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ARCHIVED - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety - Report

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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, healthy and safe at work. CCOHS is committed to providing Canadians with information on workplace hazards and conditions to promote health and safety in the workplace and enhance the physical and mental health of working people.

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 2012-2013. CCOHS fulfils an important role by providing services and expertise in the field of occupational health and safety both in Canada and internationally.

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. The Centre assumes a leadership role in innovation and expanding the boundaries of workplace health and safety and has developed a holistic approach to physical, mental and psychosocial well-being to workplace safety which is advocated for Canadian workplaces. Working together with our partners, we promote a comprehensive approach to improve health and safety so that injuries and illnesses will be recognized and, ultimately, eliminated by applying prevention practices.

By working together, we can make significant changes to workplace health and safety and ensure that every working Canadian comes home healthy and safe.

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

Section I – Organizational Overview

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.

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture (PAA)

  • Strategic Outcome: Improved workplace conditions and practices that enhance the health, safety and well being of working Canadians
    • Program Activity: Occupational health and safety information development, delivery services and tripartite collaboration
      • Program Sub- Activities: Expected Results
        • Easy access to occupational health and safety information and services
          • Inquiries
          • Web access/design
          • New Resources
          • Osh Answers Content
          • New risks
          • Refinement of existing products
        • Application of OHS information to improve workplace practices
          • OHS management System
          • High quality Information
          • Improved Application in workplaces
          • Foster collaboration
          • Education
        • Increased awareness and understanding of occupational health and safety issues in the workplace
          • National Forum
          • Training, conferences and presentation
          • Enhance web presence
          • Resources for Chemical health and safety
          • Health and Safety Report
        • Partial Recovery of Costs from User Fees
          • OHS products

Organizational Priorities

Priority Type1 Strategic Outcome and/or Program Activity Description
Mental Health at Work New SO1

Why is this a priority?

Mental health in the workplace has a significant impact on safety. Making people aware of mental health issues at work can have a profound impact on employee well being. Having an open work environment where mental health can be discussed and the employee supported will improve the work place. This promotes a holistic approach to work place well-being.

Plans for meeting the priority

Developing tools to measure the risk factors associated with mental health in the workplace. Promoting a mental health strategy through various communications methods.

Violence in the Workplace New SO1

Why is this a priority?

Violence in the workplace prevention is essential to protect workers. Resources are required to support management and educate workers on prevention strategies.

Plans for meeting the priority

An interactive web based assessment tool to measure the factors contributing to workplace violence and how to address them will be developed. Increased information on our website as well as educational programs.

Risk Assessment New SO1

Why is this a priority?

Identification of risks in the workplace is the first step in working towards prevention and education.

Plans for meeting the priority

Promotion of the Online Interactive Risk Assessment Tool. Providing information and resources on how to identify risks and develop prevention methods through various communications methods.

Accreditation New SO1

Why is this a priority?

By receiving accreditation for our learning programs we can be sure that the public needs are being met.

Plans for meeting the priority

Development and certification of learning programs.

Information Technology Strategy New SO1

Why is this a priority?

The technical infrastructure is the cornerstone of delivery of a broad range of products and services to the public. This is a complex system that requires monitoring in light of the ever changing technology in today's environment.

Plans for meeting the priority

Review of existing infrastructure and development of a detailed plan.

Employee Engagement New SO1

Why is this a priority?

Employee engagement is essential to a productive workforce. With changes due to retirements it is essential that our employees are engaged and mentored to plan for many anticipated human resource changes.

Plans for meeting the priority

Develop an action plan based upon the most recent survey that includes participation of a working group including a broad base of employees.

1Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing - committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new - newly committed to in the reporting year of the RPP or DPR.


Risk Analysis

The major challenge for CCOHS is maintaining revenues sufficient to finance 50% of our operating budget. Development of new products while maintaining public services is a delicate balance. 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 technological change, 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. Public services must be maintained with limited financial resources.

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. Technology is changing at a fast pace. CCOHS' traditional delivery methods were becoming outdated. New communications methods and delivery of information where developed to meet the changing needs. 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. This has improved public service delivery but it also impacts revenue generation. Information is generally available free of charge on the internet. CCOHS must balance its public service offerings with revenue generation to ensure we meet our financial obligations.

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, many our staff are becoming 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. Employee engagement is essential to maintaining a healthy workplace.

Planning Summary

Financial Resources (in thousands)
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
4,984 4,984 4,984

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

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent - FTEs)
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
96 96 96

Strategic Outcome: (SO1)
Strategic Outcome : Improved workplace conditions and practices that enhance the health, safety and well being of working Canadians.
Performance Indicators 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 usage of awareness information by 10%
Application of occupational health and safety information in the workplace. 72% of clients who use information provided 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.

Planning Summary Table

Planning Summary Table
Program Activity 2 Forecast
Planned Spending Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Program Activity 1: Occupational health and safety information development, delivery services and tripartite collaboration $2,420 $2,292 $2,292 $2,292 Healthy Canadians 3
Total Planned Spending $2,292 $2,292 $2,292  

Planning Summary Table
Program Activity Forecast
Planned Spending
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Internal Services $2,957 $2,692 $2,692 $2,692
Total Planned Spending $2,692 $2,692 $2,692

2For program activity descriptions, please access the Main Estimates online at:

Expenditure Profile

Departmental Spending Trend

Expenditure Profile - Spending Trend Graph


3For the government of Canada outcomes refer to the website at:

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 2012-13 to 2014-15 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. There have been no increases in funding for compensation in the past two years due to cost containment measures. 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 appropriations, please see the 2012–13 Main Estimates publication.