Vancouver Airport Authority wins inaugural "Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award"

Nov 09, 2015

Award winnerVancouver Airport Authority has earned a top national honour for the manner in which it weaves health and safety through its culture. Created by WSPS and Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine and sponsored by Levitt Safety, the Canada's Best H + S Culture Award is the top prize within the prestigious line-up of the "Canada's Safest Employers" awards program.

"With this award, we've started our journey together - as a nation which offers us all a safe and healthy place to work, live and play - bringing safety home, one company at a time," says Elizabeth Mills, WSPS President and CEO. "The entire team at the Vancouver Airport Authority are our first ambassadors to bring us one step closer to this goal."

At Vancouver Airport Authority, health and safety is not just a "buzz word." It's a core value: employees are encouraged to put their hands up on their very first day of work to identify potential safety issues. Additionally, all board, senior management and management meetings start with a safety message - a leadership mindset that filters down and permeates through the organization.

"We're extremely honoured to be the inaugural winners of this prestigious award," said Kevin Hong, Vancouver Airport's Manager of Health and Safety at an awards presentation on October 28. "This win truly affirms our focus and commitment in keeping our own 450 employees and the 28,000 people who work at the airport for other employers safe."

Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture Award was developed in part by WSPS through its CEO Health + Safety Leadership Network, a distinguished group of leaders who share a commitment to building sustainable businesses and communities. WSPS founded the network in 2014, and together with Thomson Reuters/Canada's Safest Employers launched the Canada's Best H+S Culture Award.

Before presenting the award alongside Levitt-Safety president Bruce Levitt, Mills explained its purpose to safety leaders attending the event from across Canada. "The award recognizes recipients possessing qualities such as an exceptional level of trust and openness between management and employees, a commitment to engaging employees in meaningful decision making, the active involvement of upper management and governance in organizational health, and performance objectives that are tied specifically to the health and safety of the organization."

Mills also congratulated all Canada's Safest Employers award winners and finalists. Honours are awarded in 10 industry-specific categories.

Ontario manufacturing, service sector firms also celebrate being one of "Canada's Safest Employers"

Four Ontario-based businesses have earned Canada's Safest Employers awards for achievements in 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.

Congratulations to the following Ontario winners in the manufacturing and service sectors:

Employer Category Level
Innovation Automation Inc. Young worker safety Gold
Fairmont Royal York Hospitality Silver
Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown London Hospitality Gold
Siemens Canada Limited Burlington Manufacturing Silver

"It's inspiring to see so many individual leaders and organizations committed to creating a culture of health and safety, ensuring by our actions and commitments that we bring safety home," said Mills during the award ceremony.

Anna McNutt, general manager of two-time gold winner Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown London, described the awards gala as "a great opportunity to network with health and safety peers across a variety of industries. The video presentations and acceptance speeches shared best practices, which were great learnings to incorporate into our own initiatives."

Earning the 2015 award is great motivation for going forward, says McNutt. "The recognition is an inspirational tool to share with our team. Everyone can see that their hard work does have an impact. The efforts of everyone benefit the health and safety culture at the hotel level, but it is also great for the team to know their contribution extends beyond the front doors of the hotel."

For more information on the 2015 winners, visit safestemployers.com. To learn more about health and safety at the Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown London, check out a profile on the facility in WSPS' Small Business Centre.