CCOHS Annual Report

April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) supports the principle that every worker has a fundamental right to a healthy and safe workplace. For more than 40 years, as Canada’s national resource dedicated to advancing workplace health and safety, CCOHS has worked to put as much information as possible into the hands of employers, workers, and stakeholders across the country. In doing so, we’ve offered a national perspective on current and emerging issues that affect workers here at home and around the world, while collaborating and engaging with partner organizations to drive home our vision: the elimination of work-related illnesses and injuries. Through our programs and services, built on our knowledge, fueled by our commitment, and realized through our actions, CCOHS will continue to advocate for the total physical and psychological health and well-being of working people in Canada.

Council of Governors

CCOHS is a federal departmental corporation reporting to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Labour and is governed by a Council of Governors representing governments (federal, provincial and territorial), employers, and workers; a structure that ensures a balanced, impartial approach.

  • Executive Board

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

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

    • Shelley Rowan (Chair)
    • Shari Nurse
    • Sari Sairanen
    • Denis St Jean
    • Shelly Dauphinee
    • Phil Germain
  • Chair

    • Gary Robertson
  • Employer

    • Joseph Bajzath Air Canada
    • Nina Mankovitz RIO Tinto
    • Lori Kennedy Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway
    • Shari Nurse Canada Post Corporation
  • 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

    • Ross Nairne Alberta*
    • Phil Germain Saskatchewan
    • Jamie Hall Manitoba
    • Sophie Dennis Ontario*
    • Shelly Dauphinee New Brunswick
    • Shelley Rowan Nova Scotia
    • Luanne Gallant Prince Edward Island*
    • Judy Kainz Northwest Territories
    • Susanna Zagar Ontario

*Term expired

Message from the Council Chair and President

One of the strengths of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is our ability to partner and collaborate with like-minded organizations and enterprises, contributing our strengths and tripartite lens to advance health and safety and help make positive change possible.

In 2019-2020 we continued this legacy. With our strategic roadmap to guide us we focused on high priority issues such as workplace mental health, harassment and violence, impairment, and occupational disease. We travelled around the country presenting, facilitating and engaging Canadians on practical ways to prevent and address complaints and unacceptable workplace behaviours, and how to take action on mental health. We created courses to educate workers and materials to promote prevention and forged new relationships in the agricultural sector to address their health and safety concerns including the mental health of farmers. Our social marketing campaigns in partnership with the Government of Canada encouraged actions on harassment and violence and was widely shared with a potential audience of more than six million.

In collaboration with the Mental Health Commission of Canada CCOHS developed mental health tools for healthcare organizations and the paramedic community to assess and promote workplace psychological health and safety. We also started work on the fourth iteration of Guarding Minds at Work with Canada Life which will launch in the summer of 2020.

CCOHS strengthened relationships with Indigenous communities by exchanging knowledge and sharing perspectives on mental health, leadership and occupational health and safety at several conferences and roundtables.

We created construction apps as one-stop access points for occupational health and safety legislation, customized e-courses and expanded existing services across several jurisdictions such as Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

And then in January there was news about a deadly coronavirus. CCOHS was ready with the most current information on COVID-19 and business continuity planning. In March our world changed forever when a global pandemic was declared. Businesses closed down, workers went home to work remotely, and the essential workplaces that continued to serve needed information about COVID-19 and guidance on how to work safely. CCOHS did what we do best, partnering with the Government of Canada and other stakeholders to develop credible tips sheets for specific higher risk sectors and occupations. We unlocked relevant courses and publications and made it all available for free on the CCOHS website and bolstered our Infectious Disease Outbreak portal to provide central access to hundreds of credible resources from Canada and international agencies. We closed out our year very differently than how we began it, with most of our efforts focused on COVID-19. One thing remained the same: our commitment to providing the information and guidance needed to create safe work and protect the health, safety and well-being of workers.

During the year we had several changes to the Council of Governors. We welcomed new appointees Lori Kennedy (CPR) and Shari Nurse (Canada Post) representing employers, and Judy Kainz (Northwest Territories) and Susanna Zagar (Ontario) representing their jurisdictions. We said farewell to and thanked our outgoing Council members for their commitment and service to CCOHS: Ross Nairne (Alberta), Sophie Denis (Ontario) and Luanne Gallant (Prince Edward Island).

Finally, we would like to thank the members of our hard-working, engaged and committed Council of Governors for their support over the past year. We are very grateful to all of them for their service, leadership and guidance. We also acknowledge and express our appreciation to the CCOHS staff for their outstanding efforts and achievements throughout the year in advancing health and safety as well as the important work of CCOHS in Canada and beyond.

Five Year Strategic Plan 2018 - 2023

In 2018 CCOHS developed a roadmap to establish our strategic direction and contribution to workplace health and safety that would sustain and grow CCOHS over the next five years. We explored the ramifications of changing work on worker safety and health, identifying sectors and issues that deserved our focus and highlighting 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.

Key Strategic Priorities

  • 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.
Key Strategic Priorities infographic
[Text version of the infographic]

Addressing Priority Sectors and Current Health and Safety Issues

CCOHS’ strategic plan identifies key sectors and health and safety issues on which to focus its efforts over a period of five years. These higher-risk priority sectors include healthcare, construction, agriculture and fishery, and Indigenous enterprises. This year the high priority issues of focus for CCOHS included workplace mental health, harassment and violence, impairment and occupational disease.


The world of work is changing, but one thing remains the same for healthcare workers: their workplace environment continues to be both demanding and unpredictable. Exposure to psychosocial and physical hazards including fatigue, burnout, and violence as well as infectious diseases makes healthcare workers especially vulnerable. This year CCOHS continued to consult with and learn about this priority sector to better serve the healthcare community and created tools and resources to help mitigate the risks that they’re routinely exposed to.

Community Outreach

Through the conferences and events program, CCOHS engaged and connected with healthcare workers across Canada, listening to their unique needs and promoting and reinforcing safety messages and good practices unique to these workers. CCOHS participated in six healthcare-related conferences including Together We Care (Ontario, Long Term Care, and Retirement Communities), Public Health 2019 (Canadian Public Health Association), Canadian Occupational Health Nurses Association Conference and Trade Show (in partnership with the Alberta Occupational Health Nurses Association), National Community Health Nurses Conference, National Health Leadership Conference, Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada (OEMAC) Conference. Overall, CCOHS was able to engage with and reach close to 3,000 healthcare professionals through these conferences and events.

Caring for the Healthcare and Paramedic Communities

CCOHS partnered with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to build two free online mental health assessment tools: Caring for Healthcare Workers (launched in March 2019) and Caring for the Paramedic Community (launched in June 2019), to support mental health promotion in these two vulnerable sectors. The assessment tools help healthcare and paramedic organizations identify key areas of strength and concern that influence the psychological health and safety in their workplaces, as starting points from which to develop mental health programs. CCOHS continues to maintain and support the websites.


Construction is an industry that often requires working in hazardous situations, at ever-changing locations, in demanding work environments. Falls, occupational illness and diseases, “struck-by” hazards, heavy equipment operation hazards and ergonomics are the main causes of critical injuries and deaths of workers at construction sites. 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.

Web Tools and Mobile Apps

This past year, CCOHS collaborated with provincial health and safety agencies to develop web tools and mobile apps to help workers access health and safety information and legislation. These apps are intended to provide both large and small workplaces with valuable and easy-to-access information about their legislative authority and related resources available (such as tip sheets and templates) to address specific safety hazards to which their workforce is exposed. CCOHS is currently working with the Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island, Construction Safety Nova Scotia, and WorkplaceNL to develop and launch these new tools. (More information about each of these projects can be found under “Partnering for Impact”).

Community Outreach

CCOHS engaged with stakeholders and exhibited at the BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) Health and Safety Conference and the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM) Safety Conference, reaching over 1,600 people.

