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As Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, I am pleased to present the 2014-15 Departmental Performance Report for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).
CCOHS continued to build on its legacy of providing reliable and practical occupational health and safety information in innovative formats that employers and workers in Canada need to create healthy workplaces and prevent injuries and illnesses.
This past year, CCOHS developed a strategic plan to help direct the Centre’s efforts over the next three years. Centered on continued growth, CCOHS’ focus has been on improving the domestic coverage of CCOHS, increasing the uptake of its products and services and reinforcing the Centre’s role as a leader in the promotion of healthier and safer workplaces in Canada.
In partnership with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau of Health Canada (formerly the National Office of WHMIS), and working with the provinces and territories, CCOHS released a collection of tools and resources to help workplaces in Canada navigate and embrace the long awaited changes to WHMIS 2015.
CCOHS’ commitment to workplace mental health is both as an employer, and as a health and safety organization. The Centre has been implementing the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and participating in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s case study research project. CCOHS has crossed the country sharing experiences, data and challenges that may help organizations create mentally healthy workplaces to the benefit of all.
The health and safety of new and young workers remained at the forefront of concern. In addition to providing a web portal to deliver youth-specific information and tools, CCOHS sponsored and promoted the National Youth Video Contest to heighten awareness of workplace health and safety with students and young workers.
Through its programs, services, knowledge, and leadership, CCOHS will continue its efforts to advance health and safety in the workplace and I look forward to working with CCOHS to help improve the lives of the working population in Canada.
The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
CCOHS continues to serve as a vital component of regional and national dialogue on workplace health, safety and wellness.
It’s rewarding when the investments made in our organization and our partnerships throughout Canada deliver benefits for workplaces across the country. We have utilized our understanding of emerging trends in the national health and safety landscape to develop ambitious tools for Canadian workplaces that provide a framework for success in preventing injuries and illnesses. Against a backdrop of emerging issues and sudden shifts in the occupational health and safety environment, as well as regional economic challenges, CCOHS pursued a national agenda for action-oriented relationships with all our partners, and product development based on global best practises and our evidence-based principles.
We have advocated that workplace challenges cannot be resolved in isolation. No single organization, health and safety association, Ministry, or individual can provide a solution to a complex issue that traverses regions, generations, business sectors and cultures. Whatever successes we have achieved can be directly attributed to direct dialogue, embracing the value of diversity, and leveraging our partnerships across Canada.
Internally, we have marshalled our resources to expand and enhance capacity to ensure we remain at the forefront of national prevention and wellness promotion and program development. Our investments in technology and software systems will improve efficiency, provide seamless stakeholder interactions, and enhance the customer experience for Canadian workplaces.
This year we’ve laid the foundation for sustainable growth with a strategic plan that affirms our guiding principles and a vision that will respond to an uncertain future environment. Along with these internal values, the plan supports our ongoing efforts in building consensus around initiatives such as mental health, GHS, young and new worker programs, and promotion of leading indicators as predictors of organizational performance. I would like to extend by appreciation to Council and the whole CCOHS team for their passion, commitment and valued contribution in making this an outstanding year for CCOHS.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Appropriate Minister: The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Institutional Head: Steve Horvath
Ministerial Portfolio: Employment and Social Development Canada, Labour Program
Enabling Instrument(s): Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Act
Year of Incorporation / Commencement: 1978
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 a 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 Council members 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, and Health Canada. Further information on the many partnerships is available at http://www.ccohs.ca/ccohs/partner.html and in our Annual Report.
Collaborative projects serve many purposes at CCOHS. They are opportunities to enhance our occupational health and safety 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 occupational health and safety information for use by CCOHS to benefit Canada and to improve the health and safety of Canadians.
Strategic Outcome(s) and Program Alignment Architecture
Strategic Outcome: Improved workplace conditions and practices that enhance the health, safety and well-being of working Canadians
1.1 Program: Occupational health and safety information development, delivery services and tripartite collaboration
CCOHS relies heavily on cost recovery programs and contributions from partners to supplement its parliamentary appropriations and cover fixed costs. The CCOHS funding model is based upon 50% of our operating budget being generated through cost recovery and our products and services must be continually updated to be marketable. Changes to our partners’ funding can have a direct impact on our revenues and our ability to deliver our products and services to Canadians.
CCOHS is proactively managing this risk by improving its cost recovery program. The program focuses on three main elements. First, we are rationalizing the product inventory to improve focus on the products that our stakeholders demand. Next, we are reviewing the pricing and marketing models for those products to ensure that we are reaching more Canadian workplaces and receiving fair market value for our products. Finally, we are reviewing and revising the commercial agreements with our suppliers in order to help reduce the cost of the operation.
The organization also faces the risk that technological advances have rendered traditional delivery methods for its content unsustainable and out-dated. CCOHS has responded by expanding its on-line resources to include more specialized web portals, e-learning programs, webinars, podcasts, Facebook and Twitter promotion and on-line discussion groups. These new channels are key to supporting our priority to expand our reach and impact more Canadians on a daily basis. CCOHS is investing in the technology required to support these new communication channels and is challenged to do so with a very limited operating budget.
Planned spending represents the total amount authorized through the main estimates process. Authorities represent the total amounts authorized for the entire year, including the main estimates. The increase in total authorities is due to funding received for carry forward amounts from the prior year.
