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2017-18 Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program Guidelines

The Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program is currently on hold and not accepting applications. The Prevention Office is currently undertaking a review of its grants programs. Please check back here for any future updates related to the status of these programs.

Table of Contents

1. General Information

The Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program (OHSPIP) is an Ontario government program that provides grants to eligible organizations for occupational health and safety focused projects.

The program funds initiatives that:

  • Align with priorities set by the Minister of Labour and Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer (CPO).
  • Are relevant to employers, supervisors, workers and others in Ontario workplaces.
  • Demonstrate value for money.

The program strives to:

  • Build stronger partnerships with Ontario’s occupational health and safety (OHS) system.
  • Build upon existing capacity and resources within the OHS system.
  • Support innovative solutions to OHS issues.
  • Foster collaborative prevention efforts.

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2. Program Priorities

The 2017-18 OHSPIP will support initiatives that improve occupational health and safety in Ontario workplaces and are aligned with one or more of the following priorities:

Priority 1: Supporting workplace mental health

Promoting good psychological health and safety in the workplace – increasing employers’ capacity to promote workers’ psychological well-being and prevent harm to their psychological health.

Focus Areas:

  • Training and education for occupations (e.g. first responders) where on-the-job traumatic mental stress/post-traumatic stress disorder can be prevalent.
  • Development of programs or services to support workers dealing with mental health issues.

Priority 2: Mobile equipment hazards

Creating solutions that address the risks of working around vehicles and large pieces of mobile equipment, with a particular focus on reducing incidences of workers struck by tools, vehicles, equipment, falling/flying debris, or by any other object that could cause workplace injuries or fatalities.

Focus Areas:

  • Training, raising awareness, and promoting best practices as they relate to:
    • Driver fitness (e.g. drug impairment, driver fatigue, driver stress)
    • Safety-related attitudes and behaviour (e.g. complacency, failure to properly signal)
    • Driver competency (e.g. road safety training, driving experience)
    • Vehicle factors (e.g. poor vehicle maintenance, automated vehicles)

Priority 3: Occupational disease

Addressing hazardous workplace exposures resulting in occupational illnesses and fatalities.

Focus Areas:

  • Training and education, raising awareness, and promoting best practices as they relate to hazardous workplace exposures, specifically focusing on:
    • Diesel engine exhaust
    • Emerging exposures (e.g. nanotechnology)
    • Lung and skin allergens or irritants
    • Noise
  • The surveillance of occupational disease and hazardous exposures in Ontario workplaces.
  • The measurement and collection of hazardous exposure data from workplaces.

Priority 4: Secondary injury prevention

Reducing the impact of a workplace injury after it has occurred, preventing recurrences and protecting workers from longer-term work-related disabilities.

Focus Areas:

  • Development of tools and strategies to help injured workers avoid re-injury.
  • Development of programs and supports to assist injured workers in returning to full health.

Applicants should select the priorities that best fit the nature and focus of their project.

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3. Funding Parameters

Eligible proposals must:

  • Be no longer than 24 months in duration;
  • Request no more than $100,000 per year, to a maximum of $200,000 per proposal.

OHSPIP awards are one-time, non-renewable grants.

Applicants are encouraged to secure matching funding/leveraged resources (cash, equivalent or similar support) from non-Ministry of Labour (MOL) sources.


Applications are strongly encouraged from organizations that have formed collaborations with other organizations to better meet the diverse and evolving needs of Ontario workplaces.

Collaborative applications must clearly demonstrate the benefits of the partnership and show how it will result in a more effective, coordinated and integrated approach to service delivery – one that is responsive to changing workplace needs.

Collaborative applications must be submitted by a single lead applicant who will be:

  • Legally responsible for receiving and managing funds.
  • Fully accountable to the MOL for the administration of funding and delivery of the project.

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4. Eligibility

All OHSPIP-supported projects must be conducted in Ontario and led by an eligible not-for-profit organization.

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Have a governance structure (such as a board of directors) that outlines procedures for reporting and accounting to the membership on the organization’s operation and performance – individuals and registered partnerships are not eligible.
  • Satisfy the MOL that they can receive, handle and account for public funds in a responsible manner.
  • Possess the organizational capacity to deliver quality services, demonstrate sustainability, and have appropriate financial management systems and effective governance.

For-profit entities do not qualify for OHSPIP funding as lead applicants. However, such entities may participate in projects where eligible organizations are the designated project lead.

Potential applicants interested in conducting research in any of the priority areas should consider applying to the MOL’s Research Opportunities Program (ROP). OHSPIP will not fund research proposals.

If there is doubt about an organization’s eligibility to apply for OHSPIP funding, an organization should first request and receive confirmation from the MOL. Otherwise, the application could be deemed ineligible.

