Government of Canada
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety



April 1st, 2015 to March 31st, 2016

  • Informing
  • Innovating
  • Inspiring

to create positive workplace change

CCOHS Story collage

Council of Governors


[position vacant]


John Beckett
Federally Regulated Employers

Helder Botelho
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME)

Andrea Nalyzyty
Canadian Bankers Association

Marcel Pouliot
Transportation Association of Canada


Sari Sairanen

Andrea Peart
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)

Troy Winters
Canadian Union of Public Employees

Provincial and Territorial

Diana Miles
British Columbia

Ross Nairne

Phillip Germain

Shelley Rowan
Nova Scotia

Leslie Galway
Newfoundland and Labrador

Kimberley Henney

*Shelly Dauphinee
New Brunswick

*Sophie Dennis

*David Grundy
Northwest Territories

*Term expired

Message from the President and Council of Governors

We are pleased that in 2015/16 CCOHS put more information, services, products into the hands of Canadians (and others) than ever before. Our efforts to provide solutions in high risk sectors forged new relationships in the construction and transportation sectors expanding the reach and impact of CCOHS products and services. We also worked with partners such as WorkSafeNB to create apps that put information that people need at their fingertips, and are partnering with a number of other provinces and territories to provide innovative health and safety solutions.

CCOHS continued to respond to current workplace issues providing tools, information, and support to address mental health and workplace wellness, promoting anti-stigma messages and helping prepare workplaces for the changes to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).

For the second year, CCOHS sponsored the national Focus on Safety video contest, and vigorously promoted the viewing of the submissions to raise awareness of health and safety in workplaces and among youth in Canada.

We were pleased to continue our tradition of fostering interest in the field of occupational health and safety through the Dick Martin Scholarship Awards. Last year, we awarded a $3,000 scholarship to each Kari Bergerud of Grant MacEwan University (Alberta) and Harry Wiseman of Keyin College (Newfoundland).

Of particular note this past year was the CCOHS national tripartite Forum 2016: The Changing World of Work, which took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The event provided a unique platform for discussion amongst employers, workers, and governments from across Canada to exchange ideas and perspectives around current health and safety issues they identified, such as mental health, violence, harassment, and training and education around safe work.

This was a year of leadership transition for CCOHS. We would like to thank outgoing president Steve Horvath for his leadership and contributions to the Centre during his five-year term. We would also like to thank Kin Choi for his leadership and service as chairperson of the Council. Both made lasting impacts to the Centre and we wish them well.

During the year we also welcomed new members to the Council, Ross Nairne, (Alberta), Troy Winters (CUPE), and Marcel Pouliot (Canadian Transportation Association). We have been working closely with them and the rest of the Council to deliver value for, and meet the changing needs of, all of our stakeholders.

Finally, we would like to extend thanks to the CCOHS employees for their efforts, passion, and focus in delivering results that help create safer workplaces and improve the lives of workers in Canada.

Shelley Rowan, on behalf of the Council of Governors

Gareth Jones, Acting President



In February 2015, Canada aligned the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), also known as WHMIS 2015. While Canada began its journey of embracing the changes, CCOHS was ready to help workers, employers and suppliers navigate the complexities of adopting the new rules. From a Canada-wide portal and online courses, to speaking engagements and hosting workshops across the country, CCOHS worked to educate workers about, and prepare workplaces in Canada, for WHMIS 2015.

Workplace Mental Health

"21.4% of the working population in Canada currently experience mental health problems and illnesses.*"

Depression, stress and other mental health issues have emerged as leading health issues in Canada, and the linkage between stress, mental health and absence still remains a significant challenge amongst people in this country. CCOHS has worked to stay ahead of this current issue, continuing its work with the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s case study research projects – and using the experience to provide reliable and credible mental health information and resources to workers and employers in Canada. This year, CCOHS launched a new and improved Healthy Minds at Work microsite to help organizations work their way towards a psychologically safe and healthy workplace.

* Mental Health Commission of Canada (2013). Making the Case for Investing in Mental Health.

New, Young and Aging Workers

New workers aren’t just young people or those who are entering the work force for the first time; they include people who are re-entering the workforce or are starting a second or even third career. Regardless of age or stage, new is new – and these workers are especially vulnerable, with 5 to 7 times the risk of injury in the first month of their job. And with 20% of Canada’s workforce (3.6 million) aged 55 years and over (StatsCan, 2015), employers are faced with new challenges in how to leverage the experience of the older workers while ensuring their needs are met to work safely and stay healthy. CCOHS created webinars, articles, social media events and infographics to help shed some light on, and offer solutions, to address the challenges faced by the employers of - as well as - new, young, and aging workers in Canada.

Serving Canada to Improve the Lives of Workers

Lives matter. Work can be hazardous and some jobs come with higher risks than others. At CCOHS, we believe in the Internal Responsibility System in which everyone - both employees and employers - have a role to play in safe work. An important part of CCOHS’ mandate is to serve the working population in Canada to prevent work-related illness and injury. Workers and employers alike need access to credible information, the tools and resources they need to work safely, and to create workplaces in which the health, safety and well-being of employees are paramount. The Centre does this by making a wide range of useful resources and services, in a variety of formats, freely available, in English and French, for all to use.

Answering Questions

Navigating health and safety laws, workplace policies and workplace hazards can be challenging. People have questions and they turn to CCOHS for answers they can trust.

With a self-serve option through the OSH Answers Fact Sheets and a person-to-person Safety InfoLine service, CCOHS tries to makes it as easy as possible for people to access the information and answers they need. More than ever there is a growing trend of users “self-serving”, as the number of users of the online fact sheets increase.

