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Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

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CCOHS ANNUAL REPORT

April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019

Council of Governors

  • Executive Board

    • Anne Tennier (Chair)
    • Gary Robertson
    • Troy Winters
    • Shelley Rowan
    • Denis St. Jean
    • Sari Sairanen
    • Nina Mankovitz
    • Sophie Dennis
  • Audit/Risk Committee

    • Troy Winters (Chair)
    • Joseph Bajzath
    • Tara Peel
    • Sari Sairanen
    • Jamie Hall
  • Human Resource and Governance Committee

    • Shelley Rowan (Chair)
    • Joseph Bajzath
    • Sari Sairanen
    • Denis St Jean
    • Shelly Dauphinee
    • Luanne Gallant
  • Chair

    • Gary Robertson
  • Employer

    • John Beckett Federally Regulated Employers*
    • Joseph Bajzath
    • Nina Mankovitz Employer Representative
    • Chad Bradley (Deceased during term) Employer Representative
  • Labour

    • Sari Sairanen Unifor
    • Troy Winters Canadian Union of Public Employees
    • Tara Peel Canadian Labour Congress
    • Denis St-Jean Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Provincial and Territorial

    • Trevor Alexander British Columbia*
    • Ross Nairne Alberta
    • Phil Germain Saskatchewan
    • Jamie Hall Manitoba
    • Sophie Dennis Ontario
    • Shelly Dauphinee New Brunswick
    • Shelley Rowan Nova Scotia
    • Luanne Gallant PEI
    • Dave Grundy Northwest Territories*

*Term expired

Message from the Council Chair and President

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of CCOHS serving as a source of reliable information, guidance, and tools to create safe and healthy workplaces in Canada. The world and work have changed greatly over the past four decades and CCOHS has evolved right along with them to remain relevant and responsive.

We were pleased in 2018 to launch our new strategic plan that will set the course for and establish the key priorities that will inform and shape the work of CCOHS over the next five years. We will continue to develop national leadership on emerging issues and focus on priority sectors such healthcare, construction, agriculture and fishery, and Indigenous enterprises, as well as further develop our capacity as a national repository of health and safety information, research and statistics.

As we look back on the work of CCOHS this past year, we can see how the organization, through partnerships and collaborations, addressed current workplace concerns such as workplace mental health, impairment, harassment and violence, occupational disease, and harmonization of safety legislation in Canada.

Mental health remains at the forefront of our work. In partnership with Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, CCOHS helped develop the Psychologically Safe Leader Assessment to help workplace leaders evaluate their strengths related to psychological health and safety. We also began work on a project with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to develop two mental health tools: one for healthcare organizations to assess and promote workplace psychological health and safety, and another to address the specific needs of the paramedic services community that will also help them implement the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Paramedic Service Organization. These will be launched early in the upcoming year.

CCOHS continued efforts to address workplace harassment and violence, once again partnering with the Government of Canada on a national social media campaign to promote civility and respect, and encourage employees to speak up when they witness or experience harassing or violent behaviours. The campaign reached more than three million people in Canada, and visits to CCOHS’ violence and harassment resource page doubled during the campaign period.

CCOHS forged new relationships with Indigenous communities, participating in several conferences and roundtables to discuss mental health, impairment in the workplace, and occupational health and safety as well exchange knowledge, and learn from their strategies and programs. We also leveraged previous work (for example, construction apps, portals and customized e-courses), and expanded existing services across several jurisdictions. As we say, we can’t do it alone and we are always better together.

Most importantly, this year CCOHS served more people than ever before: 8.5 million users accessed our online fact sheets; more than 8,000 people had their health and safety questions answered by our Safety Infoline; and in e-course enrolments, CCOHS saw more than 50% increase (over 300,000). CCOHS delivered prevention messages at a record number of workshops, presentations and events and engaged approximately 31,000 people around the country in the process.

In March 2019 CCOHS welcomed 152 leaders and change makers from labour, employers and governments to our ever-popular forum, The Changing World of Work. We explored how the changing demographics, needs and nature of work will impact occupational health and safety issues that the Canadian workforce is facing.

During the year we had several changes to the Council of Governors. We welcomed new appointee Joseph Bajzath, representing employers, as well as returning governor Phil Germain of Saskatchewan. We also would like to thank the outgoing Council members for their commitment and service to CCOHS: John Beckett and Marcel Pouliot (employer groups), Dave Grundy (Northwest Territories) and Trevor Alexander (British Columbia). Sadly, we also lost our dear colleague and governor Chad Bradley who passed away in August, 2018. In the upcoming year we will commemorate Chad’s contributions to occupational health and safety by establishing a new annual student scholarship award in her name.

Finally, we would like to extend our appreciation to the Council of Governors for their invaluable support of, and guidance to, the organization as well as to the CCOHS staff whose contributions and commitment help create positive change to ultimately make Canada the safest country in which to work.

5 Year Strategic Plan

Arrival at the roadmap to not only sustain but grow CCOHS over the next five years involved a journey that explored the Centre’s mandate and what it means to promote the total well-being of workers in Canada, explored the ramifications of an ever-evolving workplace, and highlighted the importance of partnerships and collaboration.

As a result, three key strategic priorities emerged which will inform and shape the work of CCOHS over the coming years:

  • developing national leadership on emerging issues;
  • addressing priority sectors; and
  • building a national repository of current knowledge, standards, statistics, and other information tools for the betterment of workplaces in the country.
5 Year Strategic Plan - vision
[Text version of 5 Year Strategic Plan - vision]

Addressing Priority Sectors and Current Health and Safety Issues

As part of the strategic planning for the next five years, CCOHS identified key sectors on which to focus its efforts. These higher-risk priority sectors include healthcare, construction, agriculture and fishery, and Indigenous enterprises.

The work of the Centre also focused on current health and safety issues such as workplace mental health, impairment, harassment and violence, occupational disease, and harmonization of safety legislation in Canada.

Healthcare

Healthcare settings are particularly challenging environments due to their range of hazards. Potentially encountering a host of psychological, biological, physical, ergonomic and chemical risks on a regular basis, healthcare workers can be especially vulnerable to illnesses and injuries. This year CCOHS set out to engage with, and learn more about this priority sector in order to better understand and serve the community. CCOHS created tools and promoted good practices and awareness specifically for healthcare, focusing on two areas of concern: mental health and violence.

Connecting with the Community

In order to effectively serve the healthcare community, it is necessary for CCOHS to engage directly with stakeholders to understand their particular concerns and key priorities. The Centre connected with more than 4,200 healthcare workers in Canada through dialogue and presentations at many conferences and events including the Biennial Indigenous Health Conference; Canadian Nurses Association Biennial Convention; National Community Health Nurses Conference; Together We Care (Ontario, Long Term Care, and Retirement Communities); This is Long Term Care Conference; and the Ontario Public Health Convention. CCOHS is also a participant in the Alberta Health Services National Benchmarking Survey.

Caring for Healthcare Workers and Paramedics

From extended workdays to periods of intense trauma, to exposure to diseases and violent situations, healthcare and paramedic workers face many health and safety issues day in, and day out, within a challenging environment. With no assessment tools that specifically addressed the psychological stressors of healthcare and paramedic workers, the Mental Health Commission of Canada and CCOHS teamed up to build free online assessment tools to serve these sectors. The results allow organizations to determine the critical areas of strength and concern for follow-up action in order to improve the health and well-being of workers. The Caring for Healthcare Workers website went live in March 2019, and the paramedic version is scheduled for launch in May 2019. The paramedic version complements the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Paramedic Service Organization, released in May 2018, with sector-specific guidance for developing and maintaining a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.

Caregiver Safety Fast Fact Cards

Caregivers and healthcare workers who must lift patients as part of their jobs face an increased risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal problems. To help workers protect themselves and reduce the risk of injury for both the caregiver and the client when adopting manual lifting, CCOHS created a convenient checklist card that illustrates good practices and the proper ergonomic approach. These portable cards were distributed to thousands of people at conferences and events across Canada and made available on the CCOHS website.

Construction

Falls, occupational illness and diseases, “struck-by” hazards, heavy equipment operation hazards, and ergonomics are key causes of critical injuries and deaths of workers at construction sites.

Construction is a vital component of the Canadian economy, and its workforce size, diversity, and range of health and safety hazards are some of the key reasons why the industry has been identified as a priority for CCOHS. The 1.4 million people employed in construction* face risks from falls, strikes by moving vehicles, flying or falling objects, heavy equipment operations, not to mention ergonomic and psychological challenges in a changing industry that constantly applies new technologies to increasingly larger, complex projects. For the greatest reach and impact across Canada, CCOHS continues to work with provincial and territorial partners to offer practical health and safety solutions to their stakeholders.

