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The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is a federal departmental corporation reporting to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Labour and Seniors 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.
We are pleased to present the 2022-2023 CCOHS Annual Report of the Council that highlights the work and achievements of the Centre over the past year.
The overall focus of the Centre this year was to remain purpose driven, cultivating new partnerships (and nurturing existing ones) and collaborating with like-minded organizations with the common goal of preventing injuries and illness in Canadian workplaces and beyond.
The past couple of years have been difficult for many as the threat of COVID-19 forced workplaces to face unique challenges at each stage of the pandemic. A year ago, we were gently emerging from the rigid lock downs, physical isolations and restrictions of the pandemic and testing new norms. We found ourselves adapting to a changed world of work with hybrid work arrangements at the top of the list. Priorities and expectations had shifted, and workplaces were challenged to keep pace.
CCOHS was ready to help. Through our existing partnerships with the Public Health Agency of Canada and other stakeholders, we continued offering resources to help meet safety challenges both in the physical and remote workspaces (more information about this can be found in “Partnering for Impact”). We also shared prevention messages around mental health, harassment and violence and occupational disease, and shared tools and resources for those who needed them.
CCOHS continued to show national leadership on emerging issues with a focus on priority sectors including mental health, harassment and violence, construction, agriculture and fishery and Indigenous enterprises. We collaborated with organizations across Canada to create resources like customized online courses, apps, podcasts and infographics and participated in conferences and events to spread awareness and good practices about working safely in Canada and around the world.
We also turned our attention to the changing world of work, and the impacts these changes can have on the workplace. We hosted a free virtual webinar about the impacts of climate change on work, sharing insights from a geoscientist and climate change expert and learning about the mental health impacts and how much we still don’t know.
Planning is well underway for our next national forum, The Changing World of Work, to be held in Halifax in September 2023. We look forward to bringing together leaders, changemakers and health and safety professionals representing government, labour, and employers to explore current and emerging health and safety issues, and it is our hope that delegates leave feeling inspired to make positive changes in their workplaces.
This year we retired our strategic plan and mapped out a new four-year strategy to take us into 2027. We sought feedback to inform the plan, consulting with stakeholders, users of our services, staff and other relevant organizations through surveys and interviews. We established our key priorities and goals which include service excellence and commitment to our staff. We are confident that we have a clear direction and path forward to help fulfill our purpose and vision by advancing health and safety in our country and beyond.
The Council of Governors is an integral part of the success of CCOHS providing strategic direction as well as guidance, leadership and advice. During the year we had several changes to the Council. We welcomed our new Chair Brenda Baxter (Labour Program), and appointees: Gail Boland (Newfoundland and Labrador), Gary O’Toole (Nova Scotia), Amir Raza (FedEx Express Canada) and Jenna Brookfield (Canadian Union of Public Employees). We said farewell to, and thanked, our outgoing Council members for their commitment and service to CCOHS: Gary Robertson (Chair), Phil Germain (Saskatchewan) and Debbie Molloy (Northwest Territories).
Thank you to our Council of Governors for their commitment to health and safety and ongoing efforts and support of CCOHS. We also want to express our appreciation to everyone at CCOHS for their work and dedication in delivering quality services, information and guidance to help make workplaces safe and protect workers from work-related injury and illness.
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 trusted source 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 in Canada 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.
At CCOHS, we are motivated and inspired by this guiding principle: that everyone has a fundamental right to a healthy and safe working environment. We embody this by providing workplaces and working people in Canada with the information they need to make workplaces healthier and work safe.
This past year, in a world where we faced new challenges with remote and hybrid work increasingly more common, ongoing labour shortages on the rise, and new threats like Mpox (Monkeypox), we adapted quickly to promote illness and injury prevention with a back-to-basics approach to safety. From articles, social media messages, and podcasts to media interviews, we informed Canadians about the importance of cultivating a culture of safety, conducting risk assessments with worker involvement, and following the hierarchy of controls to determine the best ways to protect workers from hazards.
We shared information on current issues like climate change. In March 2023, we hosted a free webinar featuring a panel of experts about the impacts of climate change on the workplace, and hundreds of people attended virtually. The panellists discussed the psychological impact of climate change, potential threats, and measures to prevent possible hazards at work. Feedback from the webinar was favourable as one participant stated, “Will now ensure job hazard assessments include consideration of climate change impact on workers’ mental and physical well-being!” More information about this webinar can be found in the “Connecting with Canadians” section of this report.
Another important topic we focused on was unpaid caregiving and the challenges workers face in managing dual roles and responsibilities. The COVID-19 pandemic helped show us that the number of workers in Canada who are also caregivers is rising. In Canada, more than six million, or 1 in every 3, combine paid work with providing some level of unpaid care. For these working caregivers, taking on a caring role is like having a whole other job in addition to regular employment and other commitments. Many caregivers are forced to stop working, reduce their work hours, change jobs, or accept lower income to balance their work and care responsibilities. CCOHS produced a podcast featuring guidance from internationally recognized work-family consultant and researcher Nora Spinks, who shared information about how to create supportive work environments. We also published the infographic Caregivers in the Workplace, to help employers understand how to help caregiving workers and promote a culture where they feel open and comfortable sharing information about their caregiving responsibilities.
We strive to provide materials in accessible formats so everyone can use our resources without barriers, and we are always learning how to expand our offerings. This year we found new ways to reach greater audiences and better serve those with special needs by providing information written in plain language, in an accessible format, and produced in various formats and multiple languages. We hosted events with simultaneous French translation as well as American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) when needed and produced informative videos with closed captions, and audio podcasts with transcripts in English and French.
With our partners, we will continue to respond to whatever challenges lie ahead and serve with purpose, as we strive to reach more people than ever before.
As we roll out a new strategic plan in the coming year, we will continue to equip Canadians with guidance and resources to protect workers from illness and injury and foster safe work environments as the world of work continues to change and evolve.
Completing the final year of the 2018-2023 strategic plan, CCOHS undertook a rigorous process of consultation with stakeholders and staff to help inform the development of a new four-year plan. We developed an online survey to invite input on areas of concern and priority and gather feedback on how CCOHS could help. The survey was emailed to jurisdictional, labour and employer stakeholders and posted on LinkedIn to get broader input. CCOHS staff and Council were also invited to provide input and perspective. In addition, senior leadership conducted in-depth interviews with key stakeholders to garner a deeper understanding of the role CCOHS could play and the services we could provide to meet the needs that were identified. The input was synthesized and incorporated into the new CCOHS Strategic Plan 2023-2027.
Our five-year strategic plan continued to inform our work as we aimed to serve key sectors and address specific health and safety issues. This year we addressed harassment and violence, mental health, occupational disease, agriculture, and impairment.
Everyone has the right to feel safe, protected and respected at work. To help support workplaces in their efforts to provide environments free from harassment and violence, we provide a vast collection of online courses, tools and guidance materials.
CCOHS worked with the Yukon Workers Safety and Compensation Board to develop a harassment and violence prevention-based app to help Yukon’s employers and employees understand their legislative obligations in their workplaces. The Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Guide provides users with information and guidance about their responsibilities, hazard assessments, policies, procedures, training and reporting. The tool launched in January 2023.
In 2021, CCOHS developed three online courses to help employers, managers, and employees in federally regulated work places understand their specific roles and responsibilities in accordance with the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations that came into force on January 1, 2021. The courses have remained in demand since their launch and were accessed 42,208 times this year.
The Labour Program, in consultation with a tripartite expert group of federally regulated employers and labour representatives, established the Roster of Investigators, a list of qualified, professional investigators, to support the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations. The roster is available on the CCOHS website, making it accessible to organizations and individuals who may need to investigate and address occurrences of workplace harassment and violence to be compliant with the regulations. The tool has maintained a roster of 75 harassment and violence prevention investigators.
Mental health is an integral part of a healthy workplace. Every year, one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health problem or illness, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association. To help workplaces support their workers’ total health and well-being and protect them from psychological harm, we offer an extensive collection of resources, courses and apps developed in partnership with organizations like the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Canada Life. All five of the assessment tools that CCOHS partnered on are available through the Healthy Minds at Work website.
This year we also promoted prevention messages at events like the National Community Health Nurses virtual conference, where we spoke about managing stress and promoting well-being for managers and supervisors.
In partnership with Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, compliments of Canada Life, CCOHS provides website development, hosting, and technical support for the Guarding Minds at Work (www.guardingmindsatwork.ca) online survey tool. A major update to Guarding Minds was released in January 2023. In addition to tracking the psychosocial factors described in the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, employers’ reports now include a measurement of the psychosocial hazards described in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 45003:2021. Indicators of workplace inclusion, stress and trauma were also added, along with links to new resources.
To support the advancement of workplace mental health, CCOHS partnered with Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, compliments of Canada Life, to build the Psychologically Safe Team Assessment tool. The free online resource, which is expected to launch in July 2023, will help workplaces protect and promote the psychological health and safety of their teams.
In partnership with Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, compliments of Canada Life, CCOHS continues to host and support the Psychologically Safe Leader Assessment tool (www.psychologicallysafeleader.com), which allows individuals and organizations to identify and strengthen their psychological health and safety leadership strategies. Updates to content, functionality, and the assessment scale were made to the tool this year.
CCOHS hosts a suite of online courses to help organizations in Canada create awareness and recognize the importance of psychological health and safety in the workplace. Psychological Health and Safety for Employers and Psychological Health and Safety for Workers builds upon the learning from introductory courses (Psychological Health and Safety Awareness and Reducing Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace) to give participants a deeper understanding of the roles and factors in creating a psychologically safe workplace. The courses launched in 2021 and continue to be a popular choice having been accessed 15,582 times.
Being a Mindful Employee: An Orientation to Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, is a free online course CCOHS developed in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The course is hosted on CCOHS’ website and helps employees understand the 13 psychosocial workplace factors from the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. This year, the course was rebuilt and updated with new content and videos.
Workers in the agriculture and commercial fishing industries can be exposed to many potential safety hazards due to the nature of their duties and environmental conditions associated with working outdoors. Guest workers, formerly referred to as temporary foreign workers, also face additional barriers related to knowledge and understanding of language, workplace laws and regulations. To protect the health and safety of workers in these industries, CCOHS offers free courses and guidance documents which are available in English, French and Spanish.
In October 2022, CCOHS collaborated with Farm Management Canada to deliver a presentation about creating sustainable workplaces through psychological health, safety and well-being. The session was presented at the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association annual conference in Hamilton, Ontario.
This free online course provides temporary foreign workers and their employers with guidance on how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 at work. The course is available in English, French, and Spanish and was accessed over 340 times this year, 57% lower than last year due to the decline in the need for COVID-19 related information and guidance.
Available in English, French and Spanish, this infographic provides guidance to temporary foreign workers on good hygiene practices, how to properly wear a mask, screening for symptoms and when to isolate. Since its launch in December 2020, the infographic has been downloaded 3,488 times.
Occupational diseases can develop among workers who are exposed to hazardous substances in the workplace, with some worker groups at higher risk. To promote prevention of diseases like occupational asthma and cancer, we offer tools about the risk factors linked to occupational disease.
To help workers understand how to control the risks of occupational disease, CCOHS produced a podcast with Paul Demers, Director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre, and Professor with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, about how tracking patterns and trends in occupational disease in different industries can help target prevention efforts. The episode was published in June 2022 and is accessible on the CCOHS website, on iTunes and Spotify. The podcast episode has had over 860 listens since its launch.
The Prevent Occupational Disease website (www.preventoccdisease.ca) provides employers, supervisors, safety and health practitioners, and workers with an increased understanding of occupational diseases and how to prevent them. CCOHS continues to host the website.
CCOHS partnered with the Occupational Cancer Research Centre to build a database and tool to share research and statistics related to occupational disease. The website, Ontario Occupational Disease Statistics (www.occdiseasestats.ca) launched in 2020, and the two-year project was completed in March of last year, with knowledge translation efforts extending into December 2022.
CCOHS has made a commitment to work with Indigenous communities in Canada to learn about their workplace needs and challenges so that we can better serve them. This year, we worked with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) to develop and launch an Inuktituk version of the Young Worker Safety course. CCOHS also connected with the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island First Nation Band and Tribal Council Administrators and the Nokiiwin Tribal Council to exchange information and research about workplace safety to better inform our work.
During Safety and Health Week, CCOHS hosted a virtual event with health and safety professionals Stacey Maguire of Glooscap First Nation and Travis Woodworth of Millbrook First Nation, to discuss workplace health and safety in Indigenous communities. The free event explored the complexities of situations workers in small, rural communities may face, and the value of integrating culture into safety programs to gain acceptance from communities. More information about Safety and Health Week can be found in the “Partnering for Impact” section of this report.
Every person employed in Canada has the right to a safe work environment. This year, CCOHS developed new workers’ rights posters in Inuktituk and Inuinnaqtun, in addition to French and English, so employees can be made aware of their rights, and workplaces can demonstrate their commitment to health and safety. The posters launched in March 2023 and are available for free on the CCOHS website.
In First Nations communities, several factors are considered before undertaking new health and safety initiatives. In September 2022, CCOHS interviewed Indigenous human resources practitioner Jeff Robert to share his insights. Since its release the podcast has had over 730 listens.
Impaired behaviour in the workplace can take many forms, often resulting from fatigue, medical conditions or substance use. Opioid use, specifically, remains a crisis and continues to grow across the country. To help address this serious issue impacting workers and workplaces alike, CCOHS offered resources, guidance and prevention messages to help employers and their workers learn about opioids, their intended use, how to address impairment, and how to respond to signs of poisoning. We also shared guidance on the topic of opioids in the workplace, participating in media and podcast interviews with Canadian Rental Service Magazine and Canadian Contractor Magazine.
The free online course Substance Use in the Workplace: Addressing Stigma can help workplaces understand and respond to the impact of stigma towards people who use substances. The course is available on the CCOHS website and is recommended for employers, managers, supervisors, and workers interested in learning about substance use and how to support those affected without using stigmatizing language. This year more than 2,500 people accessed the course.
The free infographic Substance Use and the Trades was developed in partnership with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) to provide employers with information to recognize and break stigma, and tips to address and prevent impairment in the workplace. The infographic had over 2,300 downloads this year.
In December 2022, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) developed a survey as part of its Reducing Substance Use in the Skilled Trades project, seeking to better understand the substance use experiences of apprentices and tradespeople, to help influence policy decisions and create tools and resources for apprentices. CCOHS supported CAF by extending the reach of their survey, sharing it in our newsletter and other communication channels. In the coming year CCOHS will be participating in other initiatives related to the survey findings such as knowledge transfer and course development.
The construction industry has high risk occupations that expose workers to many potential hazards, from working at heights to confined spaces, and working with heavy machinery and substances. To help equip employers and workers with the most up-to-date information and resources needed to work safely, CCOHS developed information-based web tools and apps, resources, and customized courses in collaboration with, and for, construction-based organizations in Canada.
The British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) launched the Silica Control Tool to help workplaces develop appropriate exposure control plans to prevent potentially hazardous exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust, based on the work that is being performed, such as sanding drywall or chipping concrete. By using predictive measurements, the tool can be calibrated to other jurisdictions, and is now being used outside of BC for the first time through a pilot sponsored by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW). Access to the tool is provided in partnership with the BCCSA and CCOHS. This year, CCOHS continued its role of being a collaborative partner on the project.
The WorkSafeNB Guide to OHS Legislation (https://ohsguide.worksafenb.ca), developed in collaboration with WorkSafeNB, is a bilingual website and mobile app featuring construction related topics with links to resources, including interpretations, summaries, legislation, hazard alerts, and safety talks. CCOHS continues to host and maintain the tool and new topics and updates are in production for next year.
In 2020, we collaborated with Construction Safety Nova Scotia to launch the Construction Safety Nova Scotia Guide to OHS Legislation (https://ohs.guide.constructionsafetyns.ca), a web tool and mobile app focusing on compliance in the construction industry in Nova Scotia. The tool includes fact sheets and information on subjects relating to construction hazards such as working in confined spaces, fall protection, ladder safety, excavating and trenching, and personal protective equipment. CCOHS continues to host and maintain the tool.
Everyone has a role to play in the health, safety, and well-being of their workplace. We provide easy access to a wide range of credible information and tools and services to help keep everyone engaged in creating healthier workplaces for all.
Our OSH Answers collection of easy-to-read online fact sheets features credible information on a wide range of workplace health and safety topics including hazards, diseases, ergonomics, and health and wellness.
This year, OSH Answers was completely modernized to improve the user experience, look and feel, and increase usability. Our users can now find information faster and easier, quickly share with colleagues, and print seamlessly for convenient reference later. The service features an alphabetical index of topics users can quickly search, plus links to related information, resources and tools. OSH Answers remains free on our website to access anytime, from anywhere. Additional functionality improvements will also be explored such as adding videos and alternative media to each fact sheet. As the information hub of our website, this revamped OSH Answers collection greatly enhances our ability to deliver quality self-service to our users.
Amidst this major update, the team released 29 new fact sheets, bringing the total number to 708. The new fact sheets support our strategic plan, addressing identified priority sectors and key areas of focus, including agriculture, newcomers, climate change, technology, and gender health and safety. New topics introduced this year included occupational health and safety legislation in Canada for newcomers, wind turbines, exoskeletons, robots and collaborative robots (cobots), mental health and stigma, reproductive health, pregnancy, and menopause.
Most Popular Fact Sheets
English: WHMIS 2015 – Pictograms, Risk Assessment, Hazard and Risk
French: Phénomène de Raynaud, Syndrome du canal carpien, Fatigue
The free Safety InfoLine service is available to users in Canada who want direct support from our occupational health and safety technical specialists. This year, the confidential service received 8,131 inquiries, up 23% from the previous year. Similar to previous years, the top areas of concern for users included health and safety programs and legislation, addressing chemicals in the workplace (WHMIS), and mental health/workplace harassment and violence.
Almost half of the accesses to the service were by employers followed by labour and then the general public. Safety InfoLine users are surveyed to help monitor the quality and effectiveness of the service. 81.4% of users were very satisfied with the information they received, 86.5% were satisfied with the timeliness of response and 61.3% said the information received would lead to current or future changes to their workplace.
“All the information I was provided helped me understand my concerns tremendously. Thank you for your help.”
“I was very happy with both the detail of the response, and the time it took to receive the response. This was my first time sending CCOHS an inquiry as a JOHSC member and it left me with a great first impression. I will be sure to consult CCOHS in the future with any inquiries I may have. Thank you!”
“This service is excellent and invaluable.”
Our bilingual website is the central hub where we host every workplace health and safety related product, service, database, and resource that we develop. Our website and micro sites are widely accessed and referenced.
Our website (ccohs-cchst.ca) is the gateway to all our products and resources. It is constantly being updated with new content and referenced in almost all our social media posts, newsletter articles, media releases and marketing campaigns, further extending our reach. This year, our outreach efforts resulted in 10.7 million users visiting the website, down slightly from the previous year, most likely due to a decrease in demand for COVID-19-related information.
