Winners of WSIB small business safety leadership awards revealed

'Winning this award is everything' says Sign FX project manager

Winners of WSIB small business safety leadership awards revealed
Sign FX team receiving gold award. (From left to right: Spencer Wilson, owner, Hailey Norman, project manager, Rod Cook, WSIB vice president workplace health and safety services)

In a celebration of exemplary dedication to health and safety practices, the annual Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards for 2023 have been bestowed upon deserving recipients by the Workplace Safety Insurance Board.

The awards, aimed at acknowledging small businesses that prioritize the well-being of their employees and customers, have recognized three outstanding entities this year.

Gold Award

Sign FX, based in Ottawa, renowned for its comprehensive signage solutions encompassing design, development, manufacturing, and installation, clinched the Gold Award.

“Winning this award is everything for a small business like us,” says Hailey Norman, project manager at Sign FX.

Noteworthy is their introduction of a robust health and safety program, coupled with a culture of ongoing dialogue among employees to ensure all endeavors are approached with a health and safety perspective.

“There’s a responsibility that we’re working safe and being productive,” says Spencer Wilson, owner of Sign FX. “Winning this award is recognition of the journey to get to this point.”

Silver Award

BESI (Building Envelope Systems Installations), Concord (GTA) Operating in the industrial, commercial, and institutional construction sector, BESI specializes in installing glass wall systems. Their commitment to health and safety was underscored by the digitization of their safety tracking system, resulting in enhanced accuracy and quality of records.

Bronze Award

Tawse Winery, a family-owned winery and distillery, revamped its health and safety program, instituting new policies to foster a culture of accountability and clarity in roles and responsibilities among employees.

Rod Cook, vice president of workplace health and safety services at the WSIB, lauded the efforts of the winners, emphasizing their pivotal role in inspiring their peers and setting new benchmarks in health and safety leadership.

“These award winners demonstrate true health and safety leadership and are setting the standard for years to come,” said Cook, expressing anticipation for the awards each year, which spotlight organizations exemplifying unwavering commitment to employee well-being.

Established in 2017, the WSIB’s Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards are open to any Ontario small business with fewer than 50 employees. The awards drew 197 applicants in 2023. Winners receive cash prizes, with first place awarded $10,000, second place $6,000, and third place $4,000.

Businesses were evaluated based on safety culture and leadership, implementation of safety programs or initiatives, communications, and employee involvement in the internal responsibility system.