OSH Answers Fact sheet and Safety InfoLine chart
[Text version of OSH Answers Fact sheet and Safety InfoLine chart]

OSH Answers Fact Sheets

Available through the CCOHS website, OSH Answers Fact Sheets contain thousands of questions and answers on more than 500 topics - from workplace stress, to ergonomics, to seasonal safety tips. These online fact sheets were created for workers in Canada to have instant access to reliable and relevant health and safety information, anytime. New topics are continually added and existing topics are regularly revised for relevancy and currency. The fact sheets are widely repurposed by media and organizations alike and form the foundation of many of the Centre’s informational products, such as publications, posters and articles. They are one of CCOHS’ most popular public services garnering more than 12 million page views – 21% of those being in Canada.

Although Canada adopted WHMIS 2015 in February 2015, not every jurisdiction across Canada was ready to adopt the new changes. The Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada (formerly the National Office of WHMIS) rolled out a multi-year transition plan to prepare manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers for the changes, and CCOHS was ready with resources to help. CCOHS’ WHMIS 2015 Fact Sheets were born in early 2015 and have continued to be a popular resource amongst users in Canada. WHMIS 2015 continues to be a topic of concern for Canadian workplaces, and CCOHS plans to add to the collection in the coming year, with the confidential business information fact sheet currently in development.

Safety InfoLine

For workers and workplaces in Canada who require a higher level of support, CCOHS provides a confidential, free person-to-person information service. Safety InfoLine is accessible by telephone and online, and a team of health and safety specialists responds to the incoming requests. The team researches and provides information on workplace health and safety to help users of the service make informed decisions about specific issues in the workplace. On topics from safety and ergonomics, to chemical hazards and psychosocial issues, Safety InfoLine responded to 7,513 inquiries from every province and territory this year. Employers made up the bulk of the users (41%), followed by labour (34%), the general public (23%), and governments (2%).

As part of CCOHS’ effort to continuously improve, Safety InfoLine users are surveyed on the usefulness and quality of the service. Results of this year’s survey remained strong with 87% satisfied or very satisfied with the information they received. More importantly, 63% (up from 59%) 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.

"It is a comfort to know that a helping hand is readily available from the experts in areas that are often a part of our world but mostly out of our scope of practice."

"An excellent example of government resources used wisely to assist progress and understanding of hazards of chemicals in the workplace."

Providing Access to Information

CCOHS has a commitment to provide people in Canada with bilingual, credible and useful health and safety information in accessible and user friendly formats.

CCOHS Website

[Text version of CCOHS Website's highlights]

Constantly evolving to meet the needs of users, the CCOHS website ( continues to be a growing powerhouse of workplace health and safety information and services. This year, overall traffic to the CCOHS website was heavier than ever with substantial growth in usage. The web sessions were up 25% to 10.6 million and the page views of content were up 31% to 17.3 million. Canadian usage of the site was up 43% over the previous year, with a third of the web sessions originating from Canada. The wonderful thing about the Internet, is that CCOHS can serve and help the rest of the world as well: 25% of visitors to the website came from the United States of America, and 42% were from other countries. Also, 16% of the web sessions were on the French language site.

Topic-specific Microsites

In addition to the CCOHS website, the Centre has a collection of topic-specific microsites which provide a single point of access, in English and French, to some of the best information, tools and research from Canada and around the world on current topics such as mental health, healthy workplaces, young workers and planning for infectious disease outbreaks.

Young Workers Zone and Teaching Tools

It’s a known fact that young workers are vulnerable to being injured on the job - they’re new to the working world and can be unaware of the dangers, or their rights, in their workplace. The Young Workers Zone microsite is dedicated to providing occupational health and safety resources and information to not only young workers, but their parents, teachers, and employers as well. Page views of this popular site increased 14% with 44,000 page views.


page views

To complement the free resources found in the Young Workers Zone, CCOHS offers another online resource, Health and Safety Teaching Tools, which aims to help teachers lay a foundation of workplace health and safety for students. The basic content of this program is available for free on the website, with the comprehensive version available at a cost. With 104,678 views, Teaching Tools realized a 13% growth in usage.

* * * * * * * * *

In the upcoming fiscal year CCOHS plans to revamp the Young Workers Zone microsite to address new workers, as well as create an immersive educational experience for young people that would provide them a basic level of knowledge and understanding of the workplace and their health and safety rights. The new “Zone” will incorporate the more comprehensive fee-based version of the Health and Safety Teaching Tools into the portal as a free public service.

Healthy Minds at Work

At some point in our lives, most of us are likely to be affected by a mental illness, whether it’s through a family member, a friend, a colleague, or through personal experience. And many people face these mental health issues during their working years. In August 2015, the Healthy Minds at Work microsite was given a makeover to include more up to date statistical information as well as to provide users with an immersive and user-friendly experience. The site offers information on how to create a healthy and supportive work environment, promote mental health, and effectively handle mental health issues that may exist. For a three week period starting in July 2015, CCOHS ran a social marketing campaign to raise awareness of, and model how workplaces could respond effectively to mental health issues. The length of the campaign was reduced from 10 weeks to three to comply with the Federal election communications embargo. However, during this period, daily traffic to the site increased tenfold. This year the site had more than 30,000 page views. More communication assets such as videos, and twitter cards, as well as a new mental health campaign are being developed to keep this issue in the forefront.


page views

Flu and Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Most of our lives are a combination of work, family and community involvement. An infectious disease outbreak or pandemic would disrupt and affect all of these areas. The Flu and Infectious Disease Outbreaks microsite provides users with guidance, advice, and tools, needed to continue business and organizational activity, and be prepared in the event of an infectious disease outbreak. Activity on this site has decreased over the years however any news of new viruses (Zika) or outbreaks (Ebola) causes a spike in activity. This year the site had 13,149 page views.

Advancing Healthy Workplaces

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. The Advancing Healthy Workplaces microsite provides employees, employers and practitioners with easy to find information, tools and resources such as articles, posters, and research reports they may need to promote a healthy and safe work environment. The site had 53,131 page views, representing 26% growth.


Years ago if you were looking for hazard alerts or young worker programs from the various provinces or territories, you had to search each website individually. The launch of CanOSH 17 years ago put an end to all of that. The microsite provides an all-encompassing access route to government related occupational health and safety information, news, hazard alerts and services across all jurisdictions in Canada. The popularity of the tool speaks to the value of this onestop- information source with close to 39,000 page views this year.

Raising Awareness and Promoting Health and Safety


Over the years, the Centre has built a collection of 34 bilingual posters that organizations can use to help promote health and safety in their workplace. From hot button issues such as mental health, to hazards such as slips, trips and falls, workplaces use these posters to reinforce health and safety messages, techniques, and best practices. In fact, more than 50,000 posters were downloaded from our website this year in addition to the tens of thousands of the Day of Mourning posters that were reproduced by labour unions.



Not surprisingly, the most popular titles were those related to WHMIS 2015 and GHS. While CCOHS will continue to add new posters that address emerging workplace health and safety issues, we are noticing that there is a shift emerging in the preferred formats of this information. Poster popularity is giving way to our more compact Fast Fact Cards and On Topic pieces that provide bite-sized information and tips; demand for customization of these materials is increasing.

Posters collage: 10 Healthy Habits (mental fitness) and Position for Safety and Comfort


CCOHS also spreads awareness to a variety of different audiences by sharing data in a more visually appealing way through the use of infographics. Doubling the size of the collection this year, CCOHS experimented with 6 new topics including: New Worker Safety in Canada, Fatigue and Work, Indoor Air Quality, Hazard Control, The Aging Workforce in Canada, and CCOHS’ Forum 2016 Highlights. Overall, the infographics web page had 23,749 page views, however the highly popular Fatigue and Work infographic garnered almost a third of the views. Each infographic page provides users with a snapshot/lightbox view and an explanation of what infographics are and their intended purpose, encouraging users to share them electronically. Another enhancement for users is they can print the infographics in a larger size should they wish to display the information as a poster.


page views

Podcasts [Health and Safety To Go!]

Since 2009, CCOHS has provided workers across Canada with audio health and safety information through its Health and Safety to Go! podcast program. The podcasts allow CCOHS to connect with Canadians in a less traditional format, thus expanding the Centre’s reach and impact with more people across a larger landscape. CCOHS’ podcasts are used on mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets, and MP3 players. This year CCOHS produced 22 new podcasts bringing the total episode count to 170. We know that many workplaces, educational institutions and organizations link to specific episodes of interest which partly explains the 31% growth in podcast listens (57,758 listens this year). Next year CCOHS will be looking at ways to improve this free service starting with a plan to retire and replace outdated episodes with newer content, and place greater focus on featuring partnerships for interview content.



The Health and Safety Report

Workers, employers, and health and safety professionals and enthusiasts alike stay current and informed with their subscription to CCOHS’ largest communications channel, the Health and Safety Report newsletter. This free monthly e-newsletter delivers current workplace health and safety news, information, advice and tips to 28,781 subscribers from 183 countries – 75% being from Canada (the database was cleansed resulting in the elimination of more than 5,000 broken records from the previous year).




183 countries


from Canada

Approximately 92% of subscribers share the newsletter with others, resulting in an additional 705,360 monthly reach. The annual readership survey provides a testament to the quality and high appreciation for this popular newsletter. It routinely earns a 99+% overall satisfaction rating with the content and format. The value of the newsletter extends beyond the individual subscriber as 98% said that the newsletter provides value to their organization, and 71% 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.

Articles from the Health and Safety Report are a staple for other publications, media outlets and organizations, who repurpose them for their own use. Our informal tracking of the 45 publicly shared reprints resulted in approximately a million impressions of extended reach.

" go-to place for updates in occupational health and safety to keep me informed of any upcoming changes in legislation or best practices."

"98% said the newsletter added value to their organization."


monthly reach

Supporting the Occupational Health and Safety Profession

Dick Martin Scholarship Award

Each year, CCOHS strives to support students in their pursuit of higher education in occupational health and safety with the Dick Martin Scholarship Award. This annual, national award was started 14 years ago by CCOHS’ Council of Governors to encourage interest in the field of workplace health and safety. The scholarship is offered to post-secondary students enrolled in a degree or diploma granting occupational health and safety program in Canada. Two scholarships of $3,000 are awarded each year to a university and college student, and $500 is awarded to each winner’s school. This year, the number of applications was up 33% with 82 received.

2015-16 Scholarship Recipients

Kari Bergerud: Grant MacEwan University [Alberta], Harry Wiseman: Keyin College [Newfoundland]
CCOHS Council member Leslie Galway with
scholarship recipient Harry Wiseman

Left - CCOHS Council member Leslie Galway with scholarship recipient Harry Wiseman

Connecting with Canadians

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 CCOHS have a presence, and engage audiences, across the country and in every province and territory, to connect, listen,and learn about their issues and priorities.

Forum 2016 - Vancouver, BC

Forum 2016 chart
[Text version of Forum 2016 chart]

This year, CCOHS hosted a two-day tripartite, national event, Forum 2016: The Changing World of Work, that brought a wide spectrum of experts, employers, workers, labour and government representatives together in Vancouver, British Columbia, to learn about emerging issues, share best practices, and brainstorm solutions.

The Forum featured expert speakers, panel discussions, interactive events, and a showcase of innovation and best practices. The event offered participants a unique opportunity to explore and understand the health and safety challenges emerging from changes in society, technologies, and organizations of work. The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour delivered opening remarks.

One of the goals of the Forum was to achieve a balance in delegates from both tripartite and geographical perspectives. This year’s event had 146 delegates from eleven provinces and territories, with fairly balanced tripartite representation from labour (28.8%), employers (31.5%), governments (36.3%) as well as students (3.4%).

A survey of the attendees revealed that 95% found value in the forum and 93% would attend a future event. Our focus will turn now to sharing the outcomes from the delegate interactive activities more widely, and planning how to address the top issues and concerns raised at the Forum.