Leveraging the knowledge gained from similar collaborations with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association, Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (Ontario), and the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) Northwest Territories and Nunavut, CCOHS welcomed a new project with the Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island (PEI) to develop a web tool and mobile app for regulatory compliance. With an initial focus on construction, the tool will serve as a one-stop access point for occupational health and safety legislation, consisting of clear language summaries of health and safety requirements under PEI legislation, links to the legislation itself, and links to resource documents and websites. The project began in the fall of 2018 with the launch of the website and app scheduled for summer 2019.

*Source: https://www.buildforce.ca/en/media/facts

Agriculture and Fishing

On average, there are more than 100 agricultural deaths per year in Canada, making it one of the most hazardous industries in which to work, according to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA). This year, CCOHS partnered with CASA to help spread awareness about farm safety.

As an official friend of Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, CCOHS shared safety tips, articles, podcasts, and online courses through social media to help support farm safety across the country. Under the campaign theme of Safe & Strong Farms, the week, held annually in March, aims to empower farmers, farm families, and farming communities to build, grow, and lead the agricultural industry in safety and sustainability.

CCOHS continues to identify ways to engage with agriculture and fishery stakeholders as the Centre dives deeper into its strategic plan over the next few years.

Indigenous Enterprises

Safe and healthy workplaces are an essential component of every community in Canada. For several years, CCOHS has made a commitment to develop relationships and partnerships with Indigenous communities throughout the country to understand their specific needs and challenges and exchange knowledge and learn from their strategies and programs. This year, CCOHS participated in several conferences and roundtables with Indigenous communities to discuss mental health, impairment in the workplace, and occupational health and safety. Specifically, the Centre attended the Nokiiwin Tribal Council Conference, the Biennial Indigenous Health Conference, the Saskatchewan First Nations Safety Association Conference, and the Nanaimo BC First Nations Safety Conference

CCOHS continues to identify and develop ways in which it can help reach and serve these communities with workplace safety-related resources and tools.

Workplace Mental Health

As part of a healthy workplace, employers are required to protect their workers and address all hazards, including hazards that can impact mental health and well-being. Promoting a workplace culture that balances work, life, safety, health, and wellness brings many rewards, including a more enjoyable and productive work environment, and happier, healthier employees who feel encouraged, supported and rewarded for their efforts.

To support organizations in developing mentally healthy workplaces, CCOHS added to its suite of resources with new fact sheets, e-courses, and fast fact cards.

CCOHS staff participated in 13 speaking opportunities (panel discussions, presentations, and short workshops) focused on workplace factors that influence mental health and well-being as well as how to implement the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Through these platforms, CCOHS connected people to practical resources to address workplace psychological health, safety, and stress.

The Centre also partnered with the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to develop free online workplace mental health tools for organizations to assess and improve the psychological health and safety in their workplaces.

Guarding Minds at Work: Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

In 2018, in partnership with Great-West Life, CCOHS rebuilt and updated the Guarding Minds at Work website. Users are guided through an eight-step process to conduct a thorough audit of their organization’s mental health, the results of which can help support the implementation of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. CCOHS continues to host Guarding Minds at Work and support users of the tool.

Psychologically Safe Leader Assessment Tool: Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace

The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace requires leaders to be competent to manage employees in a psychologically safe way. CCOHS collaborated with Great-West Life to rebuild and enhance the Psychologically Safe Leader Assessment tool, which allows individuals and organizations to identify and strengthen their psychological health and safety leadership strategies. The assessment tool launched in March 2019.

StressAssess: Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

To help workplaces identify and address psychosocial hazards that can lead to stress and mental injury, CCOHS collaborated with the Occupational Health Clinics of Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to develop and launch StressAssess. The online tool provides workplaces with an internationally recognized survey to anonymously and confidentially gather information about current work conditions and psychosocial hazards from the perspective of workers. Along with comparisons against validated national averages, StressAssess includes practical ideas for action to help workplaces address identified concerns. While the survey tool is meant to diagnose the workplace (not the worker), the website also includes a personal edition for individuals interested in measuring their own personal level and sources of stress. StressAssess launched in 2018, with a mobile app version currently under development.

Impairment

The legalization of the sale and use of recreational cannabis in Canada has brought concerns of the workplace impairment to the attention of employers. When workers are impaired on the job, regardless of the source, it can have serious consequences.

To help workplaces take steps to address potential impairment while respecting worker rights, CCOHS developed a social media campaign, participated in speaking engagements and media interviews, and ran workshops. This outreach was supported by free resources, including fact sheets, infographics, and podcasts, available from a new impairment topic page on the CCOHS website.

Workplace Strategies: Risk of Impairment from Cannabis

CCOHS released Workplace Strategies: Risk of Impairment from Cannabis in 2017 to help workplaces prepare for potential safety challenges and impacts from the Cannabis Act. The paper focused on the issue of impairment, offering tips, and guidance on how to create and implement an impairment policy. This past year, with help from the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the paper was updated to refer to general allowances under legalization, legal driving limits, and where jurisdiction-specific occupational health and safety legislation exists. Interest in the paper was strong this year, with 9,839 downloads.

Cannabis: Addressing Impairment in the Workplace Workshop

To help workplaces across Canada get ready for the impending legalization of recreational cannabis, CCOHS developed and led a practical half-day workshop in October 2018. The session provided participants with information on how to develop an effective workplace impairment policy that addresses any potential source of impairment.

Attendees left with a policy framework covering definitions, accommodation, reporting, and responding to suspected impairment. 76% of participants felt the content met their expectations, and 77% said they would be able to apply what they learned at their workplace. Overall, participants appreciated the positive learning environment and the potential to impact more than 650 workers in Canada.

Harassment and Violence

Workplace harassment and violence is a serious issue that affects all industry sectors and occupations and the safety and security of every employee and employer. According to Statistics Canada*, about 19% of women and 13% of men reported they had experienced harassment (verbal abuse, humiliating behaviour, threats to persons, physical violence, and unwanted sexual attention or sexual harassment) in their workplace in the past year.

This past year, the Government of Canada made a commitment to Canadians through Bill C-65 to help ensure federally-regulated workplaces are free from harassment and violence. In alignment with this priority, CCOHS promoted the prevention of workplace harassment and violence through social media campaigns that heightened awareness of this issue and directed users to related CCOHS resources. Overall, the campaign had over 3 million impressions (opportunities to be seen) and more than 31,000 post engagements (people liking, commenting, or clicking on a post or sharing a link).

*Source: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2018001/article/54982-eng.htm

Occupational Disease

According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), there were 592 occupational disease deaths in Canada versus 312 traumatic fatalities in 2016, and the rate is increasing in most jurisdictions. Occupational diseases (e.g., cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, and respiratory diseases) are caused by workers being exposed to chemical, biological, and physical agents in the workplace.

CCOHS collaborated with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to create Prevent Occupational Disease, a website that serves as an online repository of current and credible occupational disease resources from Canada and around the world. The website, aimed at reducing illness and fatalities associated with occupational sources, is intended to help employers, supervisors, safety and health practitioners, and workers increase their understanding of occupational diseases and how to prevent them. Prevent Occupational Disease, hosted and maintained by CCOHS, was launched in February 2019.

Harmonization

Health and safety laws are not the same in every province and territory, which can pose challenges for both Canadian and international organizations. Harmonization of safety legislation continues to be a focus at CCOHS. In the previous year, CCOHS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation Occupational Safety and Health Committee (CAALL-OSH) to work towards aligning legislation from the different jurisdictions where possible. CCOHS conducted legislative scans across all jurisdictions and provided technical analysis with recommendations on potential opportunities to harmonize. To date, all elements of the Memorandum of Understanding are complete, and a new scope of work is in development for next year.

In addition to occupational health and safety legislation across Canada, CCOHS’ strategic plan identified harmonization of standards and data as a goal over the next five years. CCOHS continues to work with the provinces and territories on facilitating an agreement on how to reach harmonization on regulatory topics.

Serving Canada to Improve the Lives of Workers

Having access to information is key to taking action, and CCOHS seeks to put as much as possible into the hands of employers, workers, and stakeholders across the country when it comes to the health, safety, and well-being of workplaces. Taking a balanced, tripartite approach, the Centre develops and shares a wide variety of tools and resources to prevent work-related illness and injury and to encourage a culture that respects, values, and protects workers.

CCOHS regularly adds to its library of information and services, in a variety of accessible formats, in both English and French, and makes them freely available, for the greatest reach and impact.

Answering Questions

The world of workplace health and safety can be challenging to navigate. CCOHS provides guidance to employees and employers across Canada through self-serve online fact sheets and a confidential one-on-one Safety InfoLine. With financial support from many of the provinces and territories, these services meet the need for those seeking credible information and answers to their questions.

OSH Answers Fact Sheets

The OSH Answers fact sheet collection, with thousands of questions and answers on 647 topics, continues to serve workplaces in Canada with reliable and credible information to improve worker health, safety, and well-being. The fact sheets are available at no charge from the CCOHS website and mobile app.