Agriculture and Fishing

For many Canadian families, working in agriculture is a way of life. However, it can also be hazardous with unique risks and challenges. While the focus for many years was placed on protecting agriculture workers from physical hazards, it is now apparent that they face psychosocial risk factors that impact their overall safety and well-being. CCOHS has many resources to help these workers stay safe, including the free Orientation on Health and Safety for New Agricultural Workers e-course, which provides new agricultural employees with information to learn about their health and safety rights and responsibilities, related legislation, hazards, and how to work safely.

Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA)

CCOHS renewed a partnership with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) to develop an infographic on Farming Mental Health in Canada, which outlines some of the many stressors affecting farmers, and ways to provide support so they can be healthy and thrive, even in times of uncertainty or stress. From the infographic, a tips card was developed to help spread further awareness of the importance of positive mental health and the need for supports within the agriculture and agri-food industry.

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week

Once again CCOHS participated in Canadian Agricultural Safety Week from March 15 to 21, 2020, with an organic social media campaign that highlighted articles, podcasts, and the Farming Mental Health in Canada infographic to spread awareness of farm safety. The posts, which totalled 13,614 impressions, reached a diverse audience that included provincial farm associations, non-profit agricultural foundations, and national safety organizations.

Community Outreach

Travelling around the country to meet stakeholders is an important way for CCOHS to connect with Canadians and learn of concerns that inform our work. To further reach and create industry partnerships with change-makers, CCOHS sought to participate in meetings and events within the agriculture sector. As a result, CCOHS presented and exhibited at a number of agriculture-related conferences throughout the year including the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association (CASA) Annual Conference, the Agricultural Excellence Conference, and Fisheries & Oceans Canada OHS Conference. As a sponsor of the Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum AGM and Conference held in Prince Edward Island, CCOHS participated as a presenter and facilitated a roundtable discussion that focused on the issues faced by the agriculture community from their unique perspectives.

Indigenous Enterprises

Of the nearly 19,000 businesses located in Indigenous communities across Canada, over 83% employ ten or fewer people*. Limited staff and resources coupled with remote working conditions present unique health and safety challenges to Indigenous enterprises. For several years, CCOHS has worked to develop relationships with these communities across the country, learning about their needs and challenges, so that we can better serve them.

This year, CCOHS participated with the First Nations Safety Council of BC and Nokiwiin as a sponsor of the Indigenous Stream at the CSSE 2010 Professional Development Conference. CCOHS also exhibited at the annual Nunavut Trade Show & Conference and shared a presentation about health and safety leadership at the Mamowenchige - Working Together Conference (Nokiiwin Tribal Council).

*Source: Stats Canada A Profile of Businesses in Indigenous Communities in Canada

Workplace Mental Health

CCOHS has long recognized the importance of advancing workplace mental health in Canada, partnering over the years with like-minded organizations to develop many courses, apps, fact sheets, podcasts and tools. CCOHS continues to support organizations in developing mentally healthy workplaces, and this year’s efforts were no different.

Community Outreach

Our conference program is an important channel to educate, promote, and share resources to encourage organizations to work towards a mentally healthy workplace. This year, CCOHS connected with employers and workers across Canada at ten conferences and events dedicated to mental health, participating as an exhibitor, speaker, or panellist sharing a national perspective. In October 2019, CCOHS attended and sponsored the Better Workplace Conference which focused solely on mental health and well-being. In addition to the work with the Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum AGM and Conference CCOHS also presented on mental health at the Fisheries & Oceans Canada OHS Conference, Agricultural Excellence Conference, PSAC National Health and Safety Conference, Make It Safe Tradeshow, Schedule 2 Employers’ Group Conference, The Canadian Agriculture Safety Association (CASA) Annual Conference, and the Safety First - Cape Breton Symposium.

StressAssess: Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

In 2018, CCOHS collaborated with the Occupational Health Clinics of Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to develop and launch the free StressAssess web app. The 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. This year, CCOHS updated the tool’s survey and launched the mobile app version in July 2019.

Guarding Minds at Work: Canada Life

CCOHS continues to host and support users of Guarding Minds at Work, an online survey tool for organizations to assess, protect and promote the mental health and well-being of workers. The tool is also an important resource for those implementing the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Work is in progress to update the website to its fourth iteration, which will feature improved reports and resources, enhanced functionality, updated data and survey questions as well as language that addresses inclusion and diversity. The tool will remain free of charge, to make it as accessible as possible.

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 and CCOHS continues to maintain and provide support for the tool.

CAALL: Mental Health Jurisdictional Scan

CCOHS will be undertaking a mental health jurisdictional scan and review of workplace mental health tools currently offered by various organizations, for the Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation (CAALL)’s Strategic Labour Policy Committee. The aim of the scan is to identify tools that provide tangible improvements in workplace mental health that if used across Canada, could lead to a pan-Canadian approach to workplace mental health programs.

Harassment and Violence

All Canadians deserve a workplace that is free from harassment and violence. The Government of Canada held public consultations in 2017 to better understand the types of harassing and violent behaviours that take place in Canadian workplaces, and 60% of online respondents reported having experienced harassment. 30% said they had experienced sexual harassment, while 21% reported experiencing violence. It is clear that harassment and violence is a critical workplace issue that requires employer support and action, as confirmed by the passing of Bill C-65.

This year, CCOHS shifted their efforts from awareness to action by offering violence-related workshops and providing information on practical ways to prevent and address complaints and unacceptable workplace behaviours.

Social Marketing Campaign Partnership with the Government of Canada

CCOHS continued its partnership with the Government of Canada on a national multi-faceted social media campaign to promote culture change around workplace harassment and violence. The campaign stressed the importance of developing policies and programs to prevent harassment and violence and educate the workforce on how to respond and report. The three-week campaign ran in June 2019 on CCOHS’ Facebook and Twitter channels resulting in 6.1 million impressions.

Workshop: Harassment and Violence Prevention Starts with Civility and Respect

Bill C-65, aims to better protect federally regulated workplaces from unacceptable behaviours. The bill defines harassment and violence as any action, conduct or comment, including of a sexual nature, that can reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or other physical or psychological injury or illness to an employee, including any prescribed action, conduct or comment. A lack of civility and respect is often at the root of violence, harassment and bullying issues within workplaces.

To help workplaces champion and prioritize a civil and healthy workplace free from harassment and violence, CCOHS offered two practical workshops that walked participants through the development and implementation of a workplace violence prevention policy. Feedback from the participant survey was favourable, as 96% felt the content met or exceeded their expectations and 89% said they could apply what they learned at their workplace. Additionally, 100% of participants found the content to be helpful. Overall, participants appreciated the positive learning environment, and expect to impact more than 3,000 workers across Canada.

Connecting with the Community

CCOHS connected with over 400 professionals while speaking about harassment and violence prevention at the following conferences and events: Together We Care (Ontario, Long Term Care, and Retirement Communities), Safety Services NS Workplace H&S Conference, Partners in Prevention, Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC) Federal Employer Open House, Occupational Health Nurses Association Conference and Trade Show (in partnership with the Alberta Occupational Health Nurses Association), National Community Health Nurses Conference, Schedule 2 Employers’ Group Conference, and CMHA, Alberta - Working Stronger: Work-Life Balance—Fact or Fiction? Conference.

Occupational Disease

Occupational disease is an illness or disorder that is caused by the work environment or from exposure to harmful substances related to work activity. They can be disruptive, disabling, and sometimes fatal. Examples range from hearing loss to asthma, infections and some cancers. According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), occupational disease deaths continue to outpace traumatic fatalities. This is largely due to the latency period that results in illnesses and deaths occurring long after exposure to the harmful substance. CCOHS partnered with like-minded organizations to develop resources to address occupational disease.

