Readers’ Choice Awards 2021: Celebrating the best in class

A lot has changed since last year’s awards, but one thing that hasn’t is that health and safety pros need options.

What better way to find out recommendations than from our dear readers.

So many of our readers are experts in their respective fields, so we trust that their recommendations are the cream of the crop.

We say this a lot, but it bears repeating: this has been an incredibly rough year for a number of professions, very much including the OHS sector.

The pandemic has really brought work-place health and safety to the fore, with businesses and organizations realizing how important — and essential — safety pros are.

OHS pros have been working hard over the last year to ensure optimal worker safety in their organizations amid a uniquely challenging crisis.

This also means that they may not have the time to research the best vendors and suppliers on their own — this is where our Readers’ Choice comes in. Now in its sixth year, our Readers’ Choice awards compile the cream of the crop in one handy list.

On behalf of COS, we would like to extend a huge congratulations to all of our 2021 stellar winners. Now more than ever, OHS pros need to know where to turn to.

Client recognition
We also know how much these awards mean to our winners:

“Brady is continually evolving and growing to meet the needs of our markets and our customers [...] we are so pleased and encouraged to hear that we have been voted as winners for the 2021 Readers’ Choice awards in three categories this year,” says the team over at Brady.

Our 2021 winners truly value the expert opinion of our readers (and their clients):

“[We] take great pride in being recognized by Canadian Occupational Safety readers and appreciate the customer support,” says Watson Gloves.

“This means a lot to us to be recognized [...] in HSE Management Solutions by Canadian Occupational Safety’s readers. It validates the value of our investment in the product and in the area of management solutions over the last five years,” says John Easton, VP of Product Management, Cority.

“The recognition across all our products as a Readers’ Choice award is humbling and the greatest testament to the work our teams do to help customers deliver safety outcomes [...] having our customers award us recognition across all our products helps us continue our mission,” says the Alcumus team (the group behind the winning eCompliance solution).

Pandemic innovations
The pandemic has been tough on Canadian businesses and organizations of all sizes. They have had to re-think business models and supply chains, and come up with innovative solutions to service their customers while keeping everyone, from client to employee, safe.

Our 2021 winners were able to adapt to a difficult — and ever-changing — market.

One of our winners, 3M, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of N95 respirators, had to significantly increase production to meet global demand. The company also faced off a number of fraudsters and scammers hoping to take advantage of the pandemic and the (then) limited supply.

Each of the winning companies listed in our Readers’ Choice awards spread has faced some kind of difficulty — but what makes them a winning company is that they were able to bounce back and innovate. For example, Brady says that since early March 2020, they have been making, distributing and selling products used around the world to help in the fight against COVID-19 and getting their prod-ucts to the front lines of the pandemic. “Innovation at Brady has played a major role this past year. We launched a Big Ideas Challenge globally and received ideas to help in the fight of Covid-19, and also launched new products that increase safety, security and productivity for this pandemic, including floor marking tape and social distancing signs, COVID- specific labels, lockout devices, and spill control products.”

“The pandemic has greatly affected our business, like most,” says Watson Gloves. With gloves being such a key bit of PPE during the pandemic, the company has predictably been very busy.

“We’ve struggled with supply chain issues for the most sought after items, like disposable gloves, but then also had a surplus of other styles due to some business shut-downs. It hasn’t been easy, but we adapted and even started making face masks in our Burnaby factory.”

But this hasn’t dampened enthusiasm — in spite of a fully digital workplace.

“What we are all most looking forward to post-pandemic is being able to get together again. As we have branch offices in BC, Alberta and Ontario, many have been working from home for extended periods of time.

In addition, this will be the second June in a row that we have had to have our yearly meetings virtually. Our past practice was to bring the sales staff out to BC, have a few days of business meetings then a few days of fun, with golf, a Vancouver harbour boat cruise, and lots of shenanigans that strengthened our team bonds. We all can’t wait for that to happen again.”

Tech solutions
Many tech companies have experienced huge growth throughout the pandemic, forged by an increasing consumer demand. For a long time, the OHS sector was reticent to adopt tech solutions, but the pandemic has forced their hand. From solutions to track and trace outbreaks, to online training, tech has been a huge help during the pandemic — and it seems that it will only grow further.

