Canada’s Safest Employers FAQ

  1. What is the timeline for the entire process?
  2. •Late January- nominations open

    •June 1- nominations close

    •Early June- perception surveys sent to companies that meet the eligibility requirements

    •June 29- perception surveys close

    •August 2-11 - winners called

    •Aug. 2-12- finalists for Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture award only will be visited by a third-party auditor. Please click on Best Health + Safety Culture tab for more information.

    •Month of August- winners interviewed by journalist over the phone for an article in the October/November issue of Canadian Occupational Safety magazine.

    •September and early October- winners interviewed on camera by a videographer who goes to their workplace. The video will be shown the night of the gala and appears on this website under the Video tab

    •October 24- winners receive award and are celebrated at gala in Toronto at Arcadian Court.
  3. Tell me more about the awards
  4. Launched in 2011, Canada's Safest Employers Awards recognize companies from all across Canada with outstanding accomplishments in promoting the health and safety of their workers. The award boasts 10 industry-specific categories, ranging from hospitality to mining and natural resources. Companies are judged on a wide range of occupational health and safety elements, including employee training, OHS management systems, incident investigation, emergency preparedness and innovative health and safety initiatives. The winners are recognized every year at a gala event in Toronto in October.
  5. What is the complete process?
  6. Step 1: Nominate your company for an award. There are five different nomination forms for the Safety Awards, Wellness Awards, Psychological Safety Award, Young Worker Safety Award and Canada’s Best Health + Safety Culture Award. All five award types have different nominations. See the nominations tab for each one.

    Step 2: Your nomination is vetted to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements and it undergoes a quick initial review. At this point, you will be told if you are moving on to the next round and if so, you will receive an email from us with a link to your employee perception survey. You are required to send this out to your employees and meet a minimum threshold of respondents by a pre-determined deadline set up the safest employers organizing committee. (See FAQ #9 for complete details.)

    Step 3: Our judges review your nomination packages along with the results of the employee perception survey. The Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture award has an additional step where a third-party auditor will visit your site if you are among the finalists. No other award category has this requirement. Please click on the "Best Health + Safety Culture" tab for more information. The judges then determine the winners. The winners are notified at the end of August. (If you did not win, you will be notified the end of August as well).

    Step 4: If you are a winner, you will be required to co-operate with Canadian Occupational Safety magazine and Canada's Safest Employers Awards organizing team on a variety of items, such as filming a video, being interviewed by a journalist and submitting photos of your workforce.

    Step 5: The winners attend a gala celebration in October in Toronto to receive their awards.
  7. When is the deadline to apply?
  8. The deadline is June 1 for all awards.
  9. Can I apply for multiple awards?
  10. Yes, you can apply for any or all of the Safety Award, Wellness Award, Psychological Safety Award, Young Worker Safety Award and Canada’s Best Health + Safety Culture Award if you wish. All five award types have different nominations.
  11. Does it cost money to participate in the awards?
  12. No. There is no cost at all to participate in the awards or if you are a winner. There are optional costs associated with being a winner, such as if you want to buy additional gala tickets (you get one for free), obtain the results of your employee perception survey or buy more copies of the safest employers issue of the magazine. But these are all optional costs.
  13. We are a Canadian division of an international company, can we apply?
  14. Yes, you can. Please make sure to respond to the nomination form questions with just the Canadian division in mind, as just the Canadian division would be evaluated.
  15. We have multiple locations/branches across Canada but we only want to nominate one branch. Can we do that?
  16. Yes. You can specify the branch you want to nominate in your nomination form. Please make sure to fill out all parts of the form with just that one branch in mind, such as number of employees, loss time injuries etc. This rule applies to all awards except the Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award. That award is intended only for an entire organization; not divisions or branches.
  17. Will I be contacted if I did not make the shortlist?
  18. Yes, you will receive an email by the end of August.
  19. How does the survey work?
  20. You will receive a link to the survey that you need to pass along to all your employees. If you have between 20 and 5,000 employees, you will need at least 20 per cent of your employee population to complete the survey to move on to the next phase of the competition. If you have between 5,001 and 10,000 employees, you need 10 per cent of them to complete the survey. And companies with more than 10,000 workers need five per cent. The minimum number of respondents will be indicated to you when you receive the link to your survey.

    This is a mandatory requirement. You will be given instructions on how to monitor the number of employees that have filled out the survey. The survey includes about 25 questions and takes about five minutes to complete. The survey will close June 29.

    If you wish to apply for more than one award, the surveys can be combined to give you just one link that you send to your employees, except for the young worker award.

    The survey for the young worker award must be sent out just to those workers in your organization who are under the age of 25.

    Please note the results of your survey are available for purchase. If you have less than 500 employees, the cost to purchase the survey results is $1,000. If you have more than 500 employees, the cost is $2,500. Please note this is not the number of employees who have completed the survey, rather your total employee count.
  21. Can I get an extension on the survey?
  22. Unfortunately, no extensions will be given for any reason.
  23. I applied for more than one award. Do I need to deploy surveys for all of them?
  24. Yes, the employee perception surveys are different for the Safety Award, Wellness Award, Psychological Safety Award, Young Worker Safety Award and Canada’s Best Health + Safety Culture Award, therefore, different surveys must be deployed. If you wish, we can consolidate the survey questions into one link for you to send your employees, but you will need to let them know it will take longer for them to fill out this all-encompassing survey, and some questions might be duplicated. Each award's survey takes about five minutes to complete, so if you want three award surveys combined into one link (say for the Safety Award, Wellness Award and Psychological Safety Award, for example), it will take your workers at least 15 minutes to fill it out.

    Please note the survey for the Young Worker Award cannot be combined with the other surveys, as this must be deployed only to those workers in your organization who are under the age of 25.
  25. My employees have completed the perception survey. Now what?
  26. At this time, you will not receive any further communication from the Canada's Safest Employers committee. Our judges are hard at work reviewing your nomination packages and the results from your surveys! The next point of communication will be once the winners are chosen.
  27. When will the winners be notified?
  28. The winners will be notified by phone the end of August.
  29. Will I be notified if I do not win?
  30. Yes, you will receive an email at the end of August.
  31. When will the winners be announced publicly?
  32. The winners will be announced on www.cos-mag.com the day after the awards gala, and winners will be profiled in the October/November issue of Canadian Occupational Safety.
  33. When is the awards banquet?
  34. It will be held in October 24 in Toronto at Arcadian Court.
  35. My company is a past winner. How long can we keep the logo on our website/materials?
  36. You can use the logo as long as you want. For example, if you were a 2013 winner and the logo has '2013' on it, you can still use this in 2016 and beyond!
  37. What awards are available?
  38. There can be one gold and two silver winners for each award. Please note there is no guarantee for this number of awards. In the past, some categories do not have a silver winner.
  39. Will my nomination information be publicly available?
  40. No. Your nomination information is confidential. The only people who will see it is the Canada's Safest Employers organizing committee and the judges.