Prevent Occupational Disease: Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

In 2019, CCOHS collaborated with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to create and launch 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. While the tool launched in February 2019, CCOHS continues to host, maintain and promote the website. Updates this year included the addition of a landing page on respiratory resources and the creation of a physician/clinician’s toolkit page. This year, the website had 14,454 page views.

Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC)

Work is underway on a project with the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) to build a website and related tools to effectively disseminate and share research and statistics from the Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) with stakeholders in Ontario and across the country. Characterizing disease trends and risks across occupations and industries can help identify vulnerable working populations and provide the evidence base necessary for initiating prevention activities. The website will serve as a resource to raise awareness, educate and inform stakeholders in the health and safety system, and provide them with up-to-date information to make workplaces healthier and safer. The first iteration of the website is due to launch in 2020.


In October 2018, the Canadian government legalized the sale and use of recreational cannabis and with it, came concerns about the potential impact on worker safety. When workers are impaired on the job, it can have serious consequences. CCOHS was ready ahead of the legislation being passed with guidance documents, e-courses, infographics, fact sheets, newsletter articles and podcasts to help workplaces address the potential for impairment in the workplace while respecting worker rights.

Impairment: What Workers Need to Know

In June 2019, CCOHS released the Impairment: What Workers Need to Know e-course. The course helps workers understand their role in recognizing the signs of impairment in themselves and coworkers, and how to respond according to their organization’s policies and procedures. Since its release, the course web page has had 3,355 page views.

Impairment and Cannabis in the Workplace

The Impairment and Cannabis in the Workplace e-course launched in 2018 prior to the legalization of cannabis. The course focused on impairment and how cannabis use in the workplace could be addressed. The course was updated this year into a new format, resulting in 1,589 course sales.

Workplace Strategies: Risk of Impairment from Cannabis

In 2017, CCOHS released the Workplace Strategies: Risk of Impairment from Cannabis guidance document to help workplaces prepare for potential safety challenges and impacts the Cannabis Act would have on workplace safety. The paper focused on the issue of impairment, offering tips and guidance on how to create and implement an impairment policy. Interest in the paper continues to be high as it was downloaded over 1,800 times this year.

CSA Z1008 Impairment in the Workplace

CCOHS is supporting the Canadian Standards Association by participating on the technical committee tasked to develop a new standard and implementation guide to assist workplaces in the management of impairment in the workplace. The draft Standard will be available for public review in 2020.

COVID-19: CCOHS Responds

Banner describing how the Government of Canada helping workplaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reopen for business

In January 2020 concern over a new Coronavirus was making the news and CCOHS was quick to respond, pulling together a fact sheet and newsletter article to provide basic information for workplaces. The Flu and Infectious Disease Outbreaks/Pandemic Business Continuity Guide was reviewed and updated to ensure that it would be as relevant and helpful as possible should the COVID outbreak continue to spread worldwide.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic as the rise of the COVID-19 outbreak rose to 128,000 confirmed cases worldwide. Canada had just 103 cases reported at that time, a number that quickly grew exponentially over the month. Shortly after the declaration the country was in lock down with people working remotely and only essential services operating.

During a time of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian workplaces need reliable and up-todate information at their fingertips. CCOHS was ready with information and resources to help workplaces safely stay operational during this time. On March 25, CCOHS made relevant courses and publications freely available to help support workplaces in their efforts to protect the health, safety and well-being of their employees during the pandemic. A total of ten courses were unlocked, addressing topics such as pandemic planning, mental health, ergonomics, and musculoskeletal disorders. Additionally, three publications were made available as free PDF downloads: Emergency Response Planning Guide, Telework and Home Office Health and Safety Guide, and Flu and Infectious Disease Outbreaks Business Continuity Plan.

The CCOHS Infectious Disease Outbreaks/Pandemic website was quickly updated with COVID-19 information and resources to help workplaces operate as safely as possible and keep people healthy during the pandemic. The website includes resources such as online courses, downloadable posters, and fact sheets from CCOHS as well as links to mobile apps and guidance from other credible Canadian and international organizations. The Infectious Disease Outbreaks/Pandemic website became a central access point for Canadians as resources from provincial, territorial and federal jurisdictions were added. The website saw a surge in uptake as the pandemic unfolded, generating 64% of the traffic in March, after the pandemic was declared.

To help high-risk occupations and essential services and industries work safely during the pandemic, CCOHS collaborated with organizations across Canada to develop a series of free pandemic guidance tip sheets. The documents will offer guidance and good practices for specific occupations, industries and services, for both employers and workers to help protect everyone from illness as well as prevent the spread of infection. The bulk of the work was started in March, and the tips sheets are planned for release in early April 2020.

Serving Canada to Improve the Lives of Workers

Employers, workers and stakeholders all have a role to play in the health, safety, and well-being of workplaces, and to do so effectively, they need access to credible information, tools, and resources. To maximize reach and make the greatest impact, CCOHS develops a wide range of useful resources and services, in a variety of accessible formats, and makes them freely available, in both English and French.

Answering Questions

Understanding and applying information and guidance on workplace safety can be complex and challenging. To help employers and workers in Canada with their most sensitive safety questions, CCOHS offers a confidential one-on-one Safety InfoLine service, and a self-serve online option with OSH Answers fact sheets.

OSH Answers Fact Sheets

The online OSH Answers fact sheet collection of 661 topics continues to serve users around the world with reliable and credible information to improve worker health, safety, and well-being. The English and French fact sheets are accessible from the CCOHS website and mobile app and are one of the Centre’s most widely used public services.

In meeting the Centre’s strategic priority to serve as a resource on emerging health and safety issues, CCOHS added new fact sheets on occupational health and safety legislation, opioids in the workplace, business continuity and pandemic planning, coronavirus, personal protective equipment, fall protection, and working in extreme conditions. Updates to over 80 documents were also made, ensuring the most accurate and up to date information is available to users.

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

The online service gained popularity this year as users made over 11.3 million visits to the fact sheets, up more than 5% over the previous year. Of those visits, 34% came from users in Canada (a 9% increase). The OSH Answers mobile app also grew by 8% this year, with 11,144 downloads.

Safety InfoLine [person-to-person]

For those that need it, Safety InfoLine provides users with more in-depth information and direct one-onone support. CCOHS’ team of occupational health and safety technical specialists research and respond to incoming inquiries by phone and e-mail to help people make informed decisions about health and safety issues in their workplaces.

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

This year the top three areas of concern from users of the service included WHMIS 2015, compliance (employer requirements, legislation, training), and mental health. The Safety InfoLine team responded to 8,327 inquiries spanning across employers (49.5%), labour (33.6%), the general public (15.6%), and governments (1.3%).

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

To monitor the quality of the service and for the purpose of continuous improvement, CCOHS surveys each user of Safety InfoLine. This year’s survey results revealed that 84.4% of users were very satisfied with the information they received, while 68% indicated their use of information obtained from CCOHS would lead to current or future workplace changes designed to improve health and safety (an increase of 2% over last year).

Providing Access to Information

Providing access to information, tools and resources that are bilingual, credible, and accessible is central to how CCOHS provides national leadership on current and emerging issues and supports workplaces across the country, including priority sectors higher-risk groups. The CCOHS website continues to serve as the main gateway.

CCOHS Website

The CCOHS website ( is the heart of the Centre. It serves as the single most important mechanism by which we deliver all of our information, resources, and programs and services. The website is continually updated to respond to current and emerging workplace needs with new fact sheets, infographics, podcasts, and courses. This year, the website received over 13.2 million visits (up 8% over the previous year), from 9.9 million users (7% increase over the previous year). Of these visits, 32% of the users originated in Canada. 78% of visits were to the English website, and 22% were to the French website.

To help CCOHS better understand the needs of its website users and determine if they were finding the information helpful and easy to access, a series of surveys were deployed throughout the year. From more than 17,000 responses from around the world (83% coming from users in Canada) 84% indicated they would use the information they found to make changes in their workplace.