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5. Application Details

Applicants must provide the following information on a proposed project:

Alignment with Priorities

Applicants must explain how the proposed project aligns with OHSPIP priorities.

Strategic Focus

Applicants must detail how the proposed project addresses the focus area(s) of their selected OHSPIP priorities. They must also explain how the proposed project is focused on current and emerging health and safety system challenges.


Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek collaborations with other OHS organizations, workplace parties (employers, supervisors, workers, etc.) and others. Applicants should indicate when and how collaborators will contribute to the project.


Applicants should indicate how they will use/develop innovative tools or solutions to address OHS issues.

Applicants should discuss how the chosen tools will enhance the project and its impact on the OHS system. If a solution has commercial potential, applicants should discuss their plans to make it available to the OHS system.

Performance Focus and Impact

Applicants must describe the expected impact/outcome of the proposed project and how it will benefit the OHS system. The proposal should outline what performance measures will be used to evaluate the project.

Capacity Building

Applicants should indicate how the proposed project will develop existing or new capacities to support prevention in the workplace.

Resource Leveraging

Applicants are strongly encouraged to leverage resources (cash, cash equivalent and/or in-kind support) from non-MOL sources. Preference will be given to proposals with other sources of funding identified to support the proposal, including revenue generated by the proposed project.

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6. Budget

All applicants are required to provide an estimated budget. The budget should describe how the funding will be distributed in seven (7) key categories over the year, including:

  • Salaries
  • Benefits
  • Supplies
  • Services
  • Communications and administrative expenses
  • Equipment
  • Travel (no more than 10 per cent)
  • Other eligible expenses that do not fit into the above categories

All applicants are required to provide a zero-based budget that details all revenue sources that will support the operating needs of the proposed research project. This includes:

  • Institutional contributions from non-profit/charitable organizations, foundations, private donors/philanthropists as well as from municipal, provincial and federal governments.
  • OHSPIP funds.

A detailed justification of each budget line item is required to allow reviewers to assess all costs and whether the requested resources are appropriate for the execution of the project. The final determination of an item's eligibility (contribution or expenditure) is made by the MOL.

Refer to Appendix A, “OHSPIP Budget Guidelines,” for details on eligible and ineligible costs.

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7. Application Review Process

Application Review

The OHSPIP features a four-step review process:

Step 1: Administrative Review

This is an administrative review, conducted by the Transfer Partner and Research Funding Unit of the MOL’s Strategy and Integration Branch, to determine whether applications meet requirements outlined in the call for proposals. Every application that is deemed to be eligible based on the administrative review will proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Strategic Alignment / Relevance Review

Applications will be reviewed by senior MOL staff, who will assess the degree to which the application aligns with OHSPIP priorities and its relevance to Ontario’s occupational health and safety system.

Step 3: Senior Management Committee Review

A Senior Management Committee will assess the overall impact of the proposed projects on Ontario’s occupational health and safety system. The committee will recommend proposals for funding to the CPO.

Step 4: Chief Prevention Officer’s Recommendation to Minister of Labour

CPO recommendation made to minister based on the alignment with occupational health and safety system priorities and overall impact.

Award Decisions

Funding decisions are communicated to the recipient’s key contacts or project leads – the individuals who are authorized to sign the transfer payment agreement on the organization’s behalf.

All funding decisions for the OHSPIP are final. There is no appeal process.

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8. Funding Agreements

A successful project lead or other authorized executive must sign a Transfer Payment Agreement (a contract) with the MOL for an approved project. The agreement addresses terms and conditions of the grant, including but not limited to:

  • Milestones, project commitments and performance measures
  • Project budget
  • Project management
  • Mode and schedule of payments
  • Accountability framework
  • Intellectual property (IP) ownership and disposition
  • Communications strategies
  • Contract termination clauses
  • Monitoring and reporting requirements, including progress reporting, and requests for disbursement and other reports, as required.

The MOL will monitor various aspects of the project, including:

  • Timely submission of progress reports (including success stories)
  • Milestones, commitments and performance measures
  • Cash flow and accuracy of cash flow forecasting
  • Financial reporting
  • IP arrangements
  • Other requirements as set out in the Transfer Payment Agreement.

Please note: The MOL, at its discretion and upon reasonable notice, reserves the right to undertake periodic reviews of funded projects.

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9. Application Deadlines and Submission Information

The OHSPIP’s timelines are as follows:

Release of Call for Applications: January 23, 2017
Information Sessions: February 6, 2017
Application Closing Date: April 25, 2017

Information sessions will be held by teleconference on February 6, 2017 in both English and French. If you wish to attend the information teleconference, please send an email to indicating your preferred language no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 2, 2017. The Prevention Office will provide you with the teleconferencing details and time upon confirmation.

