Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety - Report

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Minister's Message

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) was created to provide reliable and practical occupational health and safety information to assist Canadian employers and workers to be productive, health and safety at work. For over 30 years, CCOHS has been committed to its vision to eliminate workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths. By working with our partners, we advocate a comprehensive approach to improve occupational health and safety so injuries and illnesses would be recognized and avoided by applying prevention practices.

As Minister of Labour, I am proud to present the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety’s (CCOHS) Report on Plans and Priorities for 2011-2012. CCOHS is a leader in using evidenced based approaches to determine best practices which improve occupational health and safety in the work space. The scope of occupational health and safety is expanding to encompass a broader range of human health issues including physical and mental health and overall well-being. This includes ergonomics, prevention of violence, mental health and workplace wellness.

CCOHS will focus its efforts on providing a wide range of needed, relevant and practical information, resources and training that assist Canadians to improve health and safety. We will work with Canadian and global partners to develop the resources and tools that will improve health and safety and contribute to making Canada’s workplaces safe and more productive.

The vision of CCOHS has not changed: to eliminate workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths, and that at the end of every working day, Canadians return home healthy and safe.

By working together, we can make significant changes to improve workplace health and safety. As Canada’s national occupational health and safety resource, CCOHS is committed to ensuring the fundamental right of all Canadians to a healthy and safe workplace.

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Labour

Section I – Departmental Overview

1.1 Summary Information

Raison d’être

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety 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 people.


The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (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. The purpose of this Act is to promote the fundamental right of Canadians to a healthy and safe working environment by creating a national institute (CCOHS) concerned with the study, encouragement and co-operative advancement of occupational health and safety.

CCOHS is Canada’s national occupational health and safety resource which is dedicated to the advancement of occupational health and safety performance by providing necessary services including information and knowledge transfer; 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.The Centre was created to provide a common focus for, and coordination of, information in the area of occupational health and safety.

CCOHS functions as an independent departmental corporation under Schedule II of the Financial Administration Act and is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Labour. Its funding is derived from a combination of appropriations, cost recoveries and collaboration with the provinces. It is expected that 50% of the budget will be funded through cost recoveries from the creation, production, and worldwide sales of fee-for-service and revenue generating occupational health and safety products and services.

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

CCOHS is governed by a tripartite council representing governments (federal, provincial and territorial), employers, and labour organizations. The Council of Governors assists in overseeing a policy framework for a trustworthy and complete occupational health and safety service, and ensures that the information CCOHS disseminates is unbiased. Our key stakeholders are directly involved in the policy, governance and strategic planning for the organization. They also assist with reviews of programs and services to help ensure that our information is impartial and relevant. Our inquiries service is supported and funded from contributions provided by provincial and territorial governments.

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 Pan- American Health Organization (PAHO) the World Health Organization (WHO), North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH), European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Further information on the many partnerships is available at and in our annual report.

Collaborative projects serve many purposes at CCOHS. They are opportunities to enhance our OHS information resources generate revenues and collaborate with partners worldwide. This collaboration among nations serves to promote the sharing of information and knowledge for social and economic programs relating to health and safety, to reduce injuries and illness, and improve conditions for workers. They also contribute to Canada’s role in the world and bring the wealth of global OHS information for use by CCOHS to benefit Canada and to improve the health and safety of Canadians.

Organizational Information

CCOHS Organizational Information Graph


CCOHS operates as a departmental corporation of the Federal Government of Canada, and is governed by an independent tripartite Council of Governors comprised of representatives from labour, business, federal, provincial and territorial Canadian governments. This structure helps to ensure that CCOHS remains a well informed and a trusted source of unbiased OHS information for employers, workers and governments.

The internal business units are designed to allocate resources to service and program areas so that every area includes the technical, marketing and subject specialists necessary for development and delivery. Systems maintains the infrastructure necessary to deliver products and support the products and services developed including the corporate website. The Inquiries Service provides direct free front-line service to Canadians via telephone, fax, mail and Internet. They also provide customer service for cost-recovery products. Communication promotes the advancement of OHS, encourages the use of CCOHS products and services, provides communications to Canadians and is involved in providing marketing activities. The Chief Financial Officer’s group provides services to the departments including finance, operations support, facilities management and internal computer systems. Human resources support all departments.

