Small Business Health & Safety Leadership Award Guidelines

Are you a small business owner who invests in workplace health and safety?

We’re investing in small businesses that believe workplace health and safety is a priority. Submit an application for your own small business or one in your community or association. The top three small businesses will receive a cash prize - $5,000 (gold), $3,000 (silver), $2,000 (bronze) - and be recognized at the WSIB Annual General Meeting. The first place winner will also be featured in a promotional video.

Important dates

Application submission period: extended to May 21, 2019

  • The top 25 applications will be invited to participate in round two of the selection process which will close on June 7, 2019.
  • Interviews/onsite validation of health and safety practices (top scoring nominees) will take place July 2019

Winners selected and notified: Early August 2019

Awards presented to winners during WSIB Annual General Meeting: September 2019

Eligibility requirements

  • Past winners are not eligible to re-apply for five years
  • Small business owners/operators can apply for an award by submitting an application form to the WSIB or they may be nominated by an individual or organization dedicated to supporting small businesses (e.g. trade/business/professional associations). 
  • All applicants must sign a statement confirming the information in the nomination form.
  • Applicants must be registered with the WSIB and