The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Engaging With Our Community

Connecting with Canadians through social media is one of the many ways CCOHS helps to promote a comprehensive approach to workplace health and safety. Being able to actively engage with clients on a daily basis across many channels helps keep CCOHS top of mind as the go to resource for tools, information, and advice on creating a healthy workplace. We connect over five social media channels - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and You Tube – giving us the opportunity to foster an online community while sharing information more widely with the world.

Twitter: The world today thrives on instant communication from brands they trust. In 140 characters or less, CCOHS engages audiences on what’s happening in the world of workplace health and safety as well as at the Centre. We share developments, ideas, new legislation and more in real time. This year, CCOHS had 8,685 combined followers on their English and French Twitter handles, and produced 294 tweets resulting in 1,124 retweets from followers. This high level of engagement delivered an annual retweet audience of 3.4 million, reaching 14.5% more followers than this time last year.

3,415,516 retweet audience. 8,685 followers
7,613,516 likes. 335,324 reach

Facebook: CCOHS’ Facebook page is an easy way to share updates and insider information about the Centre with fans, and allows CCOHS to stay connected with workers across the world. The Facebook page gained 1,835 new fans this year, reaching a total of 7,613 likes across the English and French pages. Posting content 129 times, CCOHS reached 335,324 fans, with the average post reach being 128 clicks and 61 shares and/or comments. CCOHS’ fan base grew exponentially this year due in part by posting more frequently as well as sharing image based posts which garner more engagement from the fans. Also interesting to note, our most popular photo post shared of the Day of Mourning on April 28, 2015, generated a reach of 48,736, well beyond the average reach of 2,599 per CCOHS post.

LinkedIn: Networking with working professionals, the business community and other organizations interested in workplace health and safety information and resources, CCOHS added 1,638 new LinkedIn followers this year (43% growth), for a total of 5,456 followers across both its English and French LinkedIn pages.

5,456 followers. 43% growth
21,232 views on YouTube

YouTube: The Centre uses YouTube to share and distribute videos produced by CCOHS as well as to host videos for the Youth Video Contest. CCOHS has produced eleven videos, the most popular of which is the Lifting Objects at Work. The videos were viewed 20,070 times this year (up 14% from last year). Moving forward, CCOHS plans to produce a series of 30 second videos with concise, key messages to support social marketing campaigns on current issues.

Google+: CCOHS increased usage of Google+ this year, actively sharing CCOHS related images, resources, tools and news to its followers. This year, CCOHS’ English and French pages had 52,051 new views and 89 new followers.

112,344 views on Google Plus

Klout Score: CCOHS actively monitors its Klout Score to track overall influence and performance across social media channels over time. A Klout Score ranges from 1 to 100, and the higher the number, the more influential a person or organization is – specifically, its ability to drive action and engagement by creating content that people want to share and respond to. Specifically, Klout uses 400 signals from eight different networks that take into account the audience reach, amplification probability, and network impact to determine the total sphere of influence..

In the News


CCOHS continues to be a “go to” resource for trustworthy health and safety content, perspective, advice, and guidance. With our active media program, subject specialists provide advice and interviews to satisfy media requests. We maintain a high profile with regular media releases and by seeding editorial content with media outlets. This year the Centre recorded 576 media sightings* (up 26.5% from last year).

26.5% growth of media sightings from last year

These various media mentions represented an estimated reach in excess of 203,022,077 (95% growth) impressions in national and international news outlets such as the National Post,, The Weather Network, Globe and Mail, PLANT Magazine, COS Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, 680 News, Edmonton Journal, Toronto Star, Huffington Post Canada, CBC Radio, the Ottawa Citizen, and the New York Post to name a few.

95% growth of media impressions from last year


estimated reach

* A media sighting is when a CCOHS subject specialist was quoted, the Centre was referenced as an information source, or when our online fact sheets, articles or media releases were repurposed by other publications.

Reaching Out

Exhibiting and Speaking Engagements

Attending conferences as exhibitors and presenters are one of the many ways in which CCOHS works to create awareness about current issues and the work we do, while establishing credibility with new and existing clientele.

This year, CCOHS attended, exhibited, or presented at events that supported employer, labour, governmental groups and Indigenous Peoples. CCOHS’ strategic plan’s sector-specific focus helped us forge new relationships and potential partnerships from our exhibits and presentations at mining, construction, oil and gas, healthcare and public health events. This year, CCOHS participated in 45 conferences and events, as well as accepted 37 speaking engagements, achieving a total conference reach of 33,271, an 11% increase over the previous year.

CCOHS Exhibits and Conferences chart
[Text version of CCOHS Exhibits and Conferences chart]
Additional Exhibits chart
[Text version of CCOHS Exhibits and Conferences By Sectors chart]

Next year, we will continue to serve and increase our presence in every province and territory in Canada. We will speak or exhibit across the country to extend our regional and professional reach by participating in industry-specific events focusing on mining, construction, oil and gas, healthcare, public health, and Indigenous populations.

Educating Workers

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 and preventing injuries, 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.

e-Learning and Publications


Preventing injuries and illness caused by work must be a priority for everyone in the workplace. An important part of prevention is equipping workers with basic knowledge of their roles and responsibilities and ensuring they understand and have the ability to identify hazards and perform their job safely. Educating employees is a critical step in injury prevention and key to the future success of any organization. CCOHS endeavors to make health and safety education affordable, and easy and convenient to access, with its extensive program of 106 online courses (e-courses) on a wide range of relevant topics.

