OHS Canada Magazine

Sign FX, BESI, and Tawse Winery honoured by WSIB as safest small businesses in Ontario

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February 14, 2024
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Awards ontario WSIB

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has announced the winners of its annual Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards.

The awards recognize and celebrate small businesses that demonstrate exemplary health and safety practices and go the extra mile to keep their employees and customers safe, it said.

“We need to celebrate the efforts of small businesses who make their workplaces healthier and safer – and who can inspire their peers by example. These award winners demonstrate true health and safety leadership and are setting the standard for years to come,” said Rod Cook, vice-president of Workplace Health and Safety Services at WSIB.

“I look forward to these awards every year because they shine a light on organizations whose commitment and attention to the health and safety of their employees are exemplary and inspiring.”


The winners of the 2023 Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards are:

Left to right: Spencer Wilson, Sign FX Owner; Hailey Norman, Sign FX Project Manager; Rod Cook, Vice President of Workplace Health and Safety Services at the WSIB.

Gold – Sign FX, Ottawa

Sign FX offers full-service signage solutions including design, development, manufacturing and installation. Sign FX developed a new health and safety program and has encouraged employees to keep the conversation going and approach all projects and initiatives with a health and safety lens.

Jason Baptista, BESI Health and Safety Manager; Alex Shikhman, BESI Director; Rod Cook, Vice President of Workplace Health and Safety Services at the WSIB.

Silver – BESI (Building Envelope Systems Installations), Concord (GTA)

Operating within the industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) construction sector, BESI installs glass wall systems on buildings (known as unitized curtain wall/stick curtain wall systems).

BESI demonstrated their commitment to health and safety by digitizing their safety tracking system, which improved the accuracy, consistency and quality of their records.

Left to right: Allison Currie, Tawse Winery Health and Safety Manager; Rod Cook, Vice President of Workplace Health and Safety Services at the WSIB.

Bronze – Tawse Winery, Vineland

Tawse Winery is a family-owned winery and distillery.

Tawse Winery refreshed their health and safety program and created new policies, ensuring employees are set up to succeed by clearly defining health and safety roles and responsibilities and creating a culture of accountability.

About the awards

Launched in 2017, the WSIB’s Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards recognize the health and safety achievements of small businesses in Ontario.

Any Ontario small business with fewer than 50 employees is eligible to apply. A total of 197 businesses applied for the awards in 2023.

The winners receive a cash prize that they are encouraged to reinvest in their health and safety programs.

  • First place: $10,000
  • Second place: $6,000
  • Third place: $4,000

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

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