 24 entries for national consideration from 11 provincial and territorial contests. The contest wraps up in May 2015 with the national winner being announced and video shown at the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week national launch.

North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week

The North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week is an annual initiative led by a partnership of key national organizations: the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), CCOHS, Employment and Social Development Canada’s Labour Program, and Threads of Life. NAOSH Week continues to be a truly continent-wide event, celebrated in Canada, along with North American partners in the United States and Mexico. As a national partner, CCOHS updates and maintains the NAOSH Week web site, and through its communications channels, promotes awareness of safety in addition to the the week and related events. CCOHS attended and spoke at, the 2014 NAOSH Week’s national launch in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

This year, 47,014 unique visitors frequented the NAOSH Week website (up 48% from last year) and viewed content pages 138,206 times (up 9% from last year).

Investing for Tomorrow

As part of the Centre’s effort to modernize and strengthen its infrastructure to meet the demands for improved and more efficient service delivery, CCOHS resolved to make continuous improvement across the organization a priority.

With a customer-centric view in mind, the Centre has reviewed all existing products and services in order to strengthen our product offering to best match our customers’ needs. Taking into account the product life cycle, CCOHS was able to retire those products and services that are no longer relevant to the market which we serve, or have demonstrated low or declining uptake over the last several years. Focusing on enhancing those products and services which experience product maturity and/or decline through the use of current and new technologies, has allowed the Centre to offer more attractive delivery choices, therefore sustaining these products as viable options in the marketplace.

A key initiative underway is the migration to a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that will enable CCOHS to collect, store, manage and interpret data across the organization. The new system will provide greater business efficiencies and support marketing, sales and communications efforts to provide tailored messaging and improved client interactions. Full deployment of the system will be completed by late 2015.

Utilizing new technology has also provided the Centre with opportunities to enrich the current product and service offering, allowing us to add product lines and develop new partnerships. As technology continues to change, so do the needs of the Centre’s customers. Moving into the new year, continual analysis and review of the Centre’s infrastructure will remain a priority so that the Centre will continue to be a reliable and credible source of health and safety solutions.

Our Values in Action

There is a strong connection between the health and well-being of people and their work environments. When people feel valued, respected and satisfied in their jobs and work in safe, healthy environments, they are more likely to be more productive and committed to their work. When the workplace is unsafe, stressful or unhealthy, ultimately both the organization and the employees are hurt. Everyone can benefit from a healthy workplace and as Canada’s national workplace health and safety resource, it is natural for CCOHS to provide a work environment to its own employees that is healthy and safe.

Employee Engagement

CCOHS works to achieve employee engagement through transparency, participation, and access to CCOHS’ senior management team by way of bimonthly Town Hall meetings. These meetings are a way for CCOHS employees to learn what’s new at CCOHS from an operational level, and ask questions directed to the President and senior leadership in an open forum.

Another example of staff engagement is the quarterly internal showcases. These events are staff driven, produced by cross-functional teams that work together to produce exhibits that showcase recent initiatives they’ve worked on. The showcases are attended by all CCOHS staff and play an important role in keeping everyone engaged and informed.

Mental Health at CCOHS

CCOHS recognized that in order to create a mentally healthy workplace, the leadership of the organization must be educated and equipped to effectively deal with the related issues. Over 20 CCOHS people leaders engaged in training delivered by Morneau Shepell in conjunction with Queen’s University Faculty of Health Sciences. This certificate-based training entitled Leading a Mentally Healthy Workplace Certification Program consisted of two in-class sessions at CCOHS along with self-paced online exams and self-study modules.

The aim of the training was to help CCOHS adopt best practices in mental health accommodations, work-life balance, positive staff intra- and interpersonal factors as well as achieving open dialogue and peer-related support during these sessions.

CCOHS’ Healthy Workplace

CCOHS has a variety of teams, committees and activities that involve the employees in helping to build a healthy and productive workplace. The four main teams include the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, Mental Health @ Work Team, Healthy Workplace Team and the GWCC Workplace Charitable Campaign (United Way Committee).

This year, with help from the committees staff at CCOHS participated in a number of healthy workplace and charitable initiatives including a walking challenge; group staff-led fitness classes such as yoga and tai chi during the lunch hours; as well as paying it forward with bake sales, food drives and other charitable work in the community.

Financial Review

Management Responsibility for Financial Statements

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, 2015, and all information contained in these statements rests with the management of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety ("CCOHS" or the "Centre"). These financial statements have been prepared by management in accordance with 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' 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 risk-based assessment of the effectiveness of the system of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR).

An assessment for the year ended March 31, 2015 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 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.

CCOHS will be subject to periodic Core Control Audits performed by the Office of the Comptroller General and will use the results of such audits to adhere to the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control.

In the interim, CCOHS has undertaken a risk-based assessment of the system of ICFR for the year ended March 31, 2015, in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Control, and the results and action plan are summarized in the annex. The annex is available on CCOHS' website at the following location:

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP, the independent auditors for CCOHS, have 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
Frank Leduc, CPA, CMA
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Independent Auditor's Report

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP
2505 St-Laurent Blvd.
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 1E4
Telephone: 613-236-2211
Fax: 613-236-6104

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

We have audited the accompanying financial statements of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, which comprise the statement of financial position as at March 31, 2015, and the statements 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

Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit. We conducted our audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards. Those standards require that we 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.

We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion.