CCOHS courses are created 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. To help promote basic awareness of important health and safety issues such as workplace violence and mental health, CCOHS offers free awareness e-courses. These courses provide users with an introduction to the issue at hand and also to CCOHS’ online learning platform. In total, uptake of e-courses totalled almost 190,000 seats. There were 95,214 accesses to the free courses this year and 94,439 seats were purchased, with the WHMIS 2015 e-course proving to be, by far, the most popular title.


seats accessed

Most Popular Course

WHMIS 2015 for Workers


Whether workers are sitting at a desk or working remotely, there are times when they need access to information at their fingertips. But for those who need more information than what’s offered on a fact sheet, or who don’t have access to technology while out in the field, CCOHS has a collection of publications and other documents in easy to read print and electronic formats. The collection of 30 publications provides information that is practical, authoritative and balanced. These popular health and safety guides inform people of workplace hazards to reduce risk and help prevent injury, and are designed for use on-the-job as reference tools and information sources. CCOHS is exploring alternative, mobile delivery formats to meet the changing needs and expectations of workers. This year, 6,605 publications were purchased.



CCOHS developed a comprehensive WHMIS 2015 Instructor’s Toolkit for trainers to use while educating others about WHMIS 2015. The toolkit, comprised of an instructor’s guide, participants’ guide and PowerPoint slides, was developed last year and released in the spring of 2015. To date, 383 toolkits and 836 participant workbooks have been purchased, for a total of 1,219 copies.

WHMIS 2015

Partnering for Success

CCOHS has a legacy of collaborating with Canadian and international partners alike to advance the health and safety of workers and promote the integration of employee health and well-being into the workplace culture. Partnerships allow CCOHS to provide Canadians with the best information from both Canadian and international sources as well as share its own knowledge, expertise, and perspective with the world.

We’re stronger together. By collaborating with others we benefit from the knowledge, experience, expertise and perspectives they have to offer, which enables us to develop better solutions. Projects with leading 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. Working with international partners as a Collaborating Centre of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and with the European Union, CCOHS has shared its knowledge, expertise, and Canadian perspective with the world and helped to advance health and safety in the workplace on a global level. These partnerships have also enabled CCOHS to provide Canadians with the best information from international sources.

Leveraging Technology Website

With information about WHMIS spread across various government websites, it was clear that a one-stop-shop was needed to help employers and workers in Canada navigate the complexities of adopting WHMIS 2015. Last year, CCOHS launched, a national website that provides a single point of access to the most current information about WHMIS 2015 from all of the jurisdictions across Canada. Containing helpful tools and resources for workers, employers, suppliers and trainers, the website was a collaboration between CCOHS and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada, as well as each of the federal, provincial and territorial occupational health and safety regulatory jurisdictions across Canada. This year, the website had almost 70,000 sessions, 78% of which were from Canada. The top three provinces accessing the site were Ontario (48%), Alberta (15%), and Quebec (10%).

As of April 2016, the following six jurisdictions: British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Quebec, had implemented WHMIS 2015. The remaining jurisdictions are at different stages in their legislative process.



New Brunswick Web Tool/App

In the previous year, CCOHS and WorkSafeNB partnered to create the New Brunswick Web Tool/App, a bilingual microsite and mobile app to help employers in the construction industry find regulatory requirements in one easy to find spot. The microsite, 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. The microsite was released in the spring of 2015. In February 2016 an additional 9 topics were added and it was launched as stand-alone iOS and Android apps. In this first partial year, and combining the web and app data, there were 11,024 users viewing 41,172 pages/screens.

Through this opportunity, CCOHS is working with Ontario, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories to develop comparable applications in those jurisdictions. Work is expected to start in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) PainPoint App

While a professional ergonomic assessment is considered the most effective way to address work-related discomfort, there’s also an app for that! CCOHS collaborated with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to develop PainPoint – Prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) at Work, a free app that helps users take action at preventing injuries. The app delivers a very basic ergonomic assessment by running users through a series of diagrams and questions to pinpoint musculoskeletal pain, identify possible sources, and discover practical solutions. The results are depicted on a body map, with recommendations to address work-related musculoskeletal hazards that could be a contributing factor to the users’ discomfort. PainPoint was released in October 2015 and is available for use on iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices.

WorkSafe Saskatchewan “Five Pillars” Health and Safety Web Tool

CCOHS and WorkSafe Saskatchewan partnered this year to create an online portal to act as a plain-language guide to the “Five Pillars” of a sound health and safety program: job hazard analysis, inspections, investigations, practices and procedures, and training. Each of these pillars will have a summary document, and links to legislation, education, training, and other resources such as form and fact sheets. The web tool is under development, and is set to launch in the Fall of 2016.

Preparing for Change

Health Canada and WHMIS 2015 Promotional Campaign

CCOHS and Health Canada partnered to develop free resource materials to prepare, inform and support workplaces during the transition to WHMIS 2015, and equip employers and employees with the necessary information needed to work safely. A two-tiered campaign to promote these important free resources was deployed in November 2015, and was targeted to small business owners. A second tier is currently scheduled for July 2016 targeting chemical suppliers and handlers.

The small business campaign leveraged a combination of CCOHS communication channels (newsletters and social media) and external business-focused properties including coverage in The Canadian Business Journal, and content placement in newsletters in Canadian Chambers of Commerce, with a nation-wide reach of over 70,000 members, across 20,000 businesses in more than 135 communities.

Free WHMIS 2015 For Workers e-Course

To help educate workers about the upcoming changes to WHMIS 2015, CCOHS partnered with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada in 2014 to develop a free e-course: WHMIS After GHS For Workers.

The course was funded by Health Canada and was offered free of charge to the first 100,000 participants, for up to one year. With the anticipation of the Hazardous Products Regulation coming into force in February 2015, there was an increased interest in the course. As a result, CCOHS and Health Canada extended the free offer until March 31, 2016.

In addition to the free course, organizations that wanted to track their employees’ course usage paid $10 per seat to access the e-course, and had the capability of running usage reports on CCOHS’ Learning Management System.