This year, CCOHS added 17 new fact sheets to the collection, including six new mental health topics: psychological health and safety hazards, active listening, job burnout, courageous conversations, addressing conflicts, and workplace stress. Other topics added to the collection covered nanotechnology, ladder safety, fall protection plans, injury reporting, reporting and responding to impairment, opioids (precautions for first responders), and hazard identification. As part of its efforts to continuously improve, CCOHS plans to publish 20 new topics and update existing ones in the upcoming year.

OSH Answers Fact sheets and app
[Text version of OSH Answers Fact sheets and app]

OSH Answers serves as the foundation for many CCOHS products, is widely cited by media and organizations, and is the Centre’s most widely used public service. Collectively, users made over 10.7 million visits to the fact sheets, up 12.6% over the previous year, with 25% of those visits originating within Canada.

The OSH Answers mobile app also proved to be a popular option, with 10,358 downloads this year, for a total of 30,691 downloads since its launch in 2016.

Safety InfoLine [person-to-person]

Safety InfoLine connects people seeking more in-depth information and direct support with CCOHS’ team of health and safety specialists via phone and e-mail. The confidential assistance provided by their guidance, research, and expertise helps people make informed decisions about specific health and safety issues in their workplaces.

Safety InfoLine charts - users of the service and users by province

Safety InfoLine Users of the Service
[Text version of Safety InfoLine Users of the Service]

This year, the Safety InfoLine service responded to 8,252 inquiries. The majority of users were employers (57%), followed by labour (26%), the general public (15%), and governments (2%). CCOHS surveys each user to gather feedback regarding the usefulness and quality of the service and for continuous improvement purposes. 85% of users were very satisfied with the information they received, while 66% said that their use of information obtained from CCOHS will lead to current or future workplace changes designed to improve health and safety.

Safety InfoLine Users by Jurisdiction
[Text version of Safety InfoLine Users by Jurisdiction]

Providing Access to Information

With nearly 90% of Canadians using the Internet, CCOHS makes the greatest impact by providing bilingual, credible, and accessible information through its online presence, anchored by its main website. This central hub provides convenient, anytime access to a full suite of CCOHS tools and resources to help positively affect health and safety in Canada.

CCOHS Website

The CCOHS website is the core vehicle used to deliver its products. From subscription to public services, the site is continuously updated with new content, resources, and tools in accessible formats.

The website was enhanced with new e-courses, infographics, podcasts, and OSH Answers fact sheets. Topic pages such as impairment were populated with additional tools created throughout the year, and new projects and apps developed in partnership with other organizations were also made available through the website.

This year, the website received over 12.2 million visits, from 9.2 million people, with 28% of site usage originating from within Canada. 78% of the visits were to the English website, and 22% were to the French language website.

CCOHS/CCHST Website highlights chart
[Text version of CCOHS Website's highlights]

Topic-specific Websites

The landscape of workplace health and safety is constantly changing, but the goal remains the same: to protect and promote the health, safety, and well-being of every worker. At certain times, attention will be needed on specific issues to meet the demand for information and resources from workplaces and the general public. CCOHS develops and maintains specialized websites for users to access current information on evolving topics such as mental health, healthy workplaces, and infectious disease outbreaks, and resources for higher-risk groups such as young and new workers. These websites were especially impactful during observances focused on mental health, healthy workplaces, and gender equality.

Young Workers Zone and Teaching Tools

The Young Workers Zone is dedicated to empowering those young or new who are entering the workforce with information and tools to help them keep safety top of mind. Recognizing that everyone has a role to play when it comes to safety, dedicated sections for parents, teachers, and employers provide additional support to help protect this vulnerable occupational group. This year, the site received 61,045 page views.

As a value-added service within the Young Workers Zone, the free Health and Safety Teaching Tools resource helps school teachers, youth groups, employment centres, and immigration settlement programs create awareness about workplace safety, with information and handouts on chemical, physical, ergonomic and psychological hazards. The Teaching Tools web pages received 134,868 page views.

Healthy Minds at Work

Mental health continues to be a topic of focus across Canada, as organizations work to integrate mental health into their comprehensive workplace health and safety programs. This year CCOHS shifted the focus of its social marketing campaigns from awareness to action, promoting the Healthy Minds at Work website as a tool to help workplaces get started in developing a mentally healthy culture. The site serves as a single access point to credible mental health resources such as fact sheets, research papers, and courses. This year, the website had 41,575 page views.

Healthy Workplaces

With the average Canadian spending 36 hours at work per week, it’s not surprising that the workplace can significantly affect a person’s overall health and well-being. The Healthy Workplaces website offers users some of the most credible information, tools, and resources available from around the world to help employers, workers, and practitioners participate in making their workplaces healthy and safe. The website was heavily promoted throughout the year to encourage workplaces to adopt healthy workplace practices. As a result, the site had 33,787 page views this year.

Gender, Work, and Health

Physical differences and psychosocial factors influence the rate of injury and illness among men, women, and non-binary people working identical jobs. To create safe and healthy workplaces for everyone, it is important to understand how gender and sex influence work, health, and safety. The Gender, Work, and Health website provides access to current and credible information, research, and resources on topics such as sex and gender differences in the workplace, injury and illness, gaps in knowledge, and risk prevention improvement. This year, the website received 4,581 page views, up 37% from the previous year.

Promoting Health and Safety

To effectively reach workplaces across the country for the greatest impact, it is essential that information be credible, shareable, and easy to understand. CCOHS produces a wide variety of resources including posters, infographics, handouts, podcasts, and articles to encourage conversations, promote awareness, and educate workplaces. Organizations are free to create their own package of resources to best suit their specific needs.

Infographics, Posters, and Fast Fact Cards

The world of work is always changing, and how information is absorbed and interpreted is constantly evolving too. CCOHS has seen an increased demand for visually engaging content that is quick to read and share via e-mail and social networks.

CCOHS produced six new infographics, bringing the total number to 24: Working in the Heat, Effective Health and Safety Committees, Cannabis and Impairment in the Workplace, Working in the Cold, Civility and Respect in the Workplace, and Asbestos in the Workplace.

The most popular infographic topic was impairment, followed by bullying and harassment, and fatigue at work. Overall, the infographics web page had 93,914 page views this year (a 68% increase over the previous year). Of those page views, 85% came from the English site.

To further extend reach and impact, CCOHS continues to adapt the most popular infographics into fast fact cards, distributing them for free at conferences and events and making them available for purchase from the website.

This year, CCOHS also developed two new posters — Workers’ Basic Rights in Canada and Prevent the Pain of Repetitive Strain Injuries — and made them available as free PDF downloads from the website. Together with an ever-expanding library of stickers, handouts, buttons, and bookmarks, CCOHS encourages workplaces to promote awareness of important health and safety topics.

Podcasts [Health and Safety To Go!]

CCOHS’ podcast program, Health and Safety to Go! provides an audio vehicle to access health and safety information, tips, and advice through any computer, mobile device, tablet or MP3 player. The episodes, usually under 10 minutes in length, are available through the CCOHS website or iTunes, with or without a subscription.

This year’s episodes featured interviews with Threads of Life speaker Charmaine Salter, and occupational health and safety specialists from CCOHS about impairment in the workplace and mental health. New topics included young worker orientation, workplace bullying, scent sensitivities in the workplace, and tips to host an effective health and safety committee meeting. Next year, the program will continue to cover high priority topics through interviews with experts and professionals to provide their perspectives on workplace safety issues.

Overall, the podcast program had a total of 62,363 listens this year.

The Health and Safety Report Newsletter

For 16 years, the free Health and Safety Report has been one of CCOHS’ most popular communication channels. This year the e-newsletter provided information on a wide variety of health and safety topics including impairment, agriculture, mental health, stress, respect and civility, transportation and driver safety, plus other high-priority issues.

According to an annual survey, readers said they used the newsletter as a source for discussion at health and safety meetings, toolbox talks, newsletter, and social media content, and promotion to their own audiences. Over the years the subscription base has grown and developed into a global group of health and safety professionals, human resources affiliates, committee members, and other workers and employers. This year, the newsletter grew to 21,777 subscribers (up 2.3%), with 75% from Canada.

The results from the readership survey also confirm the quality and high appreciation for the newsletter, with a 97.3% satisfaction rating this year. The value extends beyond the individual subscriber, with 96% saying that the newsletter provides value to their organization, and 71% indicating that they use the information in the newsletter to make changes in their workplace that might improve occupational health and safety. 98% of the respondents said the newsletter provided helpful information for handling health and safety issues in their workplace, and 98% said it provided them with an increased awareness of health and safety issues and developments.