In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety as at March 31, 2015, and the results of its operations, changes in its net debt, and its cash flow for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Chartered Accountants
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP
Licensed Public Accountants

June 16, 2015
Ottawa, Canada

Statement of Financial Position

At March 31
  2015 2014
  $ $
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (note 8)
721,631 334,473
Deferred revenues – web based subscriptions
1,322,039 1,191,239
Vacation pay and compensated leave
454,382 442,133
Employee severance benefits (note 10)
1,063,934 1,144,220
Deferred revenues – donations (note 9)
110,902 110,902
Total liabilities 3,672,888 3,222,967
Financial assets:
Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
801,431 436,643
Accounts receivable (note 7)
449,315 379,148
Total Financial assets 1,250,746 815,791
Net Debt (note 3) (2,422,142) (2,407,176)
Non-financial assets:
Inventory for resale
36,553 29,983
Tangible capital assets (note 6)
316,950 114,438
Total non-financial assets: 353,503 144,421
Net Financial Position (2,068,639) (2,262,755)

Approved by:

Kin Choi
Steve Horvath
President and Chief Executive Officer
Frank Leduc, CPA, CMA
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position

For the year ended March 31
  2015 2014
  $ $
Salaries and employee benefits
7,460,000 7,882,906
Professional and special services
874,096 1,130,648
676,937 676,937
Transportation and communications
194,307 131,760
Purchased repair and upkeep
88,476 142,547
Utilities, materials and supplies
142,886 154,935
71,589 50,011
27,869 29,411
  9,536,160 10,199,155
Salaries and employee benefits
490,978 264,539
Governors and committees
4,036 3,590
29,911 26,196
Professional and special services
440 6,309
Utilities, materials and supplies
527 -
206 194
  526,098 300,828
Other expenses
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 6)
33,646 19,935
Loss on disposal of tangible capital assets
- 47,144
  33,646 67,079
Total expenses
10,095,904 10,567,062
Revenues (note 5)
Proceeds from sales
3,293,810 3,075,122
Projects and collaborative agreements
1,125,860 903,862
Total revenues
4,419,670 3,978,984
Net cost of operations before government funding
(5,676,234) (6,588,078)
Government Funding
Net cash provided by government
4,547,983 5,036,850
Change in due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
364,788 153,701
Services provided without charge from other government departments (note 11)
1,197,545 1,272,626
Transfer of transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears (note 13)
(239,966) -
Net surplus (cost) of operations after government funding
194,116 (124,901)
Net Financial Position at Beginning of Year
(2,262,755) (2,137,854)
Net Financial Position at End of year
(2,068,639) (2,262,755)

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

Statement of Change in Net Debt

For the year ended March 31
  2015 2014
  $ $
Net (Cost) Surplus of Operations after government funding 194,116 (124,901)
Changes due to Tangible Capital Assets
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets
(236,158) -
Amortization of tangible capital assets
33,646 19,935
Disposal of tangible capital assets
- 47,144
Total Change Due to Tangible Capital Assets (202,512) 67,079
Increase in inventory for resale (6,570) (921)
Net increase in net debt (14,966) (58,742)
Net debt, at Beginning of year (2,407,176) (2,348,433)
Net debt, at End of year (2,422,142) (2,407,176)

Statement of Cash Flow

For the year ended March 31
  2015 2014
  $ $
Operating Activities
Net cost of operations before government funding
5,676,234 6,588,078
Non-cash items:
Amortization of tangible capital assets (Note 6)
(33,646) (19,935)
Loss on disposal of tangible capital assets
- (47,144)
Services received without charge from other government departments (Note 11)
(1,197,545) (1,272,626)
Transition Payments for implementing salary payments in in arrears (Note 13) 239,966 -
Variations in Statement of Financial Position:
Increase accounts payable and accrued liabilities
(387,158) 130,425
Increase in deferred revenue
(130,800) (266,508)
Decrease (Increase) in vacation pay and compensated leave
(12,249) 15,892
Decrease in employee severance benefits
80,286 116,386
Increase in deferred revenues – donations
- (4,500)
Increase in accounts receivable
70,167 56,711
Increase in inventory for resale
6,570 921
Cash used in operating activities 4,311,825 5,036,850
Capital investing activities
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets
236,158 -
Net cash provided by Government of Canada 4,547,983 5,036,850

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.

Notes to the Financial Statements

For the year ended March 31, 2015

  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 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 in accordance with 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.
        • 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.
        • 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 publications. 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.
        • 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 multi-employer 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 labour 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 having an initial cost of $5,000 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 Authorities

    • 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 did not receive any donations in 2015 (2014- $4,500). The balance at March 31, 2015 is $110,902 (2014- $110,902).
    • 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 2014 expense amounts to $785,661 (2013 - $787,772), which represents approximately 1.6 (2013- 1.7) 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 and 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 costeffectiveness 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:
        Internal Services Health and Safety 2015 2014
        $ $ $ $
      Salaries and employee benefits 2,581,304 5,369,674 7,950,978 8,147,445
      Professional and Special Services 47,832 830,692 878,524 1,140,518
      Accommodation 219,769 457,168 676,937 676,937
      Transportation and communications 160,429 63,790 224,219 157,955
      Information 49,553 22,037 71,590 50,011
      Purchased repair and upkeep - 88,476 88,476 142,547
      Utilities, materials and supplies - 149,983 149,983 154,935
      Rental - 28,122 28,122 29,635
      Other expenditures - 27,076 27,076 67,079
      Total Expenses 3,058,887 7,037,018 10,095,905 10,567,062
      Revenues - - 4,419,670 3,978,984
      Cost from continuing operations     5,676,234 6,588,078
  13. Transfer of transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears

    • The Government of Canada implemented salary payments in arrears in 2014-15. As a result, a one-time payment was issued to employees and will be recovered from the government in the future. The transition to salary payments in arrears forms part of the transformation initiative that replaces the pay system and also streamlines and modernizes the pay process. This change to the pay system had no impact on the expenses of the Department. Prior to year end, the transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears were transferred to a central account administered by Public Works and Government Services Canada, who is responsible for the administration of the Government pay system.