Since the launch in 2015, 207,000 people have registered for this course. This year, a total of 173,582 individuals had registered for the free e-course, and 23,623 multiaccount user courses were sold. The top three provinces accessing the e-courses were Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.


individual registrants


multi-user account seats sold

Addressing Current Issues

Government of Canada Mental Health Social Marketing Campaign

In 2015, CCOHS applied for national web advertising fund monies, which are allotted to federal government departments seeking to deliver national campaigns that support government-wide initiatives. CCOHS was accepted as a co-advertiser and worked with the Government of Canada to deliver the Workplace Mental Health Campaign 2015.

CCOHS worked in partnership with the Advertising Communications and Partnerships Directorate (ACPD) to co-brand these paid social placements with both CCOHS and Government of Canada wordmarks. This advertising partnership demonstrated commitment and partnership to help increase awareness and help reduce workplace and community stigma regarding attitudes and behaviours toward people living and working with mental health issues..

A screenshot from CCOHS page on Facebook titled Talk about Mental Health

The campaign provided a prime opportunity to inform workplaces of the tools available from CCOHS to help increase their understanding and recognition of mental health issues at work, develop and implement approaches to promote mental health at work, and find quality resources and tools on a range of related topics.

The campaign leveraged a media mix of search engine marketing (Google AdWords) and promoted social content on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The campaign launched July 15, 2016 and was embargoed as of August 2, 2015 as a result of the Federal election. During the two weeks of the campaign, daily traffic to the Healthy Minds at Work portal increased tenfold.

Next year, CCOHS hopes to continue the promotion of workplace mental health with a social media campaign during Mental Health Week and beyond.

Guarding Minds at Work

Mental health disorders place a heavy burden on the health and productivity in workplaces across Canada. The Guarding Minds @ Work website is a unique and free comprehensive set of resources from the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction, designed to protect and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace. It allows employers to assess and address the 13 psychosocial factors known to have a powerful impact on organizational health, the health of individual employees, and the financial bottom line.

Guarding Minds @ Work was developed by experienced research-practitioners from the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction, funded by Great-West Life, and is operationally supported and maintained by CCOHS.

This year, the Guarding Minds @ Work website was updated to provide clearer language, improved functionality, and greater consistency with current and emerging regulatory and legal standards and practices pertaining to workplace psychological health and safety. In addition, five new questions were added to the Guarding Minds @ Work Survey.

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. This year, four new courses were released.

CIHR Gender, Work and Health Chair Program

CCOHS is the official Knowledge Translation (KT) Partner of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) - Gender, Work and Health Chair Research Program, responsible for advancing the program’s objective of translating research into gender- and sex-sensitive policies, practices, commercialization and other areas of impact that can preserve and improve the health of workers in Canada. In February 2016 CCOHS developed a prototype for a Gender, Work and Health microsite that is expected to go live in the fall of 2016. The site will serve as a single access point to the latest informational materials, policies, tools and research related to addressing gender in workplace health and safety.

Gender graph description

National Stage

Focus on Safety [National Youth Video Contest]

Youth Video Contest 2016: Focus on Safety

Instilling a culture of safety has to start at a young age, and who better to deliver important messages to youth than youth? CCOHS, along with each province and territory, challenged high school students across the country to use their creativity to produce an original video that illustrates the importance of workplace health and safety. The Focus on Safety National Youth Video Contest (formerly It’s Your Job Video Contest) gave contestants and their schools a chance to win cash prizes, provincial/ territorial and national recognition, and national entrants were also eligible to win the Fan Favourite award. This year, Shirley Hickman, Executive Director of Threads of Life, returned as a contest judge and joining her on the panel were Gareth Jones, Acting PCEO of CCOHS, and Jim Hopkins, President of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE). The calibre of the content and creativity of the video was impressive and CCOHS was determined to ensure they were viewed by as many people as possible. To that end, CCOHS developed and promoted a Film Fest kit to other organizations to encourage video watch events across the country during NAOSH Week.

North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week

Every year, for one week, health and safety takes centre stage as people across the continent come together and resolve to make safety a habit. North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week is an annual initiative led by a partnership of key national organizations: CCOHS, the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), Employment and Social Development Canada’s Labour Program, and Threads of Life. 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 week and related events. CCOHS attended and spoke at the 2015 NAOSH Week’s national launch event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Other Projects and Partnerships

Canada School of Public Service

In 2014, CCOHS and the Canada School of Public Service partnered to provide online health and safety training courses to federal public servants. The partnership provided federal public servants listed under Schedules 1, IV or V of the Financial Administration Act in Canada with access to a wide variety of credible and relevant online health and safety courses. The partnership is ongoing with the courses offered by CCOHS added to the School’s existing suite of online products. They are a cost-effective way to meet the health and safety training needs of organizations and federal employees.

CSA Group Standards

CCOHS and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) have had a long standing relationship, partnering on a number of initiatives over the years. CCOHS began offering CSA Group Standards in 2014, and to date, over 180 CSA Group Standards have been purchased through the CCOHS website (20% increase over last year). This year, twelve new bilingual standards were added to keep the collection current and relevant for users.

CAREX Canada

CAREX Canada is the country’s leading source of evidence on Canadians’ exposures to workplace and environmental carcinogens, to support the effort to raise awareness of radon exposure. This year, CCOHS was invited to be a part of the organization’s CAREX Canada Knowledge Translation Advisory Committee. Comprised of members from across the country, the Committee helps guide their knowledge translation strategy and supports CAREX’ efforts to put their resources and tools into action for cancer prevention in Canada. Last fall, CCOHS collaborated with CAREX on an article about radon safety, and will continue to provide opportunities to share findings and advice from CAREX that can prevent work-related cancers.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada

To help the Transportation Safety Board of Canada improve their workplace health and safety programs, CCOHS helped them develop a Respiratory Protection Program and Confined Space Entry Program in 2014-15. This year, the project was completed and CCOHS will continue to develop health and a safety programs for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada next year.