Departmental Spending Trend Graph
For the years 2012-13 through 2014-15 the total spending includes all Parliamentary appropriations and revenue sources: Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates, Treasury Board Vote 10, 15, 23, 25 and 30 as well as respendable revenues. It also includes carry forwards and adjustments. For the 2015-16 to 2017-18 periods, the total spending corresponds to the planned spending factoring in projected respendable revenues. Vote 15 transfers were high during fiscal 2012-13 due to the discontinuation of severance benefits and disbursements for this program.
For information on CCOHS’s organizational Votes and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2014 on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.
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 too 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.
Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned
In order to achieve these results, CCOHS executed the following activities:
Clients require information on demand and in many different formats to meet their needs. CCOHS works to address needs and identify trends quickly. Our feedback identifies emerging issues that are relevant for Canadian workplaces, and CCOHS has identified free and paid services to support future health, safety and wellness needs. Recent examples include mental health, workplace wellness and changes to WHMIS due to the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Emerging issues drive development of new presentations, courses, fact sheets, micro sites, apps, podcasts and articles for our newsletters.
In response to client feedback, we’ve moved beyond database services, but that clients expect to find resources instantly through web-based, App-based and social-media resources. When there are changes in legislation, current events and best practices we need to respond quickly. In order to expand our reach we need to adopt new technologies quickly. It is also critical to keep our employees engaged since improved engagement leads to improved employee health, workplace health and wellness.
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; Materiel 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.
Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned
The focus for Internal Services continues to be to support the occupational health and safety information development, delivery services and tripartite collaboration program, with a focus on two areas: employee engagement and systems infrastructure.
The employee engagement survey yielded a list of important initiatives that are being implemented in order to increase current and future employee engagement as well as ensure a solid knowledge transfer as a significant portion of our staff approach retirement. We are planning a second survey in the coming year to help quantify some of the gains that are being achieved.
Significant investments have been made in order to refresh the CCOHS systems infrastructure in order to better support the organization’s ability to deliver its products and services. Many of the servers have been updated and an investment into a new telephone system was made in order to ensure the continuity of our popular Inquiries Service. Further investments are planned in the coming year in order to complete the technology refresh and allow CCOHS to continue to reach Canadians through all available platforms.
Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2015 (dollars)
Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position (Unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2014 (dollars)
Condensed statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position
In 2014-15, CCOHS continued to build financial stability surpassing the record revenues set in 2013-14. The fiscal year ending March 31, 2015 yielded the best financial results in the history of the Centre due to some strong growth in Project income, E-Learning, Legislation and MMS products combined with continued fiscal prudence on the expenditure side of the ledger. CCOHS has generated a surplus that exceeds its maximum allowable operating budget carry forward for the third year in a row.
Total Revenues for the year were $4.42M on an accrued basis and $4.73M on a cash basis, which eclipsed our record revenues in 2013-14 of $3.98M accrued and $4.13M cash. The 11% growth ($441K) in accrued revenues is mainly driven by growth in Project income ($195K) and continued growth in E-Learning ($73K), Legislation ($56K) and MMS ($134K), partially offset by the remaining product mix. The boost in Project income is mainly attributable to a collaboration with Health Canada on WHMIS 2015 and we do expect the overall project work to decline in 2015-16 due to the timing of the regulations.
Total Operating Expenses for the year are down 4.6% ($404K) due to continued prudent cost management. Given the nature of the operation, personnel expenditures are the most significant part of our cost structure accounting for approximately 88% of our costs. Direct salaries are down 1.9% year over year, reflecting a timing difference in replacement of retiring personnel as well as salary differences for new employees starting at the lower end of their respective salary ranges. Overall, personnel expenditures including benefits accounted for $251K of the decrease in opex while a reduction in professional services of $141K accounted for most of the remaining difference. Costs of sales in the year were reduced by 6% despite the increase in sales due mainly to new royalty agreements that were negotiated late in 2013-14.
In order to execute on its strategy to deliver its products and services to Canadians across many platforms, CCOHS has been investing in refreshing its technology assets. Many of these servers and other assets were over 10 years of age and investments in prior years had been limited due to cash flow concerns and operational capacity. In 2014-15, we invested $236K in new systems and technology to enable the organization to support future growth. Investments include new servers, a new telecom system as well as a new integrated customer relationship management and finance system to replace unsupported technology.
Condensed statement of Financial Position
The increase in net liabilities is primarily driven by the increase in deferred revenues ($131K) from the sale of web delivered subscription products as their popularity continues to increase. The Centre has also seen a decline in employee related ($80K) liabilities as many of its long-tenured employees continue to retire.
The increase in assets is due in part to significant investment in technology assets to deliver the program as well as the year end timing for some accounts receivable.
Supplementary Information Tables
The supplementary information tables listed in the 2014–15 Departmental Performance Report can be found on the CCOHS website.
The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication. The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the sole responsibility of the Minister of Finance.
For further information about this document or any of the products and services available from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety please contact:
135 Hunter Street East
Hamilton ON L8N 1M5
1-800-668-4284 Canada and US
President and Chief Executive Officer
905-572-2981, ext 4433
Vice-President Finance and Chief Financial Officer
905-572-2981, ext 4401