The Health and Safety Report Newsletter
[Text version of The Health and Safety Report Newsletter]

International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day

It’s a message worth repeating: pains and strains from the work we do over and over again, in awkward positions, or with excessive force, often at a fast pace, are more than just annoying. Over time, these movements can result in debilitating and costly consequences. Musculoskeletal disorders remain the most common type of lost-time injury and the single largest source of lost-time costs in Canada. To promote awareness and prevention around this issue, CCOHS joins workplaces around the world in commemorating International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day each year on February 29 (February 28 in non-leap years) – the only “non-repetitive” day on the calendar.

CCOHS maintains a dedicated page with infographics, social media cards, fact sheets, posters, and podcasts about musculoskeletal disorders. This year the web page was updated with new social media images, a downloadable awareness poster, and badges for organizations to use to highlight repetitive strain injury prevention on their own websites. This year, the page had 4,482 page views, an increase of 22% over the previous year.

Dick Martin Scholarship Award

Developing the next generation of leaders and professionals is critical to the continued advancement of safe and healthy workplaces in Canada. CCOHS is committed to supporting post-secondary students in the field of workplace health and safety through the Dick Martin Scholarship Award. Established by CCOHS’ Council of Governors in 2002, the scholarship is open to students enrolled in a degree or diploma granting occupational health and safety related program in Canada.

Each year, two scholarships of $3,000 each are awarded to a university and college student, and $500 is granted to each winner’s school. This year, the winning students were from the University of Alberta and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

Connecting with Canadians

To better understand what workplaces in Canada need to stay healthy and safe, CCOHS knows that it’s a must to engage directly with stakeholders. From hosting a national Forum to crossing the country to participate in events to engaging users on social media, CCOHS aims to maintain a presence in each corner of the country in order to connect, listen, and learn first-hand about provincial, territorial and industry sector specific issues and priorities.

Forum 2019: The Changing World of Work

On March 5 and 6, 2019 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CCOHS hosted a tripartite national event, Forum 2019: The Changing World of Work, to explore health and safety challenges emerging from changes in society, technology and work organization. Speakers at the event shared real-life experiences, discussed technologies and their undeniable impact, and provided a greater understanding of how the evolving workforce affects and is affected by our overall culture. The forum also featured an interactive soapbox, a showcase of innovation and good practices, and networking opportunities.

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 152 attendees from 10 provinces and territories, with reasonably balanced tripartite representation from labour (30%), employers (39%), and governments (31%). A survey of the attendees revealed that 100% were satisfied with the knowledge enrichment of the forum, 88.6% said they would be able to apply what they learned to their own workplace, and 91.4% would attend a future event.

Forum 2019: The Changing World of Work
[Text version of Forum 2019: The Changing World of Work]

Exhibits and Speaking Engagements

Conferences, trade shows, and speaking engagements are essential platforms for outreach and awareness. They also provide opportunities to connect directly with stakeholders to better understand the needs of specific sectors and regions. Through the Speaker’s Bureau program, CCOHS was able to deliver industry-specific content, facilitate dialogue with event attendees, and provide prevention materials specific to topic areas within CCOHS’ strategic plan including: impairment (12 speaking engagements), mental health (13 speaking engagements), and harassment and violence (5 speaking engagements). Priority sectors reached included healthcare, construction, transportation, mining, and Indigenous communities.

CCOHS also committed to participate in events across Canada, travelling to every province and two territories.

This year, the Centre participated in a total of 58 conferences and events and accepted 36 speaking engagements, for a total reach of approximately 30,980.

Exhibits and Speaking Engagements
[Text version of Covering the Country: Exhibits and Speaking Engagements Conferences Map]

Social Media

Social media continues to be an effective and efficient way to reach stakeholders across Canada with timely health and safety information. The sharing of these messages and posts across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube results in exponential reach and impact to others. The Centre can also connect with people across Canada and the world to understand their workplace health and safety challenges and perspectives.

CCOHS launched a bilingual Instagram account in June 2018. Instagram has grown to be the third most popular social media platform with 1 billion users, only behind Facebook and Twitter. CCOHS uses the platform to reinforce health and safety messages and to provide a glimpse of the behind the-scenes action at the Centre, from project initiatives, to what staff members are doing to promote a healthy workplace.

Overall the CCOHS social media community has grown from the previous year, further extending the reach and potential impact of the messages and engagement.

Through organic and paid social media campaigns, CCOHS addresses and promotes positive actions around current issues such as workplace harassment and violence and mental health. CCOHS’ campaigns increase awareness of these hazards while directing users to tools and resources that can help create healthier workplaces.

Organic Social Marketing Campaigns

CCOHS continued to focus its organic social media efforts on increasing community, driving website traffic back to the CCOHS site, and fostering engagement on its primary channels Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, while also exploring opportunities elsewhere.

Throughout the year, organic campaigns aimed to support the Centre’s key priority sectors and issues identified in the strategic plan. CCOHS spread awareness and drew attention to workplace safety topics (impairment in the workplace, mental health, harassment and violence) and supported national observances such as Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, Healthy Workplace Month, Safety and Health Week, Road Safety Week, Radon Awareness Month, Mental Health Week, Brain Injury Awareness Month, International Women’s Day, and Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day.

CCOHS also used Thunderclap, an online crowd-speaking platform that amplifies social reach, to promote awareness of the National Day of Mourning. When a user pledged their support, a single, one-time tweet or Facebook post was sent on their behalf at the same time as other supporters on April 27, 2018. The campaign garnered 279 supporters for a total reach of more than 212,000, surpassing the goal of 100 supporters and 100,000 reach.

Organic Social Marketing Campaigns
[Text version of Organic Social Marketing Campaigns]

Social Marketing Campaign Partnership with the Government of Canada

CCOHS was granted $50,000 to work in partnership with the federal government of Canada to promote mental health through a paid social media campaign. The first phase, focusing on civility and respect, ran on Facebook in the fall of 2018 and built on last year’s efforts of promoting healthy responses to mental health in the workplace, educating employers and workers. In January 2019, phase two of the campaign launched, focusing on workplace harassment and violence and pointing users to CCOHS’ violence and bullying topic page. Overall, the campaign had over 3 million impressions, and posts were engaged with over 31,000 times. The violence and bullying topic page had double the amount of web traffic during the campaign period (January to March 2019).

Social Marketing Campaign Partnership with the Government of Canada
[Text version of Social Marketing Campaign Partnership with the Government of Canada]

Media

When editors and journalists want a credible workplace health and safety source for a news article, they contact CCOHS. While CCOHS fielded requests for interviews on all sorts of topics (workplace wellness, violence and bullying, ammonia, occupational diseases) cannabis continued to lead the demand. With the impending legalization of recreational cannabis, news outlets were eager to know how it would impact workplaces.

CCOHS’ specialists focused largely on the issue of impairment: what impairment in the workplace looks like, how a workplace should respond, and what policies should be in place ahead of cannabis legalization. Through media interviews, editorial placements, and social media posts, the Centre worked towards the goal of shifting the conversation from cannabis use specifically, to how workplaces can address impairment from any source.

Overall this year, CCOHS had an increased media presence. The Centre reported 877 media sightings* (up 12.5% from last year) which generated approximately over 400 million impressions (12% growth) in English and French news outlets across Canada and internationally. These outlets included CBC News, Journal de Montreal, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Global News, CBC News, ICI-Radio Canada, Le Soleil, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Regina Leader Post and The Edmonton Journal, Canadian HR Reporter, Safety+Health Magazine, Saskatchewan Oil Report, and Medical News Today.

*A media sighting is when a CCOHS subject specialist is quoted, the Centre is mentioned as an information source, or when other publications repurpose CCOHS’ content or resources.

Educating Workers

A comprehensive health and safety program that includes education for both employers and workers is not only essential for keeping everyone safe at work, but is also often a legislated requirement. CCOHS offers an extensive program of health and safety education and resources to meet the needs of learners in Canada.

e-Learning

Over the years, due to continued efforts to provide accessible, affordable, and easy to understand online education, CCOHS has been able to help workplaces transform and modernize the way they provide training. The Centre’s online courses are created with assistance and advice from outside technical experts as required, while the tripartite review of courses by representatives from government, employers, and labour helps achieve a balanced perspective, accuracy, and understanding by all parties in the workplace.

Fulfilling its mandate to create genuinely accessible products, CCOHS’ online courses have been refreshed with a new look and functionality to enhance learning and retention. The new course format allows users to instantly change to an accessible format, search by keyword, and access all course resources in one place. Nine courses were converted to the new format this year, with more scheduled for this coming year, starting with mental health, WHMIS 2015, and violence courses.

CCOHS currently offers 120 online courses on topics ranging from physical hazards such as slips, trips, and falls, to psychosocial risks such as workplace violence and stress. This year, CCOHS collaborated with several organizations to create customized versions of existing courses to support prevention initiatives and sectors specific to their jurisdictions. In total, 9 custom courses were developed on violence, workplace inspections, impairment, incident investigations, mining, and asbestos for the University of Ottawa, WorkSafeNB, the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA), the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (WSCC), and the Government of Alberta.