“Our business has faired very well during the pandemic because of the strength of our solutions in, and surrounding, worker health. HSE professionals have been at the forefront of the fight in this pandemic and solutions like ours have helped them protect their workforce and return to somewhat normal activities.

As we pull out of the pandemic, we are looking forward to helping our clients with post-pandemic challenges, whether that be production and hiring booms, or ongoing vaccination programs, etc. Because we are so close to the HSE community and our clients, we are confident we can keep a close pulse on helping with the next challenge we face,” says Easton.

Says Alcumus: “The past 15 months of the pandemic has helped strengthen our business resolve to helping protect workers everywhere. With the onset of the pandemic, we had to find a new way of working, a new way of helping customers, and a new way of creating solutions protecting our customers.”

Since 2020, the group says that they have had 141 software releases for products including their Readers’ Choice winning eCompliance solution, to e-learning tools.

Alcumus says that it is “looking forward to seeing our teams come out of the pandemic with the lessons learned that allow them to help all our customers achieve their safety outcomes.”

Readers’ Choice Awards 2021

CONFINED SPACE

GAS DETECTION

 

RESCUE EQUIPMENT

 

CONSULTANTS

AUDITING SERVICES

 

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS

 

OHS CONSULTANTS

 

CUTTING SAFETY

CUTTING SAFETY TOOLS

 

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

EMERGENCY SHOWERS AND EYEWASH

 

SPILL CONTROL PRODUCTS

 

ERGONOMICS

ANTI-FATIGUE INSOLES

 

ERGONOMIC FURNITURES

 

ERGONOMIC SUPPORT PRODUCTS

 

MATERIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT

 

FACILITY SAFETY

FIRST AID KIT PROVIDER

 

FLOOR AND SURFACE PRODUCTS

 

INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE MONITORING

 

LIGHTING AND ALARMS

 

LOCKOUT/TAGOUT AND MACHINE GUARDING

 

SIGNAGE & IDENTIFICATION

 

FALL PROTECTION

FALL PROTECTION

 

SKIN CARE

SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

 

INCENTIVES AND AWARDS

INCENTIVES AND AWARDS

 

LEGAL SERVICES

LEGAL SERVICES

 

OCCUPATIONAL TESTING SERVICES

OCCUPATIONAL TESTING SERVICES

 

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

EYE PROTECTION

 

FLAME RESISTANT CLOTHING

 

FOOT PROTECTION

 

HAND PROTECTION

 

HEAD PROTECTION

 

HEARING PROTECTION

 

PROTECTIVE APPAREL

 

PROTECTIVE FABRIC

 

RESPIRATORY PROTECTION

 

WINTER SAFETY PRODUCTS

 

PURCHASING

SAFETY EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER/DISTRIBUTOR

 

RETAILER

 

TECHNOLOGY

CONTRACTOR MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

 

FLEET MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

 

HSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

 

LONE WORKER MONITORING

 

MOBILE APP

 

SDS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

 

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

 

TRAINING

FIRST AID TRAINING

 

FORKLIFT SAFETY TRAINING

 

IN-CLASS SAFETY TRAINING

 

ONLINE SAFETY TRAINING

 

RESCUE TRAINING

 

SAFE DRIVING TRAINING

 

WHMIS TRAINING

 

WORKING AT HEIGHTS TRAINING (ONTARIO)

 

CERTIFICATION PROVIDER

Methodology

Canadian Occupational Safety’s annual Readers’ Choice awards recognize outstanding products and services in the safety sector.

We have perfected our research over the last few years, and are confident that our expert readers can give us valuable insights into the best products and services in the OHS sector. Over a period of around 15 weeks, our research team surveyed our readership of 12,000 occupational safety professionals and carried out in-depth phone interviews with over 300 professionals. Research participants were asked to rate products and services available to the occupational safety industry across a number of categories including ergonomics, consultants, emergency management, facility safety, and more.

Once this research period is over, our team goes through the results to see which entrants have received the best grade. We only keep the top companies, and Readers’ Choice awards are presented to product and service providers rated as ‘excellent’ in their respective categories.