Managing Health and Safety

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

Tools for Managing Workplace Health and Safety

CANWrite™ – (M)SDS Authoring Software

In Canada, manufacturers and suppliers must provide (material) safety data sheets with information to help employers and workers understand product hazards as well as how to work safely with them. CCOHS offers an online authoring tool, CANWrite™ which allows suppliers and manufacturers of chemical products to author (material) safety data sheets in English, French, and Spanish. In August 2015, CCOHS implemented changes to the service which allowed authors to write a single safety data sheet to comply with the Canadian Hazardous Products Act Regulations (WHMIS 2015) and the U.S. Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012). CCOHS saw a 110% increase in clients from last year, and 63% of clients upgraded to this new version.

Also new this year, to assist small businesses author WHMIS 2015 compliant safety data sheets, CCOHS developed a free, downloadable template that provides the minimum information elements for a safety data sheet as required by Schedule 1 of the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) (WHMIS 2015). The template is available in both standard and accessible formats in English and French.

MSDS Management Service

While authoring safety data sheets can be a challenge for some workplaces, managing the thousands of hazardous chemicals used in workplaces every day can certainly add to those challenges. CCOHS’ MSDS Management Service (MMS) is an online service that puts safety data sheets in one convenient location for users, and provides support and assistance to employers, helping ensure they comply with the legislation in their jurisdiction.

This year, upgrades were added to the service to enhance the user experience and to help support organizations as they transitioned to WHMIS 2015. Amongst the many upgrades made to the service, the most notable ones included: adding the option of batch printing to allow clients to print out their own data sheets; access to historical archives of product’s material safety data sheets; and a “Date Checked by CCOHS” notice was added to the service to show when CCOHS has verified that it is the newest one available. Further enhancements planned for next year include developing an advanced labelling tool, as well as enabling clients to toggle between the WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 versions of their data sheets.

The MMS service gained 30 new clients this year (a 7% increase from last year) bringing the total number of clients up to 170 across Canada. Next year, CCOHS plans to increase the reach of the MMS service by building new partnerships with sector-specific associations across Canada.

Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards Service

Navigating Canadian occupational health and safety legislation across jurisdictions can be tricky. To help make it easier for organizations and workers to access legislation and referenced standards to identify and understand their rights and responsibilities under the law, CCOHS offers an online service called the Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards. This year, CCOHS’ Legislation Innovation Team focused its efforts on identifying ways to strengthen and grow the service. To enhance the user experience, updates will be made next year to improve the search functionality of the tool, create custom webpages to allow clients to see their favourite documents, and introduce a variable subscription period to expand the market. CCOHS will also begin work next year on utilizing the service to develop new products such as legislative interpretative content and topic-based content. Currently the service has 315 clients.


To help workers migrate the complexities of workplace chemicals, CCOHS experts developed CHEMINFO – an internationally recognized resource containing critical safety information for over 1,800 workplace chemicals. The database provides essential health and safety information about chemicals to control workplace exposures and prevent accidents, and includes scientifically supported WHMIS 1988 regulatory classifications. In addition, there are two CHEMINFO spin-offs: Chemical Profiles (listed under the OSH Answers Fact Sheets) and the WHMIS 1988 Classification Database which is offered as a public service. CHEMINFO clients viewed over 67,582 records online this year.


records viewed

Investing for Tomorrow

To provide the level of service our clients deserve, CCOHS is working to replace outdated software and systems with more modern, effective technological solutions. This modernization also extended to the government pay system, which is expected to improve efficiencies. Last year, the Centre began its adoption of Acumatica, a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system which allows CCOHS to integrate business management applications such as financials, customer relationship management (CRM), and client purchase management made online, into one program. Integrating this type of system at CCOHS will result in significant improvements in the Centre’s ability to deliver fast and effective support for clients. In addition it will allow CCOHS to collect more comprehensive information about users and purchases for use in strategic planning. The new CRM phase of the project was launched on March 10, 2016. The last phase of the project, implementing the financial management through the ERP, is targeted to launch in April 2016.

Our Values in Action

Working people spend a good part of their life at work. It only stands to reason then that organizations can play a key role in impacting the health and well-being of their employees. From providing a safe and healthy physical work environment to supporting healthy lifestyles, encouraging personal development, and promoting active participation to help improve health and well-being at work, everyone can benefit from a healthy workplace. As Canada’s national workplace health and safety resource, CCOHS strives to “walk the talk” by providing an engaging, productive work environment that is not only healthy and safe, but in which all can thrive.

Employee Engagement

Fostering employee engagement is important at CCOHS. A few years ago, CCOHS introduced bi-monthly Town Hall meetings as a way for employees to interact with the executive team, ask questions, share ideas, and discuss the things that matter to them the most and to help invoke positive changes to the organization.

Mental Health at CCOHS

A mentally healthy workplace is important to CCOHS, and we strive to provide an environment in which people feel protected from psychological harm. This year, CCOHS continued to participate in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace’ Case Study Project and encouraged employees to complete PHASE (Psychological Health Awareness Survey for Employees) an online survey used to gather feedback on CCOHS’ organizational efforts to create a mentally healthy workplace. While the survey was hosted in the later part of the fiscal year, the Mental Health @ Work Team will be hosting small, informal discussion groups about the survey’s outcomes with all staff in the spring of 2016.

CCOHS’ Healthy Workplace

CCOHS’ Healthy Workplace Team is comprised of employees and managers, and organizes regular activities to help promote healthy habits, team building, community involvement, and encourages positive engagement among the staff. From hosting healthy workplace challenges, volunteer days and lunchtime yoga sessions, the team strives to support and promote active participation by all to help improve health and well-being at work.