CCOHS offers 12 free e-courses to help promote awareness of important health and safety issues, adding Nanotechnology and Health in November 2018. The course introduces users to nanomaterials that may be found in workplaces, the potential health hazards they present, and how workers can be protected. In total, the free courses were accessed 70,117 times, a 49% increase from the previous year. Significant growth in e-course sales was also seen this year, with a total of 234,359 course seats purchased, up 60% from last year.

CCOHS is also on track to release new courses on impairment and hazardous occurrence for federally-regulated workplaces and will continue its partnership with WorkSafeNB and work with new partners (Indigenous Services Canada and CN Rail) to create customized courses that support the various prevention initiatives and high-risk sectors specific to their jurisdictions.

Publications

Print pocket guides and manuals are practical tools that put information to help prevent injuries directly in the hands of those who need them, while they work. To ensure accuracy, readability and a balanced perspective, every publication is reviewed by representatives from government, employer and labour. This year, a total of 4,260 publications were purchased (a 10% increase over last year).

The WHMIS 2015 Instructor’s Toolkit, comprised of an instructor’s guide, participants’ guide and PowerPoint slides, continues to be a popular resource, with 1,463 toolkits purchased.

Partnering for Impact

The greatest impact is made not alone, but through the efforts of many. Partnering with like-minded organizations allows the Centre to reach as many workers and employers across Canada as possible with credible and current workplace health and safety resources and programs.

Work with international partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union, has helped to advance global workplace health and safety. These partnerships, in addition to its position as one of the Collaborating Centres of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and WHO, allow CCOHS to provide Canadians with information from highly reputable international sources via websites, e-courses, and publications, and to share its own knowledge and expertise in return.

Collaborations with Jurisdictions

WHMIS 2015 for Workers e-Course

With the implementation of WHMIS 2015, workers need education on the new system so that they can protect themselves and their co-workers from hazardous products. CCOHS partnered with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada to create the e-course: WHMIS 2015 for Workers. This year 79,352 seats were sold (up 10% over the previous year). The top three provinces accessing the e-course were once again Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.

New Brunswick Guide to OSH Legislation

A Guide to OSH Legislation is an easy-to-use, bilingual website and mobile app for New Brunswick users that features construction-related topics with links to resources, including interpretations, summaries, legislation, hazard alerts, and safety talks. Developed by CCOHS in collaboration with WorkSafeNB, this tool was enhanced with ten new topics this year, with more planned in the year ahead.

Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association Guide to OHS Legislation

CCOHS worked with the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association to create a website and mobile app, released in June 2017, that helps people in Saskatchewan access provincial occupational health and safety legislation related to the construction industry. This resource covers legislative requirements on more than 20 topics such as excavation and trenching, fall protection, ladders, air quality, and scaffolding. A new version of the tool plus five new hazard- related topics were released in April 2018.

Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Last year, CCOHS partnered with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) Northwest Territories and Nunavut to develop a bilingual website and mobile app to help stakeholders’ access occupational health and safety legislation from a single access point. Once a user has downloaded the app, it can be used without Internet or mobile data, ensuring that workers and employers in remote areas with limited or no Internet are still able to access important safety information. The tool provides workers with a clear language summary on 25 topics, along with applicable legislation and useful resources. This year, five new topics were added, covering industrial camp management, cannabis, firefighting, forklifts, and powered mobile equipment.

Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA)

CCOHS continues to maintain the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association website and mobile app with over 50 topics related to construction safety regulations in Ontario, providing access to important health and safety information to workers in the province, when and where they need it.

National Stage

WHMIS.org: Canada’s National WHMIS Portal

WHMIS.org serves as Canada’s one-stop online access point for anyone who needs information and resources related to WHMIS 2015. Launched in 2015, WHMIS.org is a joint collaboration between CCOHS and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada, as well as each federal, provincial, and territorial occupational health and safety regulatory jurisdiction across Canada.

In preparation for the December 1, 2018 deadline for compliance, six jurisdictions made updates to the website, bringing the total number of resources to 128 to support suppliers, employers, workers, and trainers. Usage of the site was active this year, with 162,759 visits (up 23% over last year) with 91% originating from users in Canada. The top three provinces accessing the website were Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.

This year, two jurisdictions (Newfoundland and Labrador, and Alberta) implemented WHMIS 2015, and the corresponding legislative changes can be accessible through WHMIS.org. Nova Scotia is the remaining jurisdiction and is in the second phase of regulatory updates for WHMIS 2015.

Focus on Safety National Youth Video Contest

When it comes to health and safety awareness, capturing the attention of young and new workers can be challenging. Creativity, emotion, and humour were abundant in this year’s edition of the Focus on Safety National Youth Video Contest. Once again, youth across the country were asked to submit a short, original video that illustrates the importance of working safely on the job. Winners of the provincial and territorial contests moved onto the larger stage where they were eligible to win cash prizes and national recognition. CCOHS continues to sponsor and lead the national contest and provide financial support to the provincial and territorial contests.

This year, nine entries were accepted for scoring by a panel representing a variety of health and safety perspectives: Steve Podborski, President and CEO of Parachute Canada; Shirley Hickman, Executive Director of Threads of Life; Denis St. Jean, Director of Health and Safety at the Public Service Alliance of Canada; and Diandra Budd, a 2017 Dick Martin Scholarship Award recipient.

The top three videos from the contest were unveiled at the national launch event of Safety and Health Week. To drive additional exposure of the videos for the greatest impact on young and new workers, the public were invited to choose their fan favourite through an online voting contest held during the Week.

Safety and Health Week

Held annually in May across North America, Safety and Health Week is a time for employers, employees, and the public to focus collectively on injury and illness prevention. CCOHS joins other national partners - the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), Employment and Social Development Canada’s Labour Program, and Threads of Life – to work together to get the prevention message out to as many workplaces and communities as possible.

CCOHS is an active contributor to Safety and Health Week, hosting and maintaining the website which acts as a hub of information and tools to help increase engagement and promote awareness about the week and related events. CCOHS also participates in the Safety and Health Week national launch event, which was held in Victoria, British Columbia this year.

To inspire workplaces to promote Safety and Health Week, CCOHS offered two e-courses (Health and Safety Committees, and Health and Safety Committees in the Canadian Federal Jurisdiction) for free during the week. A total of 931 people enrolled in these free courses.

National Day of Mourning

Held annually in Canada on April 28, the National Day of Mourning is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives or suffered injury or illness on the job or due to a work-related tragedy. CCOHS has led the effort to expand the messaging to include prevention, encouraging employers and workers to publicly renew their commitment to prevention so that these tragedies do not happen again, and that the workplace is safe and healthy for all.

To help raise awareness of this day, CCOHS maintains a permanent National Day of Mourning section on the website with updated fatality and injury statistics, podcast interviews with family members and workers impacted by workplace tragedies, posters, and shareable social media cards. This year the page had 32,285 page views.

2020 World Congress on Safety and Health at Work

Every three years, the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work brings together a global community of government representatives, labour organizations, employer groups, and prevention experts to exchange information and share perspectives on the effort to create safe and healthy workplaces around the world.

Together with the Institute for Work and Health, CCOHS will co-host the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, to be held in Toronto, Ontario on October 4-7, 2020. The event’s theme “Prevention in the Connected Age: Global solutions to achieve safe and healthy work for all” will highlight the power of diversity and how different cultures and backgrounds can come together to overcome challenges. The dynamic and interactive program will showcase experts, thought leaders and innovators from around the world and will cover innovations in addressing longstanding safety and health challenges; implications of the changing world of work for occupational safety and health; and advancing a culture of prevention.

Sponsored by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA), this event is the world’s largest venue for the international occupational health and safety community and is expected to draw more than 3,500 delegates from over 150 countries.

Other Projects and Partnerships

Health Canada: Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau (WHMB)

For the past three years, CCOHS has assisted the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau (WHMB) of Health Canada with the implementation of WHMIS 2015. The Centre hosts and maintains e-learning courses for Hazardous Products Act inspectors and collaborated with WHMB to create a web tool database to support and report on inspections under the Hazardous Products Act. CCOHS regularly updates stakeholders about the usage of the WHMIS.org portal and the WHMIS 2015 for Workers e-course across the jurisdictions and shares information about new WHMIS 2015 resources and tools.