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture

In order to effectively pursue its mandate, CCOHS aims to achieve the following strategic outcome:

Improved workplace conditions and practices that enhance the health, safety and well being of working Canadians.

Program Activity Architecture

Program Activity 1: 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 Canadians in their efforts to improve workplace safety and health. Citizens 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 Canadians. 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 working Canadians. 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 user 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.

Program Activity 2: Internal Services

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; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

1.2 Planning Summary

Financial Resources ($000)
(Appropriated amounts)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
$ 5,010 $ 5,010 $ 5,010

The financial resources table above provides a summary of the total planned spending for CCOHS for the next three fiscal years.

Human Resources (FTEs)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
96 96 96

The human resources table above provides a summary of the total planned human resources for CCOHS for the next three fiscal years.

The presentation of the expected results has been aligned to focus on the key results expected in relation to the strategic outcome. The programs of CCOHS are aligned to achieve these inter-dependent key results. The logic model in Exhibit 1 shows the relationship of our various programs and activities to the achievement of key results. The model shows that there is inter-relationship between activities and outputs to the key results. As CCOHS is an information-based organization that also generates revenues from information, these inter-relationships are necessary to ensure the efficient use of limited human and financial resources. Revenue generation from cost- recovery is necessary as our programs are only partially funded through appropriations.

As CCOHS has one strategic outcome for programs, the performance reporting is presented based upon our expected results for our program area. Financial resources reflect an equal allocation between expected results due to the inter-relationship. CCOHS is a small organization where resources and staffing are shared amongst various programs.

Summary Table

Strategic Outcome: (SO1)
Strategic Outcome : Improved workplace conditions and practices that enhance the health, safety and well being of working Canadians.
Performance Indicator Targets
Satisfaction with and ease of access and retrieval of OHS information from Inquiries Services, web access and other resources such as web portals, articles and presentations. Overall 80% Satisfaction Rate from Inquiries Services and 85% for web usage and 10% increase in usage
Increased awareness and understanding of occupational health and safety issues in the workplace. Increase distributions and participations in awareness information by 10%
Application of occupational health and safety information in the workplace. Ratings of 72% use information to make change in the work place
Evaluation ratings: Positive satisfaction rates for above targets and key informant interviews. Overall meeting objectives of the mandate.

Program Activity 1 Forecast Spending
Planned Spending Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Program Activity 1: Occupational health and safety information development, delivery services and tripartite collaboration $2,578 $2,310 $2,310 $2,310 Healthy Canadians 2
Program Activity 2:  Internal Services $3,026 $2,700 $2,700 $2,700  
Total Planned Spending $5,604 $5,010 $5,010 $5,010  
Services Provided without charge $1,302 $1,175 $1,175 $1,175  

1For program activity descriptions, please access the Main Estimates online at:

2For the government of Canada outcomes refer to the website at:

Exhibit 1: CCOHS logic model

CCOHS logic model Graph


Contribution of Priorities to Strategic Outcomes

Operational Priorities Type Links to Strategic Outcome(s) Description
Provide (Material Safety Data sheet) MSDS management services to support compliance and assist workers to be more effective in safely using hazardous materials. ongoing SO1 Provides the ability to build and maintain a customized collection of the MSDS that they use in their workplace. This supports our goal of assisting workers to be more effective in safely using hazardous materials.
Training and Education through provision of e-learning and classroom based courses ongoing SO1 Training and education remains one of the most effective ways to improve both work place conditions and processes that improve the safety and health of workers. This can positively influence their actions and decisions in potentially hazardous situations to improve health and safety in the workplace. The aim of this service is to provide a high quality and dependable service to fulfill the health and safety related training and education needs of Canadian workplace participants and to educate them about the relevant aspects of health and safety in the workplace.
Delivery of an occupational health and safety management service that is customizable for meeting the specific occupational health and safety needs of Canadian enterprises. ongoing SO1 This system helps organizations maintain and enhance their programs as well as apply the knowledge directly in the workplace that helps conform to national health and safety standards.
Provision of inquiries services to help workers with health and safety questions. ongoing SO1 This service provides every Canadian with access to the practical and relevant health and safety information that meets their specific needs. This confidential service is the corner stone to providing fair and equitable access to every Canadian to help improve workplace conditions. Every Canadian has a fundamental right to a safe and healthy workplace.