To help measure the effectiveness and impact of the website, we deploy pop-up web surveys throughout the year. The survey was expanded to include Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) questions to provide greater insights into our users. Results were improved from last year with 89.5% of respondents saying the information was easy to access (up from 86%) and 82.8% (up from 81%) indicating they would use information from the website to make changes to their workplace.
Our topic-specific websites offer focused information on specific workplace health and safety concerns. These sites provide comprehensive links to credible resources and tools from CCOHS and other organizations on topics like mental health, healthy workplaces, gender and health, and young worker safety.
The Healthy Minds at Work website (www.ccohs.ca/healthyminds) shares resources and information to help workers and employers improve mental health at work. The website hosts all our mental health-related apps created 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. This year, the website received 26,685 page views, up 4% from the previous year.
The Healthy Workplaces website (www.ccohs.ca/healthyworkplaces) is a resource employers, workers and practitioners can use to find guidance in making their workplaces healthy and safe and to improve worker well-being. Users can access podcasts, presentations, fact sheets and courses on topics such as workplace stress, active living, caregiving, ergonomics and employee assistance programs. This year, the website received 36,114 page views, down 5% from the previous year.
The Young Workers Zone (www.ccohs.ca/youngworkers) provides employers, parents, and teachers with information to help support the health and safety of young workers and aims to raise awareness of their rights and responsibilities on the job. A new resource page with an accompanying infographic, Mental Health at Work: A Shared Responsibility, was added in April 2022, with more information specific to employers planned in 2023. Visits to the website were down 11% this year with 38,447 page views. The accompanying resource Health and Safety Teaching Tools was up 4% with 132,224 page views.
The Gender, Work, and Health website (www.ccohs.ca/genderhealth) provides a gender lens to research, resources and tools to help employers understand how 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 had 5,602 page views, down 18% from the previous year.
Our infographics translate health and safety knowledge into a visually appealing, accessible, and highly shareable format that is perfect for social media, articles, and fast fact cards. This year, two new infographics were created, bringing the overall number to 39: Caregiving in the Workplace (in partnership with McMaster University) and Working Safely with Chemicals. As the collection grows, so too does the need to review existing infographics. This year, Canada’s Aging Workforce, Substance Use and the Trades, Fatigue and Work, Sitting at Work, and Fall Protection Plans for Working at Heights were updated with current guidance. In total, the infographics were accessed 234,237 (up 8.3% from last year) times from our website.
Posters are available as free downloads for sharing and posting in the workplace. They are intended to provide high-level guidance or awareness around various topics. This year the collection grew by five titles, three of which were produced with partners: two Day of Mourning posters; How to Safely Enter a Cargo Hold (Transport Canada); Respectful Workplace: Mask or No Mask (Public Health Agency of Canada); and Workers’ Basic Rights (Public Service Alliance of Canada). The Rights poster was unique in that it was delivered in four languages (English, French, Inuktituk and Inuinnaqtun). Overall, there were 41,249 poster downloads (up 8.5% from last year).
Portable fast fact cards provide another way for workplaces to download and hand out key health and safety tips. The cards were accessed 16,216 times (up 34% from last year).
Most Popular Infographics: Working in the Heat, Safe Lifting, Fatigue and Work
Most Popular Posters: WHMIS 2015 Pictograms, WHMIS 2015 Labels, 10 Healthy Habits for Mental Fitness
Most Popular Fast fact cards: Psychologically Healthy and Safe Workplaces, Mental Fitness, Caregiver Safety Client Lifting
The monthly Health and Safety Report email newsletter provides information to more than 22,000 subscribers on current workplace health and safety issues and helpful tools and resources. The readership ranges from health and safety and human resources professionals, to committee members, workers, and employers. According to its annual readership survey, 90% indicated that the newsletter provides value to their organization, and 94% shared the information with their colleagues. The survey also revealed that for the first time in its history, mobile readers are outpacing desktop readers of the newsletter.
“It’s an excellent resource for current matters of interest to health and safety training, policy and procedure review and job hazard assessment mitigation planning.”
“I use these materials to help address emerging issues and give my staff (who are not safety professionals) background information to help orient our clients.”
“I enjoy the information shared in the report, as a regional OHS officer, I have shared this information with my committees and representatives in the region.”
Now in its 13th year, the podcast program explores timely health and safety topics, including interviews with industry experts. This year 18 new episodes were released (11 English, 7 French) bringing the total number in the collection to 245. Using a less scripted format, our hosts spoke with subject matter experts on supporting caregivers at work, how climate change is affecting the workplace, Indigenous perspectives on health and safety, and the importance of using plain language in the workplace. Podcast listens were up slightly over last year (1.6%) with 57,580 listens. The most listened to episode featured Eugene Gutierrez, who became involved with the Threads of Life organization after his father was killed in a workplace accident. We will continue to experiment and refine the podcast format to engage listeners with content they find interesting and relevant. Episodes are available from the CCOHS website, iTunes, Google Play and Spotify.
As the most frequent type of lost-time injury and the single largest source of lost-time costs in the country, repetitive strain injuries (also known as musculoskeletal disorders) continue to be a cause for concern. In support of International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, on February 29 (February 28 in non-leap years), we updated our selection of social media cards to reflect some of the most affected occupations, including hairstylists, warehouse workers and assembly line workers. Using our newsletters, promotional marketing campaigns and organic social media posts, we encouraged workplaces to help spread prevention messages about these injuries. Our promotion efforts paid off as traffic to the RSI Day web page grew by 30%, receiving over 8,200 page views.
The CCOHS Council of Governors established two scholarship awards to honour the memory of past governors and health and safety advocates Dick Martin and Chad Bradley. Both scholarships are open to students pursuing careers in the field of occupational health and safety.
This award is offered annually to two post-secondary students pursuing a career in the field of occupational health and safety. To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in a degree or diploma-granting occupational health and safety-related program at an accredited college or university in Canada. Winners receive $3,000 each and $500 is granted to each winner’s institution. This year, the winning students were Jonathan Gillis (University of New Brunswick) and Jacklyn Olson (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology).
This scholarship is offered annually to women pursuing careers in the field of occupational health and safety. Each year, the $3,000 scholarship is offered to one student 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. This year the winning student was Caitlin Pells (University of Victoria).
To better understand what workplaces need in order to stay healthy and safe, CCOHS engages with stakeholders in several ways. From attending conference exhibits, participating in speaking events, hosting webinars, and sharing information on social media, we ensure that CCOHS is listening and connecting with stakeholders across the country to learn about their issues and priorities.
To raise awareness of important workplace health and safety topics and issues, CCOHS participated in numerous conferences, trade shows and speaking engagements. As organizations around the world found new ways to work virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to leverage opportunities to participate in virtual events. Additionally, as public health restrictions eased mid-way through the year, we resumed our participation at in-person events.
With 85% of event participation being virtual, CCOHS facilitated and joined in conversations in various jurisdictions throughout the country and internationally. We spoke on sought-after health and safety topics such as healthy workplaces and psychological risk factors, effective hazard and risk management approaches, and the prevention of workplace harassment and violence, including bullying.
CCOHS also participated at in-person events in communities from coast to coast, with plans to reach more regions next year, including the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon. We connected with diverse audiences, including representatives from employer health and safety organizations, unions, small and medium-sized businesses, and federal and provincial governments, across a range of industries, such as forestry, mining, health care, agriculture, education, manufacturing, marine and transportation. We also connected with Indigenous communities and guest workers (also referred to as temporary foreign workers).
Audiences were also eager to learn about climate change. One notable highlight was the unique opportunity to participate in an international event on climate change. At the invitation of Deutsche Gestzliche Unfallversicherung-Spitzenverband (DGUV) in Germany, we co-facilitated a workshop as part of a networking event of the G7 occupational safety and health institutions, which took place in Germany on October 17-18, 2022. Our president and chief executive officer discussed the psychological impacts of climate change on the workplace, reaching 100 international health and safety professionals. Feedback from the session indicated that participants appreciated the opportunity to discuss climate change issues from a workplace perspective.
Another notable climate change highlight was a free, one-hour webinar that we hosted in March on the workplace impacts of climate change. The session discussed the psychological, physical, and occupational health and safety impacts of climate change, including potential risks, hazard prevention measures, and opportunities for future work in this area. The event had more than 450 highly engaged participants, far exceeding attendance estimates. Many provided comments and insights that confirmed there is great interest in climate change impacts, and the topic should be explored further. According to participant feedback, 94% of survey respondents found the webinar valuable, 62% would make changes based on the learnings, and 98% would attend a CCOHS event in the future.
"This was probably one of the best webinars that I’ve attended in years. The expertise was astonishing and the information was salient and useful."
"Really created a good link between mental health and climate change. A link I did not see before."
"In my HR role, it gave me some more insight into the understanding of the weight of eco-anxiety."
Social media remains a cost effective communications tool for sharing timely and relevant workplace health and safety updates and tips as thousands of people in Canada and beyond continue to connect with CCOHS’ channels. By directing followers to our website, tools, and resources, social media helps to extend the reach of valuable information available to support workplaces and workers in their efforts to address health and safety.
Overall, our social media presence grew as we gained new followers on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Our following on LinkedIn increased the most significantly with 5,865 new followers bringing the total up to 33,106, enabling us to connect with an even broader network of stakeholders. Through regular and consistent posting across all channels totalling more than 2,000 posts, we sustained momentum built the previous year. Our free, organic efforts were complemented by four paid social campaigns, the largest one focused on preventing workplace harassment and violence by promoting our courses.
While impressions (the number of times the content was displayed) from our organic posts decreased due to continued Facebook algorithmic changes and disruptions on Twitter, our total count was boosted by the impressions generated from our paid content on social media throughout the year. Along with the movement to paid subscription models on social media channels, the increasing gap between organic and paid impressions underscores the need to “pay to play” in the social media space. The social media team will evaluate methods to increase organic engagement through user-generated content efforts, polling, and videos.
When journalists are looking for a credible workplace safety-related source, they know they can rely on CCOHS to help inform their articles. Our media relations office is regularly contacted for interviews and articles on a wide range of workplace safety issues. Journalists reached out for interviews related to ergonomics, chemicals, mental health, health and wellness programs, and viruses like Mpox (Monkeypox) and hantavirus. We also spoke to journalists about back-to-basics safety like hazard and risk assessments, and the importance of orientation and training for all workers, including new and young workers.
This year, CCOHS was mentioned in the media 1,110 times (a slight increase from the previous year) which generated over 1.2 billion impressions (up 14.5% from the previous year) breaking our record of the highest number of media impressions. The most popular topics according to impressions and mentions were Day of Mourning, chemicals, ergonomics, psychosocial topics (mental health, harassment and violence), climate change and impairment.
It’s also worthwhile to note that the CCOHS has maintained editorial agreements and partnerships with industry and trade publications for several years now. Most recently, we’ve secured new agreements with MRO Magazine (and their sister publication Food and Beverage), Canadian Metalworking Magazine, and Canadian Finishing & Coatings Manufacturing Magazine. We continue to look for opportunities for editorial placement and media interviews to provide workplace safety guidance and elevate the profile of the Centre.
Employers in Canada have a duty to ensure all workers are trained on potential hazards in the workplace. To support organizations in fostering a positive safety culture and promoting prevention practices, we offer a comprehensive lineup of online courses and publications.
The collection of more than 180 courses is a foundational service program for the Centre, providing on-demand access to safety training and education. It’s been an exciting year for the program as we continued to incorporate adult learning principles and improve the learner engagement and experience.
Employers and workers can easily access these courses anytime from anywhere using a computer, tablet or mobile device. Course subjects cover a spectrum of topics on workplace health and safety, ranging from chemical safety and confined spaces to mental health, impairment and hybrid work. To ensure content is unbiased and credible, courses are developed by our subject specialists and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and governments.
This year, we added Return to Work During COVID-19: Addressing Return Anxiety to our collection of free awareness courses. This course has been accessed more than 22,900 times.
We also released paid courses on the Canada Labour Code Part II, and young worker safety. Additionally, four existing custom courses were updated, including a content update and rebuild of Being a Mindful Employee: An Orientation to Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, created with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Other courses released this year covered the federal hazard prevention program, orientation for new workers, and working at heights.
Along with new course content, we have focused on ensuring that course quality continues to meet users’ expectations and incorporates new technology. The majority of existing courses are being converted to a new format that is user-friendly, dynamic, and accessible. This, in turn, increases engagement and retention of key information. We are also placing emphasis on developing shorter courses and increasing interactivity, such as incorporating animated videos.
In total, our courses were taken 384,230 times, 34.2% of which were free, and 65.8% were paid. Follow-up surveys indicated that 84.9% of users were satisfied with the course they took, and 83% said they would recommend the course to others.
Most Popular Courses: WHMIS 2015 for Workers, Health & Safety for Managers & Supervisors, Canada Labour Code, Part II: An Overview
For more in-depth information and guidance, CCOHS produces publications on many topics, covering telework and home office health, emergency response planning, office ergonomics, new worker orientation, and more, plus guides for specific occupations or industries.
As part of our efforts to continuously improve, we updated the Emergency Response Planning Guide, as well as the Indoor Air Quality Health and Safety Guide. New publications on health and safety foundations, health and safety for managers and supervisors, and climate change are currently in development and will be released next year.
Most Popular Publications: Implementing an Occupational Health and Safety Program, Health and Safety Committees Reference Guide, WHMIS 2015 Instructor’s Toolkit and Participant Workbook
CCOHS has a legacy of joining forces with like-minded partners to make a greater impact in advancing workplace health and safety. We share information and good practices and tools from credible organizations around the world with workplaces in Canada, through our websites, courses, apps, special projects and more.
We partnered with the Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island (PEI) to develop the PEI Guide to OHS Legislation (https://ohsguide.wcb.pe.ca), a web tool and mobile app for regulatory compliance. The tool provides users with summaries of health and safety legislation requirements specific to the province, and access to resource documents and websites. CCOHS continues to host and maintain the tool. New topics were added this year including industrial racking, working in the heat/cold, ergonomics, fit for duty, lifting and material handling, aquaculture, self-employed persons’ safety responsibilities, infectious disease, diving and compressed gases.
The Guide to OHS Legislation Newfoundland and Labrador (https://ohsguide.workplacenl.ca) is a collaboration between CCOHS, WorkplaceNL and ServiceNL. CCOHS continues to host and maintain the app, with new topics to be added next year.
Through a collaboration with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the WSCC OHS App – Guide to OHS Legislation (www.wscc.nt.ca/health-safety/ohs-app) helps stakeholders access relevant occupational health and safety legislation from a single access point. We continue to host and maintain this service.
CCOHS worked this year to design and build a new occupational health and safety legislation app for Nova Scotia Labour, Skills and Immigration. The resource will host over 30 health and safety related topics and will launch in spring 2023.
Each year, CCOHS extends an invitation to youth across Canada to enter the Focus on Safety National Youth Video Contest. The contest encourages them to create a video demonstrating the importance of workplace safety. Winners and their institutions gain recognition at the provincial/territorial, regional, and national levels, as well as cash prizes.
To ensure that youth from provinces without a youth video contest can participate, CCOHS runs a Regional Qualifier Contest. The winning individual or team receives $1,000, and their winning video is entered in the national contest, alongside the other provincial/territorial champions.
A total of eight submissions from provincial, territorial, and regional competitions were submitted for national consideration. The national contest’s panel of judges included Shirley Hickman, Executive Director of Threads of Life; Kerry Moraes-Sugiyama, Manager of Original Programming-West at APTN; and Sharon DeSousa, National Executive Vice-President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). Winners of the 2022 national contest were announced during the Safety and Health Week national launch event on May 2, 2022.
CCOHS is in the planning stages of our seventh tripartite national forum. The event will take place September 26 to 27, 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and will bring together leaders, changemakers, and experts representing government, labour and workplaces. Forum focuses on the impacts of the changing world of work on health and safety. The event will feature perspectives on current and emerging issues, an innovation showcase to learn about new tools and resources, and opportunities to discuss and exchange ideas. Forum is designed to be an intimate event for those who share a passion for creating healthy and safe workplaces.
Employers, workers and communities throughout North America celebrate Safety and Health Week each year to focus on the importance of injury and illness prevention in the workplace.
Together with its national partners, the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and Threads of Life, CCOHS helped kick off Safety and Health Week with a virtual launch event featuring a message from the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour and Seniors, and a keynote presentation on adversity and resilience. The week continued with free virtual events hosted by CCOHS, including discussions on workplace health and safety in Indigenous communities, and improving organizational health and safety culture, plus a mental fitness meditation session. Event attendance more than doubled compared to the previous year, with more than 1,300 attendees across the five webinars. According to attendee feedback, 96% of survey respondents found the events valuable and would attend future events, and 71% intended to make changes based on the learnings.
CCOHS also hosts and maintains the national Safety and Health Week website. The site provides free resources workplaces can use to help promote awareness, increase engagement, and support others in planning and promoting their own events and activities.
On the National Day of Mourning, held annually on April 28, workplaces across the country take time to remember those who have lost their lives, were injured or became ill from their work. It’s also a time to renew their commitment to workplace health and safety. To help commemorate the day, we created a video to honour the memory of these workers and to encourage individuals to observe one minute of silence at 11 am. The two-minute video, featuring workers who died from their work, was the second highest viewed video on our YouTube channel with over 10,000 views, and was widely shared across social media channels. We maintain a permanent Day of Mourning page on our website, connecting users with awareness tools and resources so they too can create awareness about the day. Uptake of our messaging was strong this year as the media frequently referenced CCOHS as a source, citing our information and sharing our images and video with their readers. Over 80 Day of Mourning media mentions were recorded, resulting in 91 million impressions, which included interviews with CCOHS in Global News, OHS Canada Magazine, Ontario Construction News and CHCH News. The webpage had 48,318 page views, just slightly lower (1.2%) than last year.
WHMIS.org is an online information hub for Canadians who need access to information and resources related to WHMIS 2015. The website is a collaborative project 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.
The WHMIS Classification Decision Trees tool, created by CCOHS, launched on the website last year. Currently, the decision trees are being updated to reflect recent updates to the WHMIS regulations. The updated version of the tool is expected to be launched next year.
Additionally, the Product Label Comparison Tool which includes infographics and information illustrating the differences between consumer and workplace labels was published on the WHMIS.org website this year.
Overall, WHMIS.org had 156,827 visits (up 75% from the previous year) with almost all of those originating from users in every province and territory in Canada. The top three provinces to visit the site were Ontario (49%), Alberta (13%) and British Columbia (11%).
CCOHS is a member of three Health Canada WHMIS Committees. The WHMIS Current Issues Committee (CIC) facilitates information and knowledge-sharing between government regulators and affected stakeholders (workers, employers, and suppliers). We are also an observer on the Intergovernmental WHMIS Co-ordinating Committee (IWCC), a forum for regulators from federal, provincial and territorial governments along with Health Canada to exchange information and ideas related to the implementation of the Hazardous Products Act and Regulations. We have developed secure portals to provide members of the IWCC and CIC access to documents and resources. Also, CCOHS is an observer on 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.
To help Canadians work safely with hazardous products, we partnered with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada to create the WHMIS 2015 for Workers e-course. Work is underway to update this course to reflect the December 2022 amendments to WHMIS, with an expected release in April 2023. Overall, 52,174 seats were sold this year, bringing the total amount sold since its inception to 656,059. The top three provinces accessing the course continue to be Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
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, we participated in their virtual conference.
In May 2020, CCOHS partnered with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to develop a series of pandemic related resources for higher-risk occupations, industries, and essential services. The guidance documents offered good practices both employers and workers could use to help protect themselves from the spread of infection. The COVID-19 Health and Safety Resources web page (www.ccohs.ca/products/publications/covid19-tool-kit/) is CCOHS’ central hub of COVID-19 related information. The overall uptake of these resources was lower this year (122,589 views of the tip sheets) due in part to the nature of the changing pandemic, the return to work and a declining need for COVID-19 related information.
The CCOHS Safe Work mobile app features all our pandemic related workplace health and safety resources available to workers in Canada. The app hosts the Centre’s entire collection of over 120 COVID-19 resources, including industry and sector-specific tip sheets, infographics, videos, and other guidance materials to help workplaces keep their workers and customers safe. The app was downloaded 3,311 times this year, bringing the total number of downloads since its launch to 6,266.
Most Popular Tip Sheets
English: Court Operations, Indoor Pools, Events and Gatherings
French: Piscines intérieures, Restaurants, Administration des tribunaux
CCOHS offers tools and databases to help employers meet industry and sector needs, whether that involves safety data sheet management, compliance with the law, or working safely with chemicals.
CANManage is an online service designed to help workplaces manage and maintain their safety data sheets. 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.
Taking feedback from users, we are enhancing existing features and adding new features. This will allow them to organize their collections by location, category, self-service updates by adding or removing chemical safety data sheets, and a new message centre that will enable employers to work with our team to customize their collection based on their specific workplace requirements. New technology will allow for future user management tools, cloud-based infrastructure for robust systems and stability and high performance. These enhanced features and new tools provide a better user experience and secured user data.
This new update to CANManage is not only focused on large collections of safety data sheets but also geared to small to medium size businesses that do not have chemical or safety expertise within their organization. This service allows CCOHS to take on the work of organizing safety data sheets and the regulated compliance requirements to allow the employer to focus on other safety, health, and wellness issues in their organization. The new design and enhanced functionality is expected to launch in the summer of 2023.
Health and safety professionals need access to legislation and referenced standards to identify and understand their rights and responsibilities. Available in English and French, our Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards service provides users with access to full text of Canadian health, safety and environmental legislation. Users can look up critical guidelines and codes of practice from all jurisdictions, and receive monthly reports to help monitor, track and highlight relevant legislation. This year, each legislation topic was reviewed and updated where needed, to provide reliable, up-to-date information for users.
The International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) INCHEM database is 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. The collection of 8,544 documents had 910,321 visits from all countries (down 17% from last year). Of those, 38,775 (4.3%) came from Canada. The top three provincial users this year were Ontario (47.8%), British Columbia (19%), and Quebec (15.1%).
CCOHS strives to provide an environment that promotes safe work, healthy lifestyles, and fosters inclusivity. With support from managers, supervisors and various committees we encouraged our staff to participate in health and safety-related activities to stay engaged and connected with each other throughout the year.
Our joint workplace health and safety committee is a valuable partner in health, safety and wellness programming at CCOHS. Throughout the pandemic, members remained active contributors during consultations on policies, procedures, and education for safe work: a strong driver for our year’s health and safety performance.
This progress enabled us to launch a comprehensive disability management program and education for all staff. To enhance other existing health and safety processes, we prepared to deploy new tools to support learning management and incident management and strive for continuous improvement in all areas of our hazard prevention program.
Throughout the year, employees were invited to participate in book club meetings, a flu shot clinic, guided meditations, and other employee-driven wellness initiatives, including a campaign on financial literacy. Educational presentations and materials were also shared to empower employees to optimize various workplace benefits.
Remaining focused on our goal to be a leader in organizational health and safety culture, CCOHS undertook, as part of its 2023 employee engagement survey, an evaluation of employee perception of its safety and mental health programs. Overall, we were pleased to see organizational trends for health, safety and wellness performance were echoed by the results: 95% of our employees had a favorable impression of the organization’s efforts in workplace health and safety. Similarly, 84% had a favourable impression of CCOHS’ efforts to support employee mental health. While we are encouraged by these results, we remain committed to ensuring that our employees continue to feel and be safe, in all its dimensions.
Our commitment to our values is not only reflected in the environment we strive to create for our employees, but also in the actions we take in our community. As a corporation, we believe it’s important to demonstrate our support for initiatives that align with our values and mission through active participation in local events, activities and fundraisers.
At CCOHS we believe we are at our strongest when we embrace each other’s differences and value diverse experiences, perspectives and voices. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive workplace where everyone can be their true and authentic selves and can thrive. To show our support of the LGBTQ2+ communities, we participated in the 2022 Public Service Pride Week in August. The CCOHS Pride Team honoured the achievements of our vibrant and diverse LGBTQ2+ communities, learning from their lived experiences and worked together to continue to foster a more inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible public service, and work environment. The CCOHS Pride Team shared events and encouraged everyone to participate to help build a diverse, safe and inclusive workplace.
Every year, CCOHS’ United Way Committee holds many fundraising events in support of the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign/United Way Halton and Hamilton. From bake sales, to raffles and other events, CCOHS raised over $22,400 this year.
Steps for Life is an annual fundraising walk near and dear to the hearts of CCOHS staff. For more than 10 years, CCOHS’ Heart and Soles team has joined the Steps for Life walk in Hamilton, Ontario, raising money for programs and services that support family members affected by workplace tragedy, through the Threads of Life organization. Now as a national sponsor, CCOHS saw a large turnout from its staff, and the team raised over $5,000.
Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the accompanying financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2023, 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 and Risk 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.
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.
June 22, 2023
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:
(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, 2023 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.
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.
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.
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.
Chartered Professional Accountants, Licensed Public Accountants
June 22, 2023
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (note 4)
Deferred revenues - web based subscriptions
Vacation pay and compensated leave
Employee severance benefits (note 5 b)
Deferred revenues - donations (note 6)
Due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, without interest
Accounts receivable (note 7)
|Total financial assets||3,116,098||2,330,280|
|Net debt (note 8)||(1,381,437)||(1,446,465)|
Tangible capital assets (note 9)
|Total non-financial assets||574,466||471,366|
Contractual obligations (note 11)
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.