CCOHS/CCHST Website highlights infographic
[Text version of the infographic]

Topic-specific Websites

CCOHS develops and maintains specialized websites to meet the demand for information and resources on evolving topics of high interest. These websites are heavily relied upon to provide users with credible information, tools, and resources from Canada and around the world on current, critical and emerging health and safety topics such as infectious disease outbreaks and mental health.

Infectious Disease Outbreak/Pandemic

For years CCOHS maintained a website dedicated to infectious disease outbreaks that provided guidance on impacts on worker safety, business preparedness and continuity planning, and information to prevent the spread. And then, in March of this year, a pandemic was declared, and the website became more relevant than ever. The website saw a surge in uptake as the pandemic unfolded, generating 31,698 page views for the year, 64% of which occurred in March 2020, after the pandemic was declared.

Healthy Minds at Work

While educating Canadians about the importance of being mentally healthy remains a vital part of CCOHS’ strategic priority, there is also a need to provide practical tools to help workplaces implement psychological health and safety programs. To that end, the Healthy Minds at Work website is regularly updated with links to free, credible resources to help organizations get started in creating a mentally healthy work environment. This year, the website was bolstered by the addition of one-stop access to five online tools that CCOHS developed in partnership with organizations across Canada: Guarding Minds at Work, Caring for Healthcare Workers, Psychologically Safe Leader Assessment, Caring for the Paramedic Community, and StressAssess. The usage of the website grew 11% this year with 46,047 page views.

Healthy Workplaces

The average worker spends more than 50 hours in work-related activities per week. Just over half of these employees take work home to finish outside regular business hours.* It’s not surprising that the workplace can significantly affect a person’s overall health and well-being. For workers to thrive, they need an environment that is both healthy and safe. CCOHS’ Healthy Workplaces website links to helpful guidance documents, tools, and credible resources from around the world. The website received 34,499 page views, a 2% increase from last year.

* Source: 2012 National Study on Balancing Work and Caregiving in Canada

Young Workers Zone and Teaching Tools

The Young Workers Zone website and Health and Safety Teaching Tools resource provides new and young workers, parents, and educators with information and tools to inform them of their rights as workers. As a value-added service to the Young Workers Zone, the Health and Safety Teaching Tools resource (available within the portal) helps teachers, youth groups, employment centres, and immigration settlement programs create awareness about workplace safety. Overall the website had 48,679 page views, and Health and Safety Teaching Tools had increased traffic with 140,858 page views.

Gender, Work, and Health

The Gender, Work, and Health website provides information and resources to help employers understand how the physical differences and psychosocial factors influence the rate of injury and illness among men, women, and non-binary people working identical jobs. This year, the website was used as a landing page for a social media campaign CCOHS deployed from January to February on the caregiver-inclusive workplace standard. As a result, the website had a surge in usage with 6,819 page views, up 49% from the previous year.

Promoting Health and Safety

For the greatest impact and reach and to offer workplaces flexibility, CCOHS packages its health and safety information in a variety of ways, while ensuring that they’re easy to access, cost-effective, and credible. The ever-expanding collection of infographics, fast fact cards, posters, podcasts and newsletters is freely available in both English and French for anyone to use in their effort to promote health and safety messages in their workplace.

Infographics, Fast Fact Cards, and Posters

Over the years, CCOHS has seen an increase in the uptake of its infographics which communicate health and safety guidance in an easy to read and visually appealing way. This year the infographic web page had 110,672 views – a 17% increase over last year. CCOHS added six new infographics this year, bringing the total number to 30: Nanomaterials (a collaboration with the Nanotechnology and Health Network), Sun Safety in Canada, Farming Mental Health in Canada (a collaboration with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association), Safe Lifting at Work, Workplace Inspections, and Ladder Safety. The three most popular infographics were Prevent the Spread, Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace, and Fatigue and Work.

CCOHS continues to adapt the most popular infographics into fast fact cards that usually highlight key safety tips. Their portable size is ideal for use as educational material for new worker orientations, as handouts in health and safety seminars, and as visual reminders to workers on how to stay healthy and safe. Three new fast fact cards were produced this year, covering lifting safety, workplace inspections, and farming mental health.

This year, to help promote awareness of safe work practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, CCOHS updated three posters, Prevent the Spread of Infections, Take the Time to Wash Your Hands, and How to Use Hand Sanitizer, to reflect the latest guidance on hygiene and physical distancing. The posters are planned for release in April 2020 and will be available as a free download on the CCOHS website.

Podcasts [Health and Safety to Go!]

The Health and Safety to Go! podcast program provides listeners with quick health and safety tips and advice. Users can access the podcasts from the CCOHS website, through iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify. Emphasis was placed on publishing interviews with knowledgeable health and safety specialists from across Canada. Featured interviews covered mental health and peer-to-peer support programs, nanomaterials, caregiving and work, return to work programs, artificial intelligence, and a personal story about workplace loss. The most popular episodes this year were Breaking the Cycle of Workplace Bullying, Effective Workplace Inspections – More than Meets the Eye, and Managing Workplace Stress. Overall, the podcasts remain popular with our users with a total of 65,883 listens this year (a 5.6% increase over last year).

Health and Safety Report Newsletter

The monthly Health and Safety Report e-newsletter continues to serve as an important communications channel, devoted to current and emerging issues and priority sectors. This year the newsletter covered topics ranging from impairment, agriculture, stress, mental health, construction safety, occupational cancer, transportation safety, and COVID-19.

The Health and Safety Report Newsletter infographic
[Text version of the Infographic]

The results from the readership survey confirm the quality and high appreciation for the newsletter, with a 98.4% satisfaction rating. The value extends beyond the individual subscriber, with 96% saying that the newsletter provides value to their organization, and 66% indicating that they use its information to help make health and safety changes in their workplace. Readers said they used the newsletter as a source for health and safety meeting discussions, toolbox talks, newsletter and social media content, and promotion to their own audiences.

This year CCOHS moved the newsletter to a new e-mail platform for improved delivery, measurability, and subscriber management and to also ensure compliance with anti-spam legislation. As a result, the newsletter subscriber base decreased to 17,087 but accurately reflects a fully compliant and active subscriber list. While the readership includes a global group of health and safety and human resources professionals, committee members, workers and employers, 75% of subscribers are from Canada.

International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day is February 29 (February 28 in non-leap years). It is a day devoted to raising awareness of repetitive strain injuries, also known as musculoskeletal disorders. These injuries affect tendons, muscles, nerves and joints in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands and can be quite painful. To help spread awareness of this day and to encourage prevention methods, CCOHS maintains a dedicated RSI Day web page with infographics, shareable social media cards, fact sheets, posters, and podcasts. The poster was downloaded more than 1,300 times and the web page had 6,532 page views, an increase of 45.7% over the previous year.

Dick Martin Scholarship Award

Each year, CCOHS offers the Dick Martin Scholarship Award to support interest in and encourage the pursuit of a career in the field of occupational health and safety. The award was started by CCOHS’ Council of Governors in 2002 and is offered to two post-secondary 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 New Brunswick, and Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario.

Chad Bradley Scholarship Award

To honour the memory of the late Chad Bradley, a former governor on the CCOHS Council of Governors, the Council established a scholarship in recognition of her efforts as a pioneer in health and safety, with the hope to inspire and encourage more women to pursue careers in the occupational health and safety field. The value of the national scholarship is $3,000 and is open to women enrolled either full-time or part-time, in an occupational health and safety related course or program leading to an occupational health and safety certificate, diploma or degree at an accredited college or university in Canada. The scholarship program will launch in the Summer of 2020.