Risk Analysis

The major challenge for CCOHS is maintaining revenues sufficient to finance 50% of our operating budget. New products and services are developed to offset losses in traditional revenue sources such as databases. It became evident several years ago that without drastic change, CCOHS would not remain viable without replacement income sources. In response, it was necessary to develop new products and services to offset the loss in revenues. The costs of ongoing product development must be financed from the operating budget, which increase the time from development to market place. Generating revenues of $4.3 million is challenging given our limited human resources, the absence of working capital and additional administrative costs of operating a government organization.

CCOHS is also subject to changes in the market place such as foreign exchange fluctuations, technology change, and the life cycle of products and the availability of free information on the Internet. These changes make it difficult to replace lost revenues. The timeframe between new product development, implementation and ultimately sales is problematic as it generally does not coincide with the fiscal year end and there is no opportunity for financing of these initiatives. Costs are expensed as incurred and there are few funds available for promotion of products and services.

Revenue generation in a government organization is difficult while complying with governmental financial and administrative policies. CCOHS is a Schedule II department and has administrative responsibilities that are not conducive to generating revenues. Examples include dollar limits on advertising, embargos on advertising due to policy changes, travel and hospitality caps even when reimbursed by the client, and the lack of funding for new product development. In addition, CCOHS does not have any working capital to finance accounts receivable or inventories that are carried on its balance sheet. These restrictions place CCOHS at a competitive disadvantage for functioning as a cost-recovery organization. CCOHS also cannot carry over funds, which makes multi-year planning and product development difficult.

It is necessary to provide clients with current and credible information which is very labour intensive. The infrastructure (hardware and software) and content must be current in order to provide a comprehensive and efficient delivery of information to Canadians. CCOHS has focused on providing more value to its information products through development of management services such as MSDS and an Occupational Health and Safety management software. The demand for strictly database information has declined in recent years with the availability of OHS information on the internet.

While the internet has impacted revenue generation, it has provided opportunities to expand the reach of CCOHS and provide other methods for connecting with citizens and clients. CCOHS has expanded its on-line resources to include more specialized web portals, e-learning programs, webinars, podcasts, facebook and twitter promotion and on-line discussion groups.

As CCOHS works extensively in various partnerships and collaborations, changes with these partners can have direct impact on our revenues and ability to deliver services. The support of our stakeholders is essential to the ongoing success of CCOHS. Changes in other governments and organizations’ priorities could have a direct impact on their collaboration with CCOHS. Specifically, these organizations face decreased funding therefore reducing the scope of external collaborations. Lastly, the voluntary funding provided to CCOHS by provincial and territorial government is at greater risk due to the past year of lowered government revenue, therefore causing governments to reconsider and reduce their financial contributions to CCOHS. Some reduction in voluntary funding has already happened in recent years.

As with many organizations, a significant portion of our staff will soon become eligible for retirement. This is a serious concern as technical, scientific and business knowledge will be lost and will be difficult to replace. In order to plan for the retirements, staff have been re-organized into working groups or teams. This promotes improved knowledge transfer in anticipation of retirements so that other staff will be trained and available to replace the retirement of key employees.

Expenditure Profile

Departmental Spending Trend

Expenditure Profile - Spending Trend Graph


For the year 2008-9 to 2010-11 periods, the total spending includes all Parliamentary appropriations and revenue sources: Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates, Treasury Board Vote 10, 15 and 23 and respendable revenues. It also includes carry forwards and adjustments. For the 2011-12 to 2013-14 periods, the total spending corresponds to the planned spending and revenues. Supplementary funding and carry forward adjustments are unknown at this point and are therefore not reflected.

CCOHS’ funding remains consistent from year to year other than increases for compensations. Fluctuations in funding are primarily due to carry forward amounts and recovery of paylist shortfalls. Spending is impacted by the ability to raise revenues to cover the un-funded portion of the budget. Funding was reduced this year by the amount of the compensation increase as a cost-containment measure in the budget. This reduction in funding is ongoing and reflected in the planned spending.

Estimates by Vote

For information on our organizational votes and statutory expenditures, please see the 2011-12 Main Estimates publication. An electronic version of the Main Estimates is available at: