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Bilingual Inquiries Officer, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Primary Purpose

Through its information work, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) promotes health and safety in the workplace in Canada. The Inquiries Service provides accurate and trustworthy information and advice on occupational health and safety directly to inquirers. The Inquiries Officer is responsible for receiving and clarifying questions on a variety of occupational health and safety issues and for responding to questions within area of knowledge and expertise.
Full-time Permanent

Group/Unit: Inquiries Service

Position # I-10

Duties/% of Time

1. Receives inquiries and clarifies content, scope and background to ascertain the inquirer's technical knowledge and information needs and the format of the response to question. Ensures that all pertinent information is recorded in Clientele. Assign to appropriate Inquiries staff (Inquiries Officer or Subject Specialists). 40%

2. Decides which inquiries can receive immediate referrals or answers and which ones require consultation with technical staff. Responds to inquiries by identifying and selecting appropriate documentation and/or Internet references, and preparing response letters summarizing question and answer or telephoning responses to urgent inquiries. 30%

3. Performs searches for information for response to inquiries, using CCOHS databases, Clientele Answer Book records and previous inquiry responses, Internet resources, and standard textbooks and other reference sources. 20%

4. Creates and maintains information packages in consultation with technical staff. 5%

5. Other duties as required. 5%

Nature and Scope of Position

The position reports to the Manager, Inquiries Service. The position is one of four Inquiries Officers in the Inquiries Service, three subject specialists, two support staff, and the manager. The Inquiries Service handles approximately 20,000 inquiries per year on a wide variety of occupational health and safety topics. Responses to answers are provided using a combination of information obtained through re-usables (documentation prepared to answer similar-type inquiries), publications, computerized information products including databases, and full-text products on CD-ROM and on the World Wide Web. Inquiries are answered within prescribed standards of quality and response time.

A sound understanding of information science is required, as well as a broad knowledge of external information resources, health and safety, and the mandate and role of CCOHS. Excellent searching skills are required, as well as the knowledge of and the ability to choose the best starting points for searches on internal databases and/or Internet sources, as appropriate. Organizational skills are required to deal with the volume and variety of inquiries received.

The incumbent must possess good interviewing skills and good communications skills, both oral and written, to work with other staff members and to deal with inquirers. The Inquiries Officer must also have a good awareness of services offered by other agencies in order to refer the inquirer to the appropriate organization.

The Inquiries Officer must be able to determine what question the inquirer is really asking. S/he must also determine whether the question fits within CCOHS' mandate should be referred to another agency.

The incumbent spends three to four hours a day usually on the telephone speaking to inquirers. There is regular contact with account managers in Marketing, Sales and Communications when transferring calls for product information.

Working Conditions

* Physical Effort: the majority of time is spent at the desk or work station, answering inquiries. The incumbent retrieves heavy books from shelves.

* Physical Environment: there are frequent body position changes while on the telephone - accessing the computer and writing.

* Sensory Attention: listening to inquirers attentively, concentration when proofreading completed forms and inquiry response material, and when performing searches

* Mental Stress: there is no control over the amount of work as phones need to be answered; deadline pressures due to inquirers' demands; there are frequent interruptions when working on inquiries. Must be "up" at all times when speaking with inquirers.


* Post-secondary degree or diploma, preferably in information or library science (MLS or MLIS) with exposure to health and safety information and experience in interviewing the public in an information setting or an equivalent combination of education and experience

* Broad experience in information retrieval and selection from bibliographic databases, other electronic sources (full-text, CD-ROM sources), and the Internet

* Experience in using published and unpublished information resources

* Excellent oral and written communication skills to provide high quality client service to CCOHS inquirers

* Excellent online communication skills

* Experience in word processing software (Word Perfect and Word), keyboarding proficiency, and in effectively using Windows keyboard commands and shortcuts

* Experience in using databases (e.g., Customer Relationship Management software)

* Excellent interpersonal skills

* Ability to communicate orally and in writing fluently in both official languages is essential


Within the range of $49,955.00 to $64,318.00 per annum (CCOHS 08).

Interested applicants are asked to submit their resume by Monday, August 16, 2004, to

Lynn Walker

Human Resources and Compensation Specialist


135 Main Street East

Hamilton, ON L8N 1M5

Fax: (905) 572-4419

[email protected] (please send resume as Word attachment)

Please quote File Ref No I-10 OHPE

For further information regarding CCOHS and the Inquiries Service please see and

Pour renseignements en fran