Health Canada: WHMIS 2015 Committees

CCOHS is a member of the WHMIS Current Issues Committee which facilitates information and knowledge-sharing between government regulators and affected stakeholders (workers, employers, and suppliers). CCOHS developed secure portals to provide committee members access to documents and resources. CCOHS also joined the Compliance Promotion Subcommittee in 2019 and has been providing feedback on documents to assist suppliers to better comply with the Hazardous Products Act and Regulations. In addition, CCOHS is an observer of the Intergovernmental WHMIS Co-ordinating Committee, a forum for regulators from federal, provincial and territorial governments to exchange information and ideas related to the implementation of the Hazardous Products Act and Regulations. CCOHS is also an observer of the Canadian WHMIS Coordinators Committee which covers WHMIS 2015 implementation for regulators in their respective jurisdictions.

Society of Chemical Hazard Communications (SCHC)

CCOHS is a long-standing member of the Society of Chemical Hazard Communications (SCHC), an organization that strives to promote awareness and knowledge in all areas of chemical hazard communication. This year, CCOHS attended the annual Spring meeting.

Pan Am (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre

In its role as a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre, CCOHS contributes to the advancement of global workplace health and safety through its involvement on several projects. In turn, the relationships forged as a Collaborating Centre provide CCOHS with a global perspective on health and safety that helps to inform its efforts serving workplaces in Canada. One of the most notable, ongoing contributions made by CCOHS as a Collaborating Centre is the IPCS INCHEM database, a critical chemical information service for the sound management of chemicals that affect the environment and human health. In addition, CCOHS continues to work with other Collaborating Centres to adapt existing materials and extend their global reach, while also developing new tools to address emerging issues. Working populations are aging all around the world, for example, and a web portal will be created to support PAHO/WHO actions to create awareness of this trend and to protect the health of the growing populations of older workers, as well as those new and returning to work.

Caregiver-inclusive Workplace Standard

More than 5.6 million working Canadians are providing care and assistance to family or friends living with ongoing conditions, while also working in paid employment. Without adequate employer support, these carer-employees can miss work days, experience reduced productivity, and may even leave the workforce entirely. To support these workers and keep them healthy and employed, the CSA B701-17 Carer-inclusive and accommodating organizations standard and B701HB-18-Helping worker-carers in your organization implementation handbook was developed by a technical committee at McMaster University in partnership with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The standard and handbook offer employers solutions, information, and case studies to help them implement policies and programs aimed at creating more carer-inclusive and accommodating workplaces, to assist employees who provide unpaid care and assistance to individuals living with debilitating physical, mental, or cognitive conditions. With the work complete on the project, CCOHS has been active in promotional efforts such as webinars and articles to help create awareness of the issue and encourage adoption of the standard.

Managing Health and Safety

Ensuring the health and safety of workers and the workplace is essential to running a business. CCOHS helps support employers in meeting their specific industry and sector needs, whether that involves safety data sheet management, compliance with the law, or working safely with potential hazards.

CANWrite™ – (M)SDS Authoring Software

Suppliers of hazardous products are required to provide safety data sheets, so users of those products are informed about their hazards and understand how to work safely with them. To help meet the challenges of producing accurate and understandable safety data sheets compliant with the Canadian Hazardous Products Act and Regulations (WHMIS 2015) and the US Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012), CCOHS offers a safety data sheet authoring tool, CANWrite. Users can produce safety data sheets in English, French, and Spanish that meet the requirements of the legislation in both Canada and the United States.

With the transition period to WHMIS 2015 for suppliers and employers complete on December 1, 2018, all hazardous products used in the workplace must now be in compliance with WHMIS 2015. To help meet these requirements, a significant update to the CANWrite software is scheduled in 2019 to prepare for the implementation of GHS version 7 and to remove the capability of authoring data sheets in ANSI.

CCOHS has developed a free, downloadable template that provides the minimum information elements for a safety data sheet required by WHMIS 2015, ideal for small businesses who need to author WHMIS 2015 compliant data sheets. The template is available in both standard and accessible formats in English and French and was downloaded 757 times this year – a 47% increase over last year. Of those downloads, 673 came from users in Canada (up 52% from last year).

CCOHS’ paper: How to Transition a 16-Section WHMIS 1988 MSDS to a WHMIS 2015 SDS, provides guidance on how to transition information from an existing 16-section ANSI format WHMIS 1988 MSDS to a WHMIS 2015 safety data sheet. This year the paper was downloaded 98 times.

CANManage

CANManage helps workplaces meet their WHMIS compliance obligations by ensuring that their safety data sheet collections are accessible, current and complete. This year, CCOHS made plans to roll out enhancements to the service, including an improved search engine and a refreshed look and feel to for a better user experience, and these features are set to be completed next year.

Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards

Organizations with a need to access legislation and referenced standards to identify and understand their rights and responsibilities under the law rely on CCOHS’ Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards service. This year, a plan to modernize the online service were rolled out, including a redesign of the enviroOSH Monthly Report which launched in February 2019.

CHEMINFO

Developed by CCOHS specialists, the CHEMINFO database provides important chemical health and safety information to help identify hazards, control workplace exposures and prevent accidents, on more than 1,800 workplace chemicals. CHEMINFO clients viewed 87,779 online records this year. CCOHS also maintains two CHEMINFO spin-offs: Chemical Profiles, and the WHMIS 1998 Classification Database, both of which are offered as a free public service.

INCHEM

CCOHS maintains and hosts the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) INCHEM database, a collection of international peer-reviewed information on chemicals commonly used throughout the world, which may also occur as contaminants in the environment and food. INCHEM consolidates information from several intergovernmental organizations whose goal it is to assist in the sound management of chemicals.

In October 2018, a document was added to the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) monographs and evaluations, and nearly all (1,698) International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs) were replaced. The website was then re-indexed, and the user interface enhanced.

This year, INCHEM.org had a total of 833,162 visits, and 4% (36.658) of those were from Canada. Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia were the top users of this service.

Our Values in Action

CCOHS is committed to providing an environment that promotes work-life balance, personal growth, and an inclusive culture – echoing the same values that inform the resources and tools the Centre offers to workplaces across Canada. Driven by management and supported by employee engagement, CCOHS strives to be a place where everyone feels mentally and physically safe and healthy, every day.

Promoting a Healthy Workplace

Everyone has a role in keeping workplaces healthy and safe, and at CCOHS, the healthy workplace team, the joint health and safety committee, and Human Resources take the lead on this priority. Comprised of employees and managers, the healthy workplace team promotes healthy habits, team building, self-care, and community involvement in a collective effort to boost overall employee wellness. This year, the team organized yoga, tai chi, guided meditation, healthy eating activities, TED Talks, a clothing drive, and volunteer work at a local food bank.

The joint health and safety committee is actively involved in ensuring that the work environment is safe, conducting regular, thorough inspections of the facilities, addressing issues related to workplace health and safety, and making recommendations to management.

Additionally, the Human Resources team arranged company-wide respect and civility training, to help foster a workplace where all employees treat each other with professionalism, dignity and care.

Keeping Mentally Healthy

CCOHS values mental health as part of its mandate to advance a comprehensive approach to workplace health and safety, and through its efforts to create a psychologically healthy workplace for its employees.

Two mental health champions, appointed in January 2018, continued to serve as the liaison between the joint health and safety committee, the mental health at work team, senior management, and staff to ensure that mental health is integrated with the Centre’s health hazard prevention and healthy workplace programs.

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, 2019, and all information contained in these financial 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 the Government’s accounting policies, which follow Canadian public sector accounting standards.

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

An Audit Committee appointed by the Council of Governors of CCOHS has reviewed these financial 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 (ICFR) 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).

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

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety is subject to periodic Core Control Audits performed by the Office of the Comptroller General and uses the results of such audits to comply with the Treasury Board Policy on Financial Management.

A Core Control Audit was performed in 2014-2015 by the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada (OCG). The Audit Report and related Management Action Plan are posted on the departmental web site at: http://www.ccohs.ca/ccohs/reports.html.

KPMG 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:

Anne Tennier, P.Eng. EP
President and Chief Executive Officer
Kimberly Pirhonen, CPA, CMA
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Hamilton, Canada
June 26, 2019

Independent Auditors' Report

KPMG LLP

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To the Administrators of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety:

Opinion

We have audited the financial statements of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (the Entity), whichcomprise:

  • the statement of financial position as at end of March 31, 2019
  • the statement of operations and net financial position for the year then ended
  • the statement of change in net debt for the year then ended
  • the statement of cash flows for the year then ended
  • and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies

(Hereinafter referred to as the “financial statements”).

In our opinion the accompanying financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Entity as at March 31, 2019 and the results of operations, change in net debt and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Basis for Opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards. Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the “Auditors’ Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements” section of our auditors’ report.

We are independent of the Entity in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the financial statements in Canada and we have fulfilled our other responsibilities in accordance with these requirements.

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

KPMG LLP is a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG Canada provides services to KPMG LLP.

Responsibilities of Management and Those Charged with Governance for the Financial Statements

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the 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.

In preparing the financial statements, management is responsible for assessing the Entity’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless management either intends to liquidate the Entity or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.

