Benefit from Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award - even if you're not applying

May 05, 2016

Award winnerThe deadline to apply for Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award, the pinnacle of the Canada's Safest Workplace award program, is June 1. But whether you apply this year or not, there's no deadline for benefitting from the best practices that the award recognizes.

Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award was created by WSPS in partnership with Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine. It recognizes an entire organization - not just an individual - for outstanding contributions to building health and safety cultures and inspiring transformative behaviours within their networks and areas of influence.

So what is workplace culture?

"It's what leaders in your workplace think is important," says Larry Masotti, WSPS’ director, strategic relationships. "It's what drives your business."

"At WSPS, we believe very much that health and safety is not only critical, it also sets the foundation for all other organizational processes. If you treat your people well and maintain a mentally and physically safe and healthy work environment, you create an organization that can sustain and renew itself more quickly than the competition," explains Masotti. "It has ramifications for production, quality, cost management, and organizational sustainability. Each supports the others."

Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award was inspired by leaders. Specifically, the CEO Health + Safety Leadership Network. "The network is a distinguished group of forward thinking senior leaders who embrace their role, both collectively and individually, as champions and influencers in the growth of sustainable businesses and communities in Ontario - and beyond," explains Lynn Brownell, WSPS' vice president, strategy and stakeholder engagement. WSPS is one of the network's founding partners.

Getting from here to there

"Every workplace has a culture," says Masotti. "But is it the culture that you want?"

Find out what your health and safety culture could look like by reviewing the Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award nomination form. It poses a series of questions that identify key components of a strong and vibrant health and safety culture, effectively a roadmap for any business seeking to improve its health and safety culture.

Here's a sampling of components that the questions explore:

  • the approach used to integrate measurable health and safety targets into the performance management and evaluation criteria of organizational leaders.
  • initiatives that foster accountability and ensure that all level of staff and contractors are held accountable for nurturing a culture of health and safety.
  • the health and safety leading indicators tracked by the organization and how this information is used to reinforce and revise current practices.
  • metrics and performance indicators used to evaluate the health and safety program.
  • how company leaders instill a culture of respect, understanding, courage and potential anonymity in the event a worker is willing to bring forward a health and safety issue or concern.
  • how the organization's "internal responsibility system" aligns with corporate values, targets and business goals.

Take these next steps