Connecting with Canadians

To better understand what workplaces need to stay healthy and safe, CCOHS engages with stakeholders in several ways. From crossing the country to attend conference exhibits and participate in speaking events, to engaging workers on social media, we ensure that CCOHS always has a presence in each corner of the country to connect, listen, and learn about each province, territory, or industry sector-specific issues and priorities.

Exhibits and Speaking Engagements

Conferences, trade shows, and speaking engagements are essential platforms for outreach and awareness. They provide opportunities to meet directly with stakeholders to better understand the needs of specific sectors and regions. Through the Speaker’s Bureau program this year, CCOHS delivered industry-specific content, facilitated dialogue with event attendees, and shared prevention materials specific to crucial topic areas identified in CCOHS’ strategic plan. These included mental health (10 speaking engagements), violence and harassment prevention (8 speaking engagements), and impairment (4 speaking engagements). Priority sectors focused on this year included healthcare, construction, transportation, mining, agriculture and fishing, hospitality, and Indigenous communities. From these opportunities across Canada, CCOHS participated in a total of 54 conferences and events, and accepted 33 speaking engagements, achieving a total conference reach of approximately 28,600.

Exhibits and Speaking Engagements infographic
[Text version of the Exhibits and Speaking Engagements Conferences Map]

Social Media

Stakeholders across Canada and the world continue to follow CCOHS’ social media accounts to receive timely and relevant updates on workplace health and safety. CCOHS’ active presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram - the four most popular social media networks in Canada* - drives exponential impact and reach of key messages.

Collectively, CCOHS’ social media networks have continued to grow in follower size, further extending the reach and potential engagement and impact of its messages. Instagram, CCOHS’ newest social media channel, has enjoyed consistent growth, with a doubling in follower size and a 173% increase in engagement (likes, comments, and saves on posts). Posts on all channels are always kept open and monitored for comments and questions so CCOHS can better address health and safety challenges and gain an understanding from different perspectives.

The flexibility of social media was readily apparent during the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, where employers and workers shared and engaged with timely information posted on CCOHS channels. CCOHS was ready and able to deliver updated information and links to resources throughout February and March as workplace needs around the pandemic evolved.


Organic Social Marketing Campaigns

Through organic and paid social media campaigns, CCOHS addressed and promoted positive actions around current and emerging issues such as mental health and workplace violence and harassment. The campaigns helped to increase awareness of these issues while directing users to informative and credible tools and resources. CCOHS coordinated its organic social media efforts across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, with the goals of increasing community, driving traffic to the CCOHS website, and fostering engagement.

Organic outreach supports the Centre’s key priority sectors and issues as outlined in the strategic plan. CCOHS spread awareness and drew attention to key issues such as mental health, occupational diseases, caregiving, and pandemic planning, while supporting national observances including Day of Mourning, Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, Healthy Workplace Month, Safety and Health Week, Road Safety Week, Radon Awareness Month, Mental Health Week, International Women’s Day, Emergency Preparedness Week, Noise Awareness Day, and Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Organic Social Marketing Campaigns infographic
[Text version of the Infographic]

Social Marketing Campaign Partnership with the Government of Canada

CCOHS was granted $75,000 to work in partnership with the Government of Canada to promote violence and harassment prevention, and positive mental health in Canadian workplaces. The campaign: Taking Action Against Violence, Harassment and Mental Health Factors in the Workplace, was an extension of the previous year’s message (civility and respect in the workplace) and ran for three weeks in June on CCOHS’ Facebook and Twitter channels. Overall, the campaign resulted in 6.1 million impressions, and over 40,000 post engagements.

A man in construction fist bumping a coworker. The hashtag on the image says #civilityatwork.
A women in an office boardroom raises her hand. The hashtag on the image says #respectatwork.


The media relations program is an integral part of the Centre’s efforts to position CCOHS as a national occupational health and safety thought leader and resource. Throughout the year, the media team fielded requests for interviews on many topics. However, one issue suddenly emerged and came to quickly dominate all others. As Canadians grappled with how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, CCOHS was ready with help and guidance. In early February 2020, CCOHS received its first media request to share guidance and tips about COVID-19 and emergency preparedness. Through interviews and editorial placements, CCOHS shared tips on how to get an emergency plan in place, the importance of business continuity plans, and how workplaces could protect their employees from the virus.

This year, CCOHS’ media coverage spanned across many topics, with the top five being COVID-19, psychosocial (workplace stress, wellness, mental health and violence), chemical exposure, ergonomics, and impairment in the workplace. Overall CCOHS’ media presence increased to 957 media sightings* noted (up 9% from last year), which generated 1.4 billion impressions across English and French news outlets across Canada and internationally. News outlets sharing information from CCOHS included The Globe and Mail, CBC News, The Toronto Star, Edmonton Journal, Canadian Red Cross, Ontario Nurses Association, Canadian Manufacturing Magazine, Turf and Rec Magazine, PLANT Magazine, Hospital News, Yahoo!, Canadian Contractor Magazine, CTV, Global News, MSN News, Forbes Magazine, Radio- Canada ICI, Le Journal de Montréal, and Le Soleil – Québec.

*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

For most workers in Canada, learning about occupational health and safety is not only a benefit - it’s a legislative requirement. To help workplaces develop a positive safety culture and empower workers with the knowledge and tools they need to work safely, CCOHS offers a comprehensive program of online courses and educational resources.


CCOHS offers 171 online courses to provide accessible and affordable training for everyone. Each online course is developed by subject specialists at the Centre and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers, and governments to ensure the content provided is unbiased and credible. The courses are accessible on tablets, mobile phones, and desktop computers. In 2018, the Centre began upgrading the online courses to an improved look and functionality to enrich users’ learning experience and retention. This year, ten courses on subjects ranging from mental health, workplace violence, and health and safety committees, were updated to the new format, while two new courses were launched: Hazardous Occurrence Investigations for Federally-Regulated Work Places and Impairment: What Workers Need to Know.

To help workplaces tackle health and safety prevention that are unique to their own safety and environmental requirements, CCOHS also develops customized versions of its courses. This year, CCOHS collaborated with organizations across Canada to create six new customized courses on effective joint health and safety committees, hazard identification and control, health and safety legislation, and young workers for CN Rail, the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, WorkSafeNB, and others.

The online courses continue to be widely used. 174,983 seats were purchased this year while the free awareness courses were accessed 55,767 times. From user satisfaction surveys, 87% of respondents were strongly satisfied with the course they took, and 85% said they would recommend the training to someone else.


To help equip workers with practical guidance on preventing injuries while they work, CCOHS offers both print and online publications. The collection of 33 pocket guides and manuals covers topics such as comprehensive workplace health programs, health and safety committees, mould in the workplace, noise control, and ergonomics. This year, to support workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, CCOHS made two of its guides available for free via PDF download: Emergency Response Planning Guide and Telework and Home Office Health and Safety Guide which collectively had over 2,600 page views in the month of March alone.

The WHMIS 2015 Instructor’s Toolkit, comprised of an instructor’s guide, participants’ guide and PowerPoint slides, continues to be a valuable resource amongst Canadian workplaces. This year, 339 kits were purchased. Overall, 4,029 CCOHS publication guides were purchased.

Continuous improvement is essential to providing relevant, accurate content. Six publications were updated this year to include more current and accurate safety terminology and information on WHMIS 2015, and legislation and safety standards. These included: Emergency Response Planning Guide, Comprehensive Workplace Health Program Guide, Health and Safety Committees Reference Guide, Health and Safety Guide for Human Resources Professionals, Noise Control in Industry: A Basic Guide, and Orientation for New Workers. Additionally, some publications were refreshed with a new look and feel. Improvements to the collection of publications and manuals will continue next year.

Partnering for Impact

When it comes to emerging health and safety issues, CCOHS understands that by working with like-minded partners we can make a greater impact. Through websites, e-courses, special projects, publications, research and more, CCOHS strives to make information from around the country and the world available to workplaces in Canada. 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 knowledge and expertise in return.

Collaborations with Jurisdictions

PEI Guide to OHS Legislation

In the fall of 2018, CCOHS began a collaboration with the Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island (PEI) to develop the PEI Guide to OHS Legislation, a web tool and mobile app for regulatory compliance. With an initial focus on construction, the tool serves 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. Both the web tool and mobile app were launched in November 2019. CCOHS will add ten additional occupational health and safety related topics to the tool next year.

Construction Safety Nova Scotia

In September 2019, CCOHS began working with Construction Safety Nova Scotia to create a web tool and mobile app focusing on compliance in the construction industry in Nova Scotia. The tool will include fact sheets and information on 20 subjects relating to construction hazards such as working in confined spaces, fall protection, ladder safety, excavating and trenching and personal protective equipment. The legislation tool will launch in the summer of 2020.


CCOHS partnered with WorkplaceNL and ServiceNL to develop a legislation-related web tool and mobile app. The tool will cover 20 occupational health and safety related topics such as working at heights, confined space entry, emergency response, violence and harassment, musculoskeletal injuries, trenching and excavation, scaffolding, noise, personal protective equipment, and hazardous energy control. Work began in the fall of 2019, and both the web tool and app will launch in the third quarter of 2020.

New Brunswick Guide to OSH Legislation

The New Brunswick Guide to OSH Legislation, developed in collaboration with WorkSafeNB, is an easyto- 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. CCOHS continues to maintain and host the website and mobile app, and updates are scheduled to take place next year.

Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association Guide to OHS Legislation

The Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association Guide to OHS Legislation website and mobile app was released in June 2017 to help 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. This year the app was updated to include support for sending text messages to app users, a news feed, and a map to nearby medical facilities.

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

Through a collaboration with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) Northwest Territories and Nunavut, this bilingual website and mobile app 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 users 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 occupational health and safety-related topics, along with applicable legislation and useful resources. CCOHS continues to host and maintain this service.

Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA)

The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association’s Occupational Health and Safety Compliance web tool and mobile app presents information on over 50 key 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. CCOHS continues to maintain and host the website and mobile app, and updates are scheduled to take place next year.

HazardAssess: Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

This year, CCOHS collaborated with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to develop HazardAssess. This free mobile app assists users to audit the health and safety conditions in their workplace. Hazard concerns can be identified and reported so that action can be taken to reduce or eliminate risks. HazardAssess launched in December 2019 and is available for iOS and Android devices.

National Stage Canada’s National WHMIS Portal serves as a single access point for those who need information and resources related to WHMIS 2015. Launched in 2015, is a 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. Currently, the portal has 130 resources available to support suppliers, employers, workers and trainers. This year, the site was enhanced with two new guidance documents (and three were updated) along with other revisions. The website had 127,055 visits (90% from Canada) from every province and territory in Canada, with the top three being Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Focus on Safety National Youth Video Contest

Every year, CCOHS, along with the provinces and territories, invite youth across Canada to use their creativity to develop an original video that illustrates the importance of what working safely on the job means to them. The Focus on Safety National Youth Video Contest offers contestants and their respective institutions a chance to win cash prizes and recognition. To offer youth from provinces that were not running the youth video contest an opportunity to participate, CCOHS introduced a new contest category: the Regional Qualifier Contest. The winning individual or team will receive $1,000 and the winning video is entered in the national contest, along with the other provincial/territorial winners. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadlines for both the regional and national contests were extended until June 2020. Winners of the 2019-2020 contest will be announced in the summer of 2020.

Safety and Health Week

Held annually in May across North America, Safety and Health Week is a time for employers, workers, 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 hosts and maintains 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 participated in the national launch of Safety and Health Week in Saint John, New Brunswick.

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 an injury or illness due to their work. Several years ago CCOHS made a conscious effort to expand the messaging to include prevention of future work-related fatalities. It has been gratifying to see the uptake of this message permeated throughout social media and traditional media.

To help raise awareness of this day, CCOHS maintains a permanent National Day of Mourning section on its website with updated fatality and injury statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), podcast interviews with family members and workers impacted by workplace tragedies, posters, and shareable social media cards. This year the social media cards were updated and heavily promoted in CCOHS’ newsletters and on social media channels to help spread awareness of the day and remind workplaces to renew commitment to preventing future injuries and deaths. The web page had 32,119 page views this year.

2020 World Congress on Safety and Health at Work*

Together with the Institute for Work and Health, CCOHS will co-host the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, 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.

* At the time of producing this report, in light of COVID-19, the World Congress had been postponed to September 19-22, 2021.

Caregiver-inclusive Workplace Standard

More than 6 million Canadians provide care and assistance to family or friends living with ongoing conditions, while also working in paid employment. Without workplace support, many of these careremployees miss workdays, experience reduced productivity, or leave the workforce entirely. Of note, women are found to provide more caregiving hours, help with more caregiving tasks, and assist with more personal care than do men. In alignment with the Centre’s strategic priority to apply a gender-based lens to health and safety, it is important to recognize these gendered inequities in caregiving and how they potentially impact workers.

To support these workers and keep them healthy and employed, a technical committee at McMaster University developed the CSA B701-17 Carer-inclusive and accommodating organizations standard and the implementation guide, B701HB-18 – Helping worker-carers in your organization. Having made the resources free, McMaster partnered with CCOHS to help create heightened awareness of the issue and to drive downloads of the standard and guide via an integrated organic and paid social media campaign in early 2020, which garnered nearly four million impressions. CCOHS continues to serve on the advisory and technical committees related to this standard and grant work.

Cannabis and Young Workers

CCOHS, in partnership with the Canadian Coordinators of Young Worker Safety subcommittee of CAALL-OSH (Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation-Occupational Safety and Health Sub-Committee), developed a resource page in February 2020 for jurisdictions to use when promoting young worker safety around cannabis and impairment.

This initiative aligns with the Centre’s focus on priority sectors, given that these resources are the first in Canada to address impairment and cannabis specifically for a young worker audience. CCOHS houses the page on its Young Workers Zone website, and resources include an infographic, parent/guardian guide, presentation slides, and student assignments. Active promotion of these resources, along with the development of resources for employers are slated for the coming year.

Health Canada: Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau (WHMB)

CCOHS has been collaborating with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau (WHMB) of Health Canada for several years 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. This year, CCOHS updated the e-learning courses, hosted and maintained the web tool database, and collaborated on additional tools and resources that when released, will further support WHMIS 2015. This includes the development of a safety data sheet (SDS) compliance tool that assists suppliers with key information about specific regulatory requirements and best practices to address the most common SDS noncompliances. This year, CCOHS signed a new three-year contract to continue supporting stakeholders complying with WHMIS 2015.

Health Canada: WHMIS 2015 Committees

CCOHS is a member of the WHMIS Current Issues Committee (CIC) 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 to review documents and to participate in the development of a tool that will assist suppliers to better comply with the Hazardous Products Act and Regulations. In collaboration with Health Canada, CCOHS also developed three draft documents to support workplace safety. Also, CCOHS is an observer of the Intergovernmental WHMIS Co-ordinating Committee (IWCC), 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. The members of the IWCC participated in a review of the updated WHMIS 2015 for Workers course prior to its launch. CCOHS is also an observer of the Canadian WHMIS Coordinators Committee (CWC), a forum for regulators from federal, provincial, and territorial governments to exchange information and ideas related to the implementation of WHMIS 2015 in their individual jurisdictions.

WHMIS 2015 for Workers e-Course

To help Canadians work safely with hazardous products, CCOHS partnered with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada to create the WHMIS 2015 for Workers e-course. This year, the course was updated with timely information about transition deadlines, and new content was added to address training and education, employer and worker duties, and workplace labels. Improvements to the course will continue and plans to migrate the content into the new e-course format are set for next year. Overall 65,497 seats were sold this year. The top three provinces accessing the course were Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.

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 and Fall meetings.

Pan American Health Organization (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. Also, 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.

CSA Group

As a member of CSA Group’s Occupational Health and Safety Strategic Steering Committee, CCOHS provides leadership on national standards-related activities and strategic direction in relevant areas of occupational health and safety and technical public safety.

Transport Canada

As part of Transport Canada’s efforts to find innovative ways that regulations can be updated, while keeping Canadians safe, they launched a project to safely test the use of electronic shipping documents (versus printed documents that can get lost or destroyed) for dangerous goods shipments. Transport Canada partnered with CCOHS to launch the TDG Regulatory Sandbox on Electronic Shipping Documents to serve as an online repository for the sandbox communications in English and French languages, to facilitate informational updates and collection of user feedback. We also developed a knowledge transfer and promotional plan. Next fiscal year CCOHS plans to run a comprehensive promotional campaign to disseminate messaging to the first responder audience.

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™ – SDS Authoring Software

CCOHS’ CANWriteTM authoring tool helps workplaces across Canada meet the challenges of producing accurate and compliant safety data sheets. Users of the service can produce safety data sheets that meet the requirements of the legislation in both Canada and the United States, helping workplaces stay compliant with the Canadian Hazardous Products Act and Regulations (WHMIS 2015) and the U.S. Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012). In February 2020, a major update to the CANWrite software was released to remove the capability of authoring data sheets in ANSI (WHMIS 1988) format and prepare for the implementation of GHS version 7. Authors can now view and convert any existing WHMIS 1998 material safety data sheet to a WHMIS 2015 compliant safety data sheet.

To help small businesses who need to author WHMIS 2015 compliant datasheets, CCOHS offers a free template that provides the minimum information elements required by WHMIS 2015. Available in English and French, the template was downloaded 514 times this year.


CANManage is an online service designed to help workplaces manage and maintain their safety data sheets. Our team of experts build customized online collections to provide businesses with seamless access to the safety data sheets for the products they use. The service supports small to medium-sized companies in meeting their WHMIS compliance obligations by ensuring that their safety data sheet collections are accessible, current and complete.

A new and improved CANManage 2.0 is scheduled to be released in 2020 with greater enhancements and searchability to improve the client experience.

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, CCOHS continued to improve the accuracy of the service, updating guidelines and removing repealed documents. A new digital rights management software was also completed to better protect the intellectual property of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group Standards that are currently available and cited in the service. Improvements will continue into the next year as new content continues to be added.


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 50,643 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 free public services.


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 which also assist in the sound management of chemicals.

In August 2019, five documents were added to the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) monographs and evaluations, 27 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Summaries and Evaluations were added, and approximately 1,700 International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs) were replaced. The website was re-indexed and updated with a new look and feel and an improved search function that enhanced user search capabilities.

This year, had just over a million visits (up 31% over last year), with 51,426 visits originating from Canada. The top three provincial users of the service remained Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.

Our Values in Action

CCOHS strives to provide a safe workplace that promotes healthy lifestyles, encourages personal development, and fosters inclusivity. Through management support and employee engagement, CCOHS’ internal committees (Healthy Workplace Team, Workplace Health and Safety Committee, and Mental Health Sub-Committee) ensure staff are engaged in health and safety-related activities throughout the year.

CCOHS: A Safe Place to Work

The Healthy Workplace Team encouraged healthy living, team building and community involvement with activities such as walking challenges, and volunteer days with the United Way and the Good Shepherd Centre in Hamilton, Ontario. Additionally, staff participated in clothing drives, Orange Shirt Day, and Pink Shirt Day. Staff also celebrated International Women’s Day by hosting a webinar on Correcting Bias, inviting guest speakers, and a holding a panel discussion.

Every year, CCOHS hosts a fundraising raffle in support of the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign/United Way Halton and Hamilton. Combined with other efforts throughout the year, CCOHS exceeded the overall fundraising campaign goal and was granted the Platinum Spirit Award in recognition of the outstanding commitment of their 2019 campaign.

The Workplace 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, reviewing, updating, and providing consultations on policies, and making recommendations to management.

The Mental Health Sub-Committee, a joint subcommittee of the Union Management Consultation Committee, serves as the liaison between the Workplace Health and Safety Committee, senior managers, and staff, to ensure that mental health is integrated within the Centre’s healthy workplace programs. To help support ongoing improvements at CCOHS the committee, along with the senior leadership team, sought feedback from staff through an employee experience survey in October 2019. The information from the survey will be used to foster continuous improvement and to help shape the way forward with regards to both CCOHS’ work environment and the work we do. In addition, the Sub-Committee also undertook a refresh of the Centre’s organizational values, a grassroots project that involved input from all staff. The Sub-Committee believes that values that reflect all our employees’ aspirations will be foundational to the successful integration of strong mental health programs at CCOHS. The initial launch of the staff communication and rollout plan of the values is planned for late 2020.

Financial Report

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, 2020, 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:

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
July 9, 2020

Independent Auditors' Report


  • Commerce Place
  • 21 King Street West, Suite 700
  • Hamilton Ontario L8N 3R1
  • Canada
  • Telephone (905) 523-8200
  • Fax (905) 523-2222

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


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

  • the statement of financial position as at end of March 31, 2020
  • 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, 2020 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 ethical 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.

Chartered Professional Accountants, Licensed Public Accountants

Hamilton, Canada
July 9, 2020

Statement of Financial Position

As at March 31, 2020 with comparative information for 2019 (in dollars)
  2020 2019
  $ $
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (note 4)
1,850,687 1,848,002
Deferred revenues - web based subscriptions
1,011,742 1,218,499
Vacation pay and compensated leave
362,528 376,211
Employee severance benefits (note 5 b)
486,529 748,943
Deferred revenues - donations (note 6)
113,452 113,152
Total liabilities 3,824,938 4,304,807
Financial assets
Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, without interest
1,959,170 1,961,153
Accounts receivable (note 7)
350,739 588,068
Total financial assets 2,309,909 2,549,221
Net debt (note 8) (1,515,029) (1,755,586)
Non-financial assets
Prepaid expenses
101,551 69,973
18,862 28,504
Tangible capital assets (note 9)
303,385 255,625
Total non-financial assets 423,798 354,102
Accumulated deficit (1,091,231) (1,401,484)

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, 2020 with comparative information for 2019 (in dollars)
Expenses 2020 2020 2019
  $ $ $
Salaries and employee benefits
8,160,975 8,198,798 7,515,429
Professional and special services
1,319,343 952,005 1,227,121
Transportation and communications
338,625 224,661 207,802
Purchased repair and upkeep
359,996 268,145 229,055
Utilities, materials and supplies
185,623 159,238 103,914
123,930 82,357 97,971
32,875 22,076 47,105
10,521,367 9,907,280 9,428,397
Salaries and employee benefits
1,019,533 619,475 589,303
Governors and committees
23,023 12,755 6,439
66,040 46,653 36,156
Professional and special services
145,035 118,933 308,836
1,253,631 797,816 940,734
Other expenses – non cash
Employer’s contribution to health and dental Insurance plans (note 12)
- 698,256 597,610
Accommodation (note 12)
- 676,937 676,937
Amortization of tangible capital assets
180,791 121,561 127,531
180,791 1,496,754 1,402,078
Total expenses 11,955,789 12,201,850 11,771,209
Revenues (note 10)
5,254,393 4,818,426 5,671,892
Projects and collaborative agreements
558,414 1,133,478 1,501,164
Total revenues
5,812,807 5,951,904 7,173,056
Spending of cash revenues pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act (note 14)
1,443,482 - -
Net cost of operations before government funding
(4,699,500) (6,249,946) (4,598,153)
Government Funding
Net cash provided by government
4,860,769 5,186,988 3,056,804
Change in due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
- (1,983) 485,541
Services provided without charge from other government departments (note 12)
- 1,375,193 1,274,547
Total government funding
4,860,769 6,560,198 4,816,892
Net revenue (cost) of operations after government funding
161,269 310,252 218,739
Net financial position at beginning of year
(1,401,483) (1,401,483) (1,620,223)
Net revenue (cost) of operations after government funding
161,269 310,252 218,739
Net financial position at end of year
(1,240,214) (1,091,231) (1,401,484)