Those charged with governance are responsible for overseeing the Entity’s financial reporting process.

Auditors’ Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditors’ report that includes our opinion.

Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards will always detect a material misstatement when it exists.

Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of the financial statements.

As part of an audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards, we exercise professional judgment and maintain professional skepticism throughout the audit.

We also:

  • Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.
  • The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
  • Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit 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.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by management.
  • Conclude on the appropriateness of management's use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Entity's ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditors’ report to the related disclosures in the financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our auditors’ report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Entity to cease to continue as a going concern.
  • Evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the financial statements, including the disclosures, and whether the financial statements represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.
  • Communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.

KPMG LLP
Chartered Professional Accountants, Licensed Public Accountants

Hamilton, Canada
June 26, 2019

Statement of Financial Position

As at March 31, 2019 with comparative information for 2018 (in dollars)
  2019 2018
  $ $
Liabilities
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (note 4)
1,848,002 1,362,461
Deferred revenues - web based subscriptions
1,218,499 1,361,049
Vacation pay and compensated leave
376,211 396,007
Employee severance benefits (note 5 b)
748,943 874,384
Deferred revenues - donations (note 6)
113,152 113,152
Total liabilities 4,304,807 4,107,053
Financial assets
Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, without interest
1,961,153 1,475,612
Accounts receivable (note 7)
588,068 527,909
Total financial assets 2,549,221 2,003,521
Net debt (note 8) (1,755,586) (2,103,532)
Non-financial assets
Prepaid expenses
69,973 73,081
Inventory
28,504 32,422
Tangible capital assets (note 9)
255,625 377,806
Total non-financial assets 354,102 483,309
Accumulated deficit (note 8) (1,401,484) (1,620,223)

Contractual obligations (note 11)

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

Approved by:

Anne Tennier, P. Eng. EP
President and Chief Executive Officer
Kimberly Pirhonen, CPA, CMA
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position

For the year ended March 31, 2019 with comparative information for 2018 (in dollars)
Expenses 2019 2019 2018
  $ $ $
  Planned
Results
   
Operations
Salaries and employee benefits
7,915,941 7,515,429 7,632,459
Professional and special services
1,639,581 1,227,121 1,287,202
Transportation and communications
284,470 207,802 167,211
Purchased repair and upkeep
339,708 229,055 182,253
Utilities, materials and supplies
186,832 103,914 95,595
Information
88,177 97,971 79,493
Rentals
52,300 47,105 30,163
Total
10,507,009 9,428,397 9,474,376
Administration
Salaries and employee benefits
614,614 589,303 418,189
Governors and committees
12,123 6,439 5,624
Travel
32,040 36,156 20,910
Professional and special services
174,425 308,836 102,513
Total
833,202 940,734 547,236
Other expenses – non cash
Employer’s contribution to health and dental Insurance plans (note 12)
- 597,610 644,710
Accommodation (note 12)
- 676,937 676,937
Amortization of tangible capital assets
- 127,531 129,484
Total
- 1,402,078 1,451,131
Total expenses 11,340,211 11,771,209 11,472,743
Revenues (note 10)
Sales
4,432,577 5,671,892 4,251,999
Projects and collaborative agreements
1,067,423 1,501,164 1,085,069
Total revenues
5,500,000 7,173,056 5,337,068
Spending of cash revenues pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act (note 14)
1,348,640 - -
Net cost of operations before Government funding
(4,491,571) (4,598,153) (6,135,675)
Government Funding
Net cash provided by government
4,762,071 3,056,804 4,385,172
Change in due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
- 485,541 195,435
Services provided without charge from other government departments (note 12)
- 1,274,547 1,321,647
Total government funding
4,762,071 4,816,892 5,902,254
Net revenue (cost) of operations after government funding
270,500 218,739 (233,421)
Net financial position at beginning of year
(1,620,223) (1,620,223) (1,386,802)
Net revenue (cost) of operations after government funding
270,500 218,739 (233,421)
Net financial position at end of year
(1,349,723) (1,401,484) (1,620,223)

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

Statement of Change in Net Debt

For the year ended March 31, 2019 with comparative information for 2018 (in dollars)
  2019 2019 2018
  $ $ $
  Planned
Results
   
Net revenue (cost) of operations after government funding 270,500 218,739 (233,421)
Changes in tangible capital assets
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets (note 9) (270,500) (5,350) (97,279)
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 9) - 127,531 129,484
Total change in tangible capital assets (270,500) 122,181 32,205
Decrease in prepaid assets - 3,107 421
Decrease in inventory - 3,919 9,109
  - 7,026 9,530
Net decrease (increase) in net debt - 347,946 (191,686)
Net debt at beginning of year (2,103,532) (2,103,532) (1,911,846)
Net decrease (increase) in net debt - 347,946 (191,686)
Net debt at end of year (notes 8 and 14) (2,103,532) (1,755,586) (2,103,532)

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

Statement of Cash Flow

For the year ended March 31, 2019 with comparative information for 2018 (in dollars)
  2019 2018
  $ $
Operating activities:
Net revenue (cost) of operations before government funding
4,598,153 6,135,675
Non-cash items:
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 9)
(127,531) (129,484)
Services received without charge from other government departments (note 12)
(1,274,547) (1,321,647)
Changes in Statement of Financial Position:
Increase in accounts payable & accrued liabilities (485,541) (115,087)
Decrease (Increase) in deferred revenue
142,550 (227,232)
Decrease in vacation pay and compensatory leave
19,796 7,349
Decrease in employee severance benefits
125,441 30,732
Increase (Decrease) in accounts receivable
60,159 (82,883)
Decrease in prepaid expenses
(3,107) (421)
Decrease in inventory for resale
(3,919) (9,109)
Cash used in operating activities 3,051,454 4,287,893
Capital investing activities
Acquisition of tangible capital assets
5,350 97,279
Net cash provided by Government of Canada 3,056,804 4,385,172

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

Notes to the Financial Statements

For the year ended March 31, 2019 (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 workers in Canada 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, budgetary appropriations and authorities available for use from previous years.
    • 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 workers in Canada in their efforts to improve workplace safety and health. Workers 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 workers in Canada. 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 workers in Canada. 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; and Acquisition Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.
  2. Significant accounting policies

    • These financial statements have been prepared using the department’s accounting policies stated below, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards. The representation and results using the stated accounting policies do not result in any significant differences from Canadian public sector accounting standards.
      • Parliamentary authorities and revenue spending authority
        • CCOHS is financed in part by the Government of Canada through Parliamentary authorities. Included in the authorities provided and used is a revenue spending authority, which allows CCOHS to spend program revenue. 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 Financial Position and in the Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position are not necessarily the same as those provided through authorities from Parliament. Note 3 provides a reconciliation between the bases of reporting.
        • The planned results amounts in the “Expenses” and “Revenues” sections of the Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position are the amounts reported in CCOHS’ operating budget approved on February 13, 2018 and revised on June 27, 2018 at CCOHS’ 122nd and 123rd Meetings of the Council of Governors, which were held in Hamilton, Ontario. Planned results pursuant to the spending of Parliamentary authorities are reported in the 2018-19 Departmental Plan and may not represent the full costs of the department, as additional costs are budgeted to be covered by additional cash revenues pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act.
        • In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, CCOHS was given authority pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act to spend revenue from fees it charges for products and services in the fiscal year in which the revenue was received or in subsequent fiscal years. Government transfers are recognized as revenue when authorized and when the organization has satisfied any eligibility criteria. CCOHS is in the process of updating the Departmental Reporting Framework and Departmental Plans to reflect the newly approved authorities given to CCOHS pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act. These reporting changes planned to be in effect for the 2020-2021 reporting period will align CCOHS’ Departmental Plan to its departmental budget as approved by CCOHS’ Council of Governors.
      • 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 CRF
        • 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 a financial instrument.
      • Revenues
        • Revenues are recognized in the period in which the underlying transaction or event that gave rise to the revenue takes place. Revenues for subscription-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.
        • Funds received from external parties for specified purposes but not 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. Revenues are then recognized in the period in which the related expenses are incurred.
      • Expenses
        • Expenses are recorded on the accrual basis.
        • Vacation pay and compensatory leave are accrued as the benefits are 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 rendered the services necessary to earn them and were estimated based on employees' salaries and duration of service. This arrangement was closed to new entrants effective April 1, 2011 and the benefits accruing to participants are only adjusted for annual salary and wage increases. The remaining balance are paid upon departure from the public service.
        • Accumulated sick leave: Employees are eligible to accumulate sick leave benefits until the end of employment, according to their labour contract and conditions of employment. Sick leave benefits are earned based on employee services rendered and are paid upon an illness or injury related absence. However, sick leave entitlements do not vest and may only be used in the event of illness or injury related absence. Unused sick leave upon employee termination is not payable to the employee. No amount has been accrued in these financial statements and payments of sick leave benefits are included in current operations as incurred.
      • 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.
      • 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
        • Inventories are valued at the lower of cost and net realizable value. Inventories primarily include 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:
          Asset Class Amortization Period
          Computer equipment 5 - 10 years
          Furniture and equipment 5 - 10 years
          Software 1-5 years
          Leasehold improvements lesser of the remaining term of the lease or useful life of the improvement
        • Tangible capital assets are written down when conditions indicate that they no longer contribute to CCOHS’ ability to provide goods and services or when the value of the future economic benefits associated with the tangible capital assets are less than the net book value.
      • Prepaid Expenses
        • Prepaid expenses are accounted for as non-financial assets as they can be used to provide services in the future.
      • 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.
      • Related party transactions
        • Related party transactions, other than inter-entity transactions, are recorded at the exchange amount. Inter-entity transactions are transactions between commonly controlled entities. Inter-entity transactions, other than restructuring transactions, are recorded on a gross basis and are measured at the carrying amount, except for the following:
          1. Services provided on a recovery basis are recognized as revenues and expenses on a gross basis and measured at the exchange amount.
          2. Certain services received on a without charge basis are recorded for departmental financial statement purposes at the carrying amount. Other related party transactions, other than inter-entity transactions, are recorded at the exchange amount.
  3. 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 of 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. Current year authorities used which is accounted below is on a cash basis based on Government funding as received. These differences are reconciled as follows:
      • Reconciliation of net cost of operations to current year authorities used:
          2019 2018
          $ $
        Net cost of operations before Government funding 4,598,153 6,135,675
        Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities:    
        Revenue collected under 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act 7,173,056 5,337,068
        Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 9) (127,531) (129,484)
        Services provided without charge from other Government departments (note 12) (1,274,547) (1,321,647)
        Other working capital adjustments 48,410 9,110
        Decrease in employee severance benefits 125,441 30,732
        Decrease in vacation pay and compensatory leave 19,796 7,349
        Bad debts (1,054) -
        Total items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities: 5,963,571 3,933,128
        Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities:    
        Add (deduct) change in:
        Decrease in Prepaid Expenses (3,107) -
        Decrease in inventory (3,919) (9,109)
        Acquisition of tangible capital assets 5,350 97,279
        Total items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities: (1,676) 88,170
        Current year authorities used 10,560,048 10,156,973

