As the Chair of the Council of Governors of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), and newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, we are pleased to report on the key initiatives, impact, and work of the Centre.
The overall focus and strategy for 2017-2018 fiscal year was to be at the forefront of health and safety and, through collaboration and partnerships, continue growth, impact and geographic coverage of CCOHS, increase uptake of the resources and services of the Centre, and demonstrate leadership in addressing current and emerging issues to create healthier and safer workplaces in Canada. On the whole, we met our goals and often exceeded them.
Creating psychologically healthy workplaces and prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace remain important current issues facing Canadian workplaces. CCOHS set out to help workplaces move from awareness to action by partnering with several jurisdictions on a practical mental health workshop. To increase the impact and geographical coverage, we plan to offer these workshops in more regions across Canada in the upcoming year. CCOHS also partnered with the Government of Canada on a national social media campaign to promote positive action around workplace mental health and violence and harassment. More than five million people in Canada were reached by the campaign, and resulted in 90,000 visits to CCOHS’ violence and harassment resource page. We look forward to assisting stakeholders to better understand and respond effectively to anticipated federal workplace sexual harassment and violence legislation.
CCOHS continued to respond to emerging workplace issues such as the impacts of impairment in the workplace. Our efforts to stay at the forefront of the impairment issue included an updated white paper on cannabis and impairment, as well as podcasts, e-courses, speaking engagements, and media interviews with national and industry publications. We will continue to provide practical advice and guidance to help workplaces navigate the issue of impairment with appropriate policies and programs.
CCOHS lead the efforts to make compliance and enforcement legislation and regulations understandable and implementable for employers and employees in a complex regulatory environment. Health and safety laws are not the same in every province and territory which can pose a barrier for both Canadian and international enterprises. CCOHS conducted legislative scans across all jurisdictions and provided technical analysis with recommendations on potential opportunities to harmonize, encouraging and building compliance, and helping Canadian jurisdictions work together effectively. This project in ongoing and will continue in the years to come.
In aligning our outputs and efforts to strategy, we remained engaged in activities in the identified high risk sectors of construction, transportation, mining, and healthcare. CCOHS developed customized web and mobile apps, and web portals that make information and guidance related to occupational health and safety legislation readily available and accessible. We also leveraged previous work (for example, construction apps), and expanded existing services across jurisdictions. CCOHS made inroads in establishing a presence in the healthcare sector (identified by all jurisdictions as being a concern) to build new relationships and find new opportunities to support.
Over the year we welcomed many new appointments to the Council: Trevor Alexander (British Columbia), Jamie Hall (Manitoba), Luanne Gallant (Prince Edward Island), Tara Peel (Canadian Labour Congress), Nina Mankovitz (Employers) and Chad Bradley (Employers). Appointments also included returning governors Sophie Dennis (Ontario), Shelly Dauphine (New Brunswick), Shelley Rowan (Nova Scotia), Dave Grundy, (Northwest Territories), Sari Sairanen (Unifor), and Denis St-Jean (Public Service Alliance of Canada). Council is revitalized by the energy and experience they each bring and we look forward to the positive change we will create, and the value we will deliver to all of our stakeholders.
We would also like to thank the outgoing Council members: Andrea Nalyzyty (Canadian Bankers Association), Leslie Galway (Newfoundland and Labrador), Kimberley Henney (Yukon), and Phil Germain (Saskatchewan). We appreciate their service and unique contributions to CCOHS and wish them well.
CCOHS connects Canada with the international stage, increasing our visibility and credibility, providing global leadership, and ensuring Canada benefits from good practices around the world. As the demographics of our workforce evolve and the nature of work changes, so too will the occupational health and safety issues that the Canadian workforce is facing. CCOHS will continue to respond; evolving, collaborating and building partnerships to meet the challenges ahead and to champion a holistic, comprehensive approach to safety, health and well-being of all employees in workplaces in Canada.
Finally, we would like to thank the Council and the CCOHS team for their efforts and valued contributions in helping CCOHS advance its mandate and increase its impact and most importantly, making Canadian workplaces safer.
Gary Robertson, Chair of the Council of Governors
Anne Tennier, President and CEO