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, 2016, 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, 2016 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, 2016, 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:

Gareth Jones
Acting President and Chief Executive Officer
Frank Leduc, CPA, CMA
Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Hamilton, Canada
July 20, 2016

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 2016, 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

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, 2016, and the results of its operations, changes in its net debt, and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP
Chartered Accountants,
Licensed Public Accountants

Ottawa, Canada
June 23, 2016

Statement of Financial Position

For the year March 31 (in dollars)
  2016 2015
  $ $
Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities (Note 8)
748,980 721,631
Deferred Revenues – Web Based Subscriptions
1,201,282 1,322,039
Vacation Pay and Compensated Leave
483,926 454,382
Employee Severance Benefits (Note 10)
975,488 1,063,934
Deferred Revenues – Donations (Note 9)
113,152 110,902
Total Liabilities 3,522,828 3,672,888
Financial assets:
Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
733,007 801,431
Accounts Perceivable (Note 7)
513,051 449,315
Total Financial assets 1,246,058 1,250,746
Net Debt (Note 3) (2,276,770) (2,422,142)
Non-financial Assets:
Inventory for Resale
48,447 36,553
Tangible Capital Assets (Note 6)
476,925 316,950
Total non-financial assets: 525,372 353,503
Net Financial Position (1,751,398) (2,068,639)

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

Approved by:

Gareth Jones
Acting President and Chief Executive Officer
Frank Leduc, CPA, CMA
Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position

For the year ended March 31 (in dollars)
  2016 2015
  $ $
Salaries and employee benefits
7,667,449 7,460,000
Professional and special services
1,376,874 870,188
676,937 676,937
Transportation and communications
225,962 181,362
Purchased repair and upkeep
129,883 88,476
Utilities, materials and supplies
87,837 142,886
81,678 71,589
51,950 27,869
10,298,570 9,519,307
Salaries and employee benefits
453,800 490,978
Governors and committees
10,185 4,036
37,439 29,911
Professional and special services
50,106 4,347
Utilities, materials and supplies
551,530 530,005
Other expenses
Amortization of tangible capital assets
61,151 33,646
61,151 33,646
Total expenses
10,911,251 10,082,958
Revenues (Note 5)
Proceeds from sales
3,755,237 3,280,865
Projects and collaborative agreements
1,751,861 1,125,860
Total revenues
5,507,098 4,406,726
Net cost of operations before government funding
(5,404,153) (5,676,234)
Government Funding
Net cash provided by government
4,557,863 4,547,983
Change in due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
(68,424) 364,788
Services provided without charge from other government departments (note 11)
1,236,722 1,197,545
Transfer of transition payments for implementing salary payments in arrears (Note 13)
(4,767) (239,966)
Net surplus (cost) of operations after government funding
317,241 194,116
Net Financial Position at Beginning of Year
(2,068,639) (2,262,755)
Net Financial Position at End of Year
(1,751,398) (2,068,639)

Statement of Change in Net Debt

For the year ended March 31
  2016 2015
  $ $
Net Surplus of Operations after Government Funding 317,241 194,116
Changes due to Tangible Capital Assets
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets (221,126) (236,158)
Amortization of tangible capital assets 61,151 33,646
Total Change Due to Tangible Capital Assets (159,975) (202,512)
Increase in inventory (11,894) (6,570)
Net decrease (increase) in net debt 145,372 (14,966)
Net debt, at Beginning of Year (2,422,142) (2,407,176)
Net debt, at End of Year (2,276,770) (2,422,142)

Statement of Cash Flow

For the year ended March 31 (in dollars)
  2016 2015
  $ $
Operating Activities
Net cost of operations before government funding
5,404,153 5,676,234
Non-cash items:
Amortization of tangible capital assets (Note 6)
(61,151) (33,646)
Services received without charge from other government departments (Note 11)
(1,236,722) (1,197,545)
Transition Payments for implementing salary payments in arrears (Note 13) 4,767 239,966
Variations in Statement of Financial Position:
Increase in accounts payable & accrued liabilities
(27,349) (387,158)
Decrease (Increase) in deferred revenue
120,757 (130,800)
Increase in vacation pay and compensatory leave
(29,544) (12,249)
Decrease in employee severance benefits
88,446 80,286
Increase in deferred revenues - donations
(2,250) -
Increase in accounts receivable
63,736 70,167
Increase in inventory for resale
11,894 6,570
Cash used in operating activities 4,336,737 4,311,825
Capital investing activities
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets
221,126 236,158
Net cash provided by Government of Canada 4,557,863 4,547,983

Notes to the Financial Statements

For the year ended March 31, 2016 (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 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. 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 and the employer's contribution to the health and dental insurance plans 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. Therefore no amount has been recorded in the financial statements.
      • 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 received donations in 2016 totaling $2,250 (2015- $Nil). The balance at March 31, 2016 is $113,152 (2015 - $110,902).
  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 2016 expense amounts to $720,856 (2015 - $719,776), which represents approximately 1.4 (2015- 1.4) 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.
          2016 2015
          $ $
        Accrued benefit obligation, beginning of year 1,063,934 1,144,220
        Expense for the year 51,627 89,831
        Benefits paid during the year (140,073) (170,117)
        Accrued benefit obligation, end of year 975,488 1,063,934
  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 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:
        Internal Services Health and Safety 2016 2015
        $ $ $ $
      Salaries and employee benefits 2,866,564 5,254,685 8,121,249 7,950,978
      Professional and Special Services 233,368 1,203,797 1,437,165 878,571
      Accommodation 219,769 457,168 676,937 676,937
      Transportation and communications 150,886 112,515 263,401 211,275
      Information 38,403 43,275 81,678 71,590
      Purchased repair and upkeep 39,336 90,547 129,883 88,476
      Utilities, materials and supplies 25,813 73,918 99,731 149,983
      Rental 33,769 18,181 51,950 28,074
      Other expenditures - 49,257 49,257 27,076
      Total Expenses 3,607,908 7,303,343 10,911,251 10,082,960
      Revenues - - 5,507,098 4,406,726
      Cost from continuing operations     5,404,153 5,676,234
  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.
  14. Comparative Figures

    • Certain comparative figures have been reclassified to conform with the presentation adopted in the current year.