      • Authorities provided and used:
          2019 2018
          $ $
        Human Resources Social Development Canada - Vote 1 4,111,237 3,956,267
        Human Resources Social Development Canada - Statutory 1,069,711 1,028,903
        Treasury Board – Vote 15 – economic allocations 16,125 231,974
        Treasury Board - Vote 30 - paylist shortfalls 214,321 135,038
        Authorities available for use in subsequent years from prior year 2,673,973 1,597,698
        Authorities available for use in subsequent years from current year 2,048,073 1,076,275
        Spending of cash revenues pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act 5,148,653 4,804,791
        Total current year authorities provided 15,282,093 12,830,946
        Less:
        CCOHS Respendable / Reinvestment Authorities available for use in subsequent years (note 14) (4,722,045) (2,673,973)
        Current year authorities used 10,560,048 10,156,973
  4. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

    • The following table presents details of CCOHS’ accounts payable and accrued liabilities:
  5. 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/Québec Pension Plans benefits and they are indexed to inflation.
      • Both the employees and CCOHS contribute to the cost of the Plan. Due to the amendment of the Public Service Superannuation Act following the implementation of provisions related to Economic Action Plan 2012, employee contributors have been divided into two groups – Group 1 relates to existing plan members as of December 2012 and Group 2 relates to members joining the Plan as of January 1, 2013. Each group has a distinct contribution rate.
      • The 2018-2019 expense amounts to $746,016 ($700,683 in 2017-18). For Group 1 members, the expense represents approximately 1.01 times (1.01 times in 2017-18) the employee contributions and, for Group 2 members, approximately 1.00 times (1.00 times in 2017-18) the employee contributions.
      • 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.
    • Severance benefits
      • Severance benefits provided to CCOHS employees were previously based on an employee’s eligibility, years of service and salary at termination of employment. However, since 2011 the accumulation of severance benefits for voluntary departures progressively ceased for substantially all employees. Employees subject to these changes were given the option to be paid the full or partial value of benefits earned to date or collect the full or remaining value of benefits upon departure from the public service. By March 31, 2019 all settlements for immediate cash out were completed. Severance benefits are unfunded and, consequently, the outstanding obligation will be paid from future authorities.
      • The changes in the obligations during the year were as follows:
          2019 2018
          $ $
        Accrued benefit obligation - opening balance 874,384 905,116
        Expense for the year 20,174 20,446
        Benefits paid during the year (145,615) (51,178)
        Accrued benefit obligation, end of year 748,943 874,384
  6. Deferred revenues – 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 2019 (2018 - $0). The balance at March 31, 2019 is $113,152 (2018 - $113,152).
  7. Accounts receivable

  8. Net debt

    • The net debt is calculated as the difference between liabilities and financial assets. Employee severance benefits, as detailed in note 5 b), and vacation pay obligations represent the most significant components of net debt as future Government of Canada Parliamentary authorities will be required in order to discharge those obligations.
  9. Tangible capital assets

  10. Revenues

  11. Contractual obligations

    The nature of CCOHS’ activities can result in multi-year contracts and obligations whereby CCOHS will be obligated to make future payments when the goods and services are received. Significant contractual obligations that can be reasonably estimated are summarized as follows:

      2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Total
      $ $ $ $ $ $
    Acquisition of goods and services 100,000 - - - - 100,000
    Operating Leases 676,937 676,937 676,937 676,937 700,000 3,407,748
    Total 776,937 676,937 676,937 676,937 700,000 3,507,748

    CCOHS has a multi-year lease contract with related parties for $676,937 annually that expires during fiscal year 2024. Costs for operating leases during 2024 has been estimated at $700,000. As per note 12, this accommodation is provided without charge by the Government of Canada.

  12. 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. The transactions are measured at the exchange amount agreed to by the related parties. 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
      •   2019 2018
          $ $
        Accounts payable to other government departments and agencies 453,100 420,265
        Expenses-Other Government departments and agencies 233,999 210,488
        Revenue-Other government departments and agencies 841,059 705,039
  13. 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 2019 2018
        $ $ $ $
      Salaries and employee benefits 3,393,469 5,308,873 8,702,342 8,695,358
      Professional and special services (incl. Governors and committees) 537,380 1,005,016 1,542,396 1,395,339
      Accommodation 216,620 460,317 676,937 676,937
      Transport and communications 86,103 157,855 243,958 188,121
      Information 34,678 63,293 97,971 79,493
      Purchased repair and upkeep 36,352 192,703 229,055 182,253
      Utilities, materials and supplies 29,287 74,627 103,914 95,595
      Rental 18,887 28,218 47,105 30,163
      Other expenditures - 127,531 127,531 129,484
      Total Expenses 4,352,776 7,418,433 11,771,209 11,472,743
      Revenues - - 7,173,056 5,337,068
      Cost from continuing operations     4,598,153 6,135,675
  14. CCOHS Respendable / Reinvestment Authorities:

    In 2015-16, the Treasury Board Secretariat facilitated a change in the funding structure for CCOHS. As a result, CCOHS was given unrestricted authority (pursuant to section 6 (1) (g) of the CCOHS Act) to spend revenue from fees charged for its products and services within the fiscal year in which the revenue was received or in subsequent fiscal years.

    The purpose of CCOHS’ respendable / reinvestment authorities are to provide CCOHS with funding to facilitate one-time expenditures, reinvestment in capital equipment or program development in accordance with CCOHS’ strategic plan.

      2019
      $
    Balance, beginning of year 2,673,973
    Annual operating surplus 218,739
    Tangible capital assets purchased with internal funds (5,350)
    Amortization of internally funded tangible capital assets 127,531
    Other working capital changes 48,410
    Internal revenue carried forward to subsequent year pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act 1,658,742
    Balance, end of year 4,722,045
    Allocated respendable / reinvestment authorities
    Deferred revenues for projects in 2019-2020 (1,218,499)
    Deferred revenues – donations (note 6) (113,152)
    Net debt funded by CCOHS (note 8) (361,894)
    Planned operational and capital investments - 2019 to 2024 (1,928,419)
    Total allocated respendable / reinvestment authorities (3,621,964)
    Unallocated respendable / reinvestment authorities 1,100,079
  15. 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 CCOHS. 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.

  16. Financial instruments and risk management

    • Liquidity risk: Liquidity risk is the risk that CCOHS 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. As described in note 8, government sources of liquidity are required to fund the net debt position.
      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.
    • Credit risk: 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. CCOHS is not exposed to significant credit risk. CCOHS 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.