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

Statement of Change in Net Debt

For the year ended March 31, 2020 with comparative information for 2019 (in dollars)
  2020 2020 2019
  $ $ $
Net revenue of operations after government funding 161,269 310,252 218,739
Changes in tangible capital assets
Acquisitions of tangible capital assets (note 9) (342,060) (169,321) (5,350)
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 9) 180,791 121,561 127,531
Total change in tangible capital assets (161,269) (47,760) 122,181
(Increase) decrease in prepaid expenses - (31,577) 3,107
Decrease in inventory - 9,642 3,919
  - (21,935) 7,026
Net decrease in net debt - 240,557 347,946
Net debt at beginning of year (1,755,586) (1,755,586) (2,103,532)
Net decrease in net debt - 240,557 347,946
Net debt at end of year (notes 8 and 14) (1,755,586) (1,515,029) (1,755,586)

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

Statement of Cash Flow

For the year ended March 31, 2020 with comparative information for 2019 (in dollars)
  2020 2019
  $ $
Operating activities:
Net revenue of operations before government funding
6,249,946 4,598,153
Non-cash items:
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 9)
(121,561) (127,531)
Services received without charge from other government departments (note 12)
(1,375,193) (1,274,547)
Changes in Statement of Financial Position:
Increase in accounts payable & accrued liabilities (2,685) (485,541)
Decrease in deferred revenue
206,757 142,550
Decrease in vacation pay and compensatory leave
13,683 19,796
Decrease in employee severance benefits
262,414 125,441
Increase in deferred revenues - donations
(300) -
(Decrease) increase in accounts receivable
(237,329) 60,159
Increase (decrease) in prepaid expenses
31,577 (3,107)
Decrease in inventory for resale
(9,642) (3,919)
Cash used in or provided by operating activities 5,017,667 3,051,454
Capital investing activities
Acquisition of tangible capital assets
169,321 5,350
Net cash provided by Government of Canada 5,186,988 3,056,804

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

Notes to the Financial Statements

For the year ended March 31, 2020 (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 March 4th, 2019 at CCOHS’ 125th Meeting of the Council of Governors, which were held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Planned results pursuant to the spending of Parliamentary authorities are reported in the 2019-20 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:
          2020 2019
          $ $
        Net cost of operations before Government funding 6,249,946 4,598,153
        Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities:    
        Revenue collected under 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act 5,951,904 7,173,056
        Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 9) (121,561) (127,531)
        Services provided without charge from other Government departments (note 12) (1,375,193) (1,274,547)
        Other working capital adjustments 9,492 48,410
        Decrease in employee severance benefits 262,414 125,441
        Decrease in vacation pay and compensatory leave 13,683 19,796
        Bad debts (951) (1,054)
        Total items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities: 4,739,788 5,963,571
        Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities:    
        Add (deduct) change in:
        Increase (Decrease) in Prepaid Expenses 31,577 (3,107)
        Decrease in inventory (9,642) (3,919)
        Acquisition of tangible capital assets 169,321 5,350
        Total items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities: 191,256 (1,676)
        Current year authorities used 11,180,990 10,560,048

      • Authorities provided and used:
          2020 2019
          $ $
        Human Resources Social Development Canada - Vote 1 4,117,347 4,111,237
        Human Resources Social Development Canada - Statutory 1,139,284 1,069,711
        Treasury Board – Vote 15 – economic allocations - 16,125
        Treasury Board - Vote 30 - paylist shortfalls 473,316 214,321
        Authorities available for use in subsequent years from prior year 4,722,046 2,673,973
        Authorities available for use in subsequent years from current year 711,749 2,048,073
        Spending of cash revenues pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act 5,451,043 5,148,653
        Total current year authorities provided 16,614,785 15,282,093
        CCOHS Respendable / Reinvestment Authorities available for use in subsequent years (note 14) (5,433,795) (4,722,046)
        Current year authorities used 11,180,990 10,560,047
  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 2019-2020 expense amounts to $789,296 ($746,016 in 2018-19). For Group 1 members, the expense represents approximately 1.01 times (1.01 times in 2018-19) the employee contributions and, for Group 2 members, approximately 1.00 times (1.00 times in 2018-19) the employee contributions.
      • CCOHS’ responsibility with regards 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, 2020 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:
          2020 2019
          $ $
        Accrued benefit obligation - opening balance 748,943 874,384
        Expense for the year 16,292 20,174
        Benefits paid during the year (278,706) (145,615)
        Accrued benefit obligation, end of year 486,529 748,943
  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 received $300 in donations in 2020 (2019 - $0). The balance at March 31, 2020 is $113,452 (2019 - $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:

      2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 Total
      $ $ $ $ $ $
    Operating Leases 676,937 676,937 676,937 700,000 700,000 3,430,811

    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 and 2025 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 costeffectiveness purposes so that one department performs these on behalf of all without charge. The costs of these services, which include payroll and cheque issuance services provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada are not included in CCOHS’ Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position.
    • Other transactions with related parties
      •   2020 2019
          $ $
        Accounts receivable from other government departments (note 7) 4,968 -
        Accounts payable to other government departments and agencies (note 4) 547,734 453,100
        Expenses-Other Government departments and agencies 189,159 233,999
        Revenue-Other government departments and agencies 789,193 841,059
  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 2020 2019
        $ $ $ $
      Salaries and employee benefits 4,008,898 5,507,631 9,516,529 8,702,342
      Professional and special services (incl. Governors and committees) 288,980 794,713 1,083,693 1,542,396
      Accommodation 216,620 460,317 676,937 676,937
      Transport and communications 92,153 179,161 271,314 243,958
      Information 21,523 60,834 82,357 97,971
      Purchased repair and upkeep 56,887 211,258 268,145 229,055
      Utilities, materials and supplies 28,898 130,340 159,238 103,914
      Rental 16,102 5,974 22,076 47,105
      Other expenditures - 121,561 121,561 127,531
      Total Expenses 4,730,061 7,471,789 12,201,850 11,771,209
      Revenues - - 5,951,904 7,173,056
      Cost from continuing operations     6,249,946 4,598,153
  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.

    Balance, beginning of year 4,722,045
    Annual operating surplus 310,252
    Tangible capital assets purchased with internal funds (169,321)
    Amortization of internally funded tangible capital assets 121,561
    Other working capital changes 9,492
    Internal revenue carried forward to subsequent year pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act 439,766
    Balance, end of year 5,433,795
    Allocated respendable / reinvestment authorities
    Deferred revenues for projects in 2020-2021 (1,011,742)
    Deferred revenues – donations (note 6) (113,452)
    Net debt funded by CCOHS (note 8) (353,860)
    Planned operational and capital investments - 2020 to 2025 (2,725,262)
    Total allocated respendable / reinvestment authorities (4,204,316)
    Unallocated respendable / reinvestment authorities 1,229,479
  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 onetime 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.
    • COVID-19: In March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and has had a significant financial, market and social dislocating impact across the world. This has resulted in governments worldwide, including the Canadian and Ontario governments, enacting emergency measures to combat the spread of the virus.
      At the time of approval of these financial statements, CCOHS has not experienced significant adverse effects over future cash flows, changes to the assets or liabilities and impact on future operations.