Application Submission Instructions

  • Produce one original package comprising Sections 1-9 and Appendix A of the application form. Include three (3) double-sided copies of the original package.
  • Include a USB drive containing a complete electronic version of the application in a text-based PDF format (not a scanned, graphic format). The electronic file should be named using the following format: “Operating name _ OHSPIP1718”. Please limit the number of files on the USB drive to three or fewer.
  • The original package, double-sided copies and USB drive must be sent by courier, registered mail or delivered in person to the address below.

Completed applications must be received by the MOL no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 25, 2017. Late submissions will be disqualified from further consideration.

Please send your completed application (courier, mail or in person) along with all other required materials to:

Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program
Transfer Partner and Research Funding Unit
Strategy and Integration Branch
Prevention Office
Ministry of Labour
10 Dundas Street East, 8th floor
Toronto, ON M7A 0B2

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10. Program Contact Information and Service Standards

Questions related to the 2017-2018 OHSPIP should be directed to:

Transfer Partner and Research Funding Unit

The unit will respond to questions within two business days and will acknowledge receipt of all applications by e-mail. Please contact if you do not receive an acknowledgement by noon on May 2, 2017.

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11. Notice of Collection, Use and Disclosure of Information

Pursuant to paragraph 5 of subsection 4.1(2) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), the MOL is authorized to collect and use the information in this application package to evaluate your OHSPIP application. The MOL may collect, use, and disclose any personal information in this application package under the authority of paragraph 5 of subsection 4.1(2) of the OHSA and subsection 38(2) and clauses 41(1)(b) and 42(1)(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Please contact the MOL’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Office at 416-326-7786 for information on privacy matters.

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Appendix A: OHSPIP Budget Guidelines

Eligible Costs

OHSPIP funds can be used for the following types of direct costs:

A. and B. Salaries and Benefits

These categories include salaries, wages, stipends, and non-discretionary benefits for operational and administrative staff directly involved with the proposed project.

OHSPIP grants may not be used to reimburse portions of a manager’s or an executive’s salary attributable to time spent on oversight of staff involved with the proposed project.

C. Supplies

This category includes:

  • Office supplies
  • Computer supplies (printer paper and toner, storage media, cables)
  • Certain computer hardware, provided it does not qualify as Equipment in accordance with Section F below

Excluded are items such as postage, courier, freight, and communications services, which are covered in Section E below.

D. Services

This category includes:

  • Costs of Internet access / services.
  • Costs of holding a workshop or seminar.
  • Rental of spaces such as meeting rooms, conference booths, or other additional temporary space required to carry out the proposed project (previously categorized under “Occupancy”).
  • Printing of materials for the proposed project, and web development related to the dissemination of project outcomes / products (previously categorized under “Promotion”).

OHSPIP grants may not be used to:

  • Offset the cost of pre-existing leases / office rent, regardless of whether the applicant subdivides or otherwise allocates existing leased space for the exclusive use of the proposed project.
  • Fund capital acquisitions or leasehold / infrastructure improvements.

E. Communications and Administrative Expenses

This category includes:

  • Administrative needs such as postage, courier services, and freight.
  • Telecommunications services (such as phone or videoconferencing, but excluding Internet service).

Internet access and networking services are included in Section D above.

F. Equipment

This may cover equipment, supplies, and computer equipment, as well as software required for the project, including costs of purchase, refurbishment, transportation, extended warranties, importation costs, staff training for use, maintenance and operating costs.

All four of the following conditions must be met for an item to be considered Equipment:

  • It is nonexpendable and tangible.
  • It has a useful life of more than 1 year.
  • It costs C$2,000 or more.
  • It is critically and explicitly needed to carry out the project.

Equipment costs cannot account for more than 5% of overall direct costs.

G. Travel

This category includes:

  • Air travel costs – not to exceed full economy fares
  • Reasonable accommodation costs when travelling to workshops, seminars, or conferences
  • Meals and mileage in a personal car, in accordance with the reimbursement rates set forth in the province’s travel, meal and hospitality expenses directive
  • Other applicable travel costs (e.g. public transit, taxi fares, car rentals)

Though applicants may have individual policies and establish their own rates for the reimbursement of meals and mileage, the reimbursement rates for OHSPIP purposes are those found in the provincial directive noted above.

Amounts requested may be limited at the MOL’s discretion, and the overall travel budget cannot account for more than 10% of the total funding request.

H. Other Expenses

The OHSPIP may also cover certain other costs not captured above, but items within this category will be subject to MOL approval and reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Ineligible Costs

OHSPIP funds cannot be used for the following:

  • Costs related to proposal development.
  • Membership fees to societies or other organizations.
  • Incidental expenses or gifts.
  • Hiring consultants.
  • Entertainment or hospitality expenses of any kind.
  • Any items or services not directly related to the program.

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