Salaries and employee benefits
Professional and special services
Transportation and communications
Purchased repair and upkeep
Utilities, materials and supplies
Salaries and employee benefits
Governors and committees
Professional and special services
Utilities, materials and supplies
Other expenses - non-cash
Employer's contribution to health and dental Insurance plans (note 12)
Accommodation (note 12)
Amortization of tangible capital assets
|Revenues (note 10)|
Projects and collaborative agreements
Spending of cash revenues pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act (note 14)
|Not applicable||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Net cost of operations before government funding
Net cash provided by government
Change in due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund
Services provided without charge from other government departments (note 12)
Total government funding
Net revenue of operations after government funding
Accumulated deficit at beginning of year
Net revenue of operations after government funding
Accumulated deficit at end of year
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.
|Net revenue of operations after government funding||47,010||168,128||334,853|
|Changes in tangible capital assets|
|Acquisitions of tangible capital assets (note 9)||(205,000)||(200,408)||(196,635)|
|Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 9)||157,990||134,125||106,184|
|Total change in tangible capital assets||(47,010)||(66,283)||(90,451)|
|Increase in prepaid expenses||not applicable||(36,817)||(34)|
|Net decrease in net debt||not applicable||65,028||244,368|
|Net debt at beginning of year||(1,446,465)||(1,446,465)||(1,690,833)|
|Net decrease in net debt||not applicable||65,028||244,368|
|Net debt at end of year (notes 8 and 14)||(1,446,465)||(1,381,437)||(1,446,465)|
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.
Net revenue of operations before government funding
Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 9)
Services received without charge from other government departments (note 12)
|Changes in Statement of Financial Position:|
|Increase in accounts payable & accrued liabilities||(743,126)||(53,557)|
(Increase) decrease in deferred revenue
Decrease (increase) in vacation pay and compensatory leave
(Increase) decrease in employee severance benefits
Decrease (increase) in deferred revenues - donations
Increase in accounts receivable
Increase in prepaid expenses
|Cash used in or provided by operating activities||6,992,297||6,134,570|
|Capital investing activities|
Acquisition of tangible capital assets
|Net cash provided by Government of Canada||7,192,705||6,331,205|
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.
|Asset Class||Amortization Period|
|Computer equipment||5 - 10 years|
|Furniture and equipment||5 - 10 years|
|Leasehold improvements||lesser of the remaining term of the lease or useful life of the improvement|
|Net cost of operations before Government funding||9,320,523||7,613,072|
|Adjustments for items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities:|
|Revenue collected under 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act||5,761,212||6,976,998|
|Amortization of tangible capital assets (note 9)||(134,125)||(106,184)|
|Services provided without charge from other Government departments (note 12)||(1,555,877)||(1,559,573)|
|Recoverable expenses not received in current year||46,587||-|
|Other amounts to be charged in a later year||(548,477)||-|
|Refunds received in the current year for prior year expenditures||-||1,895|
|Unpaid accrurals reversed for prior year expenses||-||9,203|
|Decrease in employee severance benefits||(14,541)||43,921|
|Decrease in vacation pay and compensatory leave||42,842||(80,332)|
|Total items affecting net cost of operations but not affecting authorities:||3,597,621||5,283,291|
|Adjustments for items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities:|
|Add (deduct) change in:|
|Increase in Prepaid Expenses||36,817||34|
|Acquisition of tangible capital assets||200,408||196,635|
|Total items not affecting net cost of operations but affecting authorities:||237,225||196,669|
|Current year authorities used||13,155,369||13,093,032|
|Vote 1 - Program expenditures||5,234,213||6,835,790|
|Vote 30 – Paylist Requirements||40,048||85,171|
|Statutory - Employee Benefits Plan||1,418,995||1,390,491|
|Authorities available for use in subsequent years from prior year||9,362,902||8,291,257|
|Authorities available for use in subsequent years from current year||(1,813,540)||1,071,645|
|Spending of cash revenues pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act||7,159,253||5,478,720|
|Total current year authorities provided||21,401,871||23,153,074|
|Lapsed authorities reallocated to FY2022-23 - operating||(697,140)||(697,140)|
|EBP surcharge related to FY2021-22 *||-||-|
|CCOHS Respendable / Reinvestment Authorities available for use in subsequent years (note 14)||(7,549,362)||(9,362,902)|
|Current year authorities used||13,155,369||13,093,032|
* During the year, the Treasury Board Secretariat agreed to reduce future funding to satisfy the EBP obligation previously stated of $772,041.
|Accrued benefit obligation - opening balance||259,560||303,481|
|Expense for the year||14,541||8,463|
|Benefits paid during the year||-||(52,384)|
|Accrued benefit obligation, end of year||274,101||259,560|
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:
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 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 has been estimated as noted above. As per note 12, this accommodation is provided without charge by the Government of Canada.
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.
|Accounts receivable from other government departments (note 7)||-||1,944|
|Accounts payable to other government departments and agencies (note 4)||749,735||633,242|
|Expenses-Other Government departments and agencies||298,950||366,958|
|Revenue-Other government departments and agencies||1,077,922||1,996,930|
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||2023||2022|
|Salaries and employee benefits||4,220,448||8,044,660||12,265,108||12,009,868|
|Professional and special services (incl. Governors and committees)||375,984||756,083||1,132,067||1,102,502|
|Transport and communications||29,893||210,917||240,810||131,974|
|Purchased repair and upkeep||21,780||-||21,780||10,113|
|Utilities, materials and supplies||42,358||51,339||93,697||90,490|
|Other expenditures||not applicable||134,125||134,125||106,184|
|Revenues||not applicable||not applicable||5,761,212||6,976,998|
|Cost from continuing operations||9,320,523||7,613,072|
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||9,362,902|
|Annual operating surplus (cost)||168,128|
|Tangible capital assets purchased with internal funds||(200,408)|
|Amortization of internally funded tangible capital assets||134,125|
|Internal revenue carried forward to subsequent year pursuant to section 6(1)(g) of the CCOHS Act||(1,915,385)|
|Balance, end of year||7,549,362|
|Allocated respendable / reinvestment authorities|
|Deferred revenues for projects in 2022-2023||(901,988)|
|Deferred revenues - donations (note 6)||(113,986)|
|Net debt funded by CCOHS (note 8)||(273,742)|
|Planned operational and capital investments - 2023 to 2027||(4,258,793)|
|Total allocated respendable / reinvestment authorities||(5,548,509)|
|Unallocated respendable / reinvestment authorities||2,000,853|