Canada’s Safest Employers FAQ

1. What is the timeline for the entire process?

Feb.4, 2019- nominations open

May 24, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST- nominations close

May 30- perception surveys sent to companies that meet the eligibility requirements. This is not indicative of a "shortlist". You are simply vetted against the eligibility requirements and if you meet those, you receive the survey link.

June 21 at 11:59pm EST- perception surveys close

End of July- winners called

End of July to mid-August- finalists for Canada's Best Health + Safety Culture award only will be visited by a third-party auditor. Please see Nomination Details under the Nominations tab above for more information.

End of July to mid-August - all gold winners interviewed by journalist over the phone for an article in the October/November issue of Canadian Occupational Safety magazine. At least two individuals from the winning company must participate, one being a safety professional

Early August to mid-October- all gold winners interviewed on camera by a videographer who goes to their workplace for filming.

Gala October 22, 2019 - winners receive award and are celebrated at gala in Toronto at Arcadian Court.

2. Tell me more about the awards

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.

3. What is the complete process?

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 above for each one.

Step 2: Your nomination is vetted to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements and it undergoes a quick initial review, ensuring the nomination is complete. 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. This is not indicative of a "shortlist". You are simply vetted against the eligibility requirements and if you meet those, you receive the survey link. 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 "Nomination Details" drop down under the "Nomination" tab above for more information. The judges then determine the winners. The winners are notified at the end of July. (If you did not win, you will be notified by the end of August).

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. There are tight deadlines for these, many of which are occurring in August, and you will be required to meet these deadlines. Please note, as we are Key Media and these items are pieces of journalism, you are not able to review the article or video prior to publication, as that would be in violation of our Journalism Code of Ethics. We suggest looping in your communications team early on and inviting them to be present at all interviews to alleviate any concerns.

Step 5: The winners attend a gala celebration in October in Toronto to receive their awards.

4. When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline is May 24, 2019 at 11:59pm EST for all awards.

5. Can I apply for multiple awards?

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.

6. Does it cost money to participate in the awards?

No. There is no cost at all to participate in the awards or if you are a winner. There are some optional costs associated, such as if you want to obtain the results of your employee perception survey (see FAQ #9). There are also optional costs for winners, such as if you want to buy additional gala tickets (you get one for free), buy more copies of the safest employers issue of the magazine or place a congratulatory ad in the magazine. Please note, everything mentioned above (including survey purchase) are all optional costs and have no bearing whatsoever on the results of the awards.

7. We are a Canadian division of an international company, can we apply?

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.

8. We have multiple locations/branches across Canada but we only want to nominate one branch. Can we do that?

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.

9. How does the survey work?

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 for each award includes about 25 questions and takes about five minutes to complete. This year, the survey will be sent May 30 and closes June 21 at 11:59pm EST.

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. The difference in price is due to the increased volume of responses.

10. Can I get an extension on the survey?

Unfortunately, no extensions will be given for any reason.

11. My company is a past winner. How long can we keep the winner's badge that we were provided by the CSE organizing committee on our website/materials?

You can use the winner's badge as long as you want. For example, if you were a 2013 winner and the badge has '2013' on it, you can still use this forever!

12. Will my nomination information be publicly available?

No. Your nomination information is confidential. The only people who will see it is the Canada's Safest Employers organizing committee and the judges.

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