Raison d’être, mandate and role

Raison d’être

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1978 with a mandate to promote health and safety in the workplace and to enhance the physical and mental health of working Canadians. CCOHS operates under the legislative authority of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Act (S.C., 1977–78, c. 29) which was passed by unanimous vote in the Canadian Parliament.

CCOHS functions as an independent departmental corporation under Schedule II of the Financial Administration Act and is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

Its funding is derived from a combination of appropriations, cost recoveries and collaboration with the provinces.

Mandate and role

As Canada's national occupational health and safety resource, CCOHS is dedicated to the advancement of workplace health and safety. We do this by providing information and knowledge transfer services; training and education; cost-effective tools for improving occupational health and safety performance; management systems services supporting health and safety programs; injury and illness prevention initiatives and promoting the total well-being – physical, psychosocial and mental health - of working people.

CCOHS is a recognized leader in providing effective programs, products and services, which are based on the centre’s core knowledge, collection of occupational health and safety information, and application of information management technologies.

CCOHS has a broad range of collaborative arrangements with many national and international health and safety organizations. These include the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA), the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada, CAREX Canada, World Health Organization (WHO), North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH), European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, and Health Canada. Further information on the many partnerships is available at www.ccohs.ca/ccohs/partner.html and in CCOHS' annual report.

Collaborative projects serve many purposes at CCOHS. These opportunities enhance CCOHS’ occupational health and safety information resources, and allow CCOHS to collaborate with partners worldwide to access and share global perspectives. This collaboration among nations serves to promote the sharing of information and knowledge for social and economic programs relating to health and safety, reduce injuries and illness, and improve conditions for workers. They also contribute to Canada's leadership role in the world and bring the wealth of global occupational health and safety information for use by CCOHS to improve the health and safety of working people in Canada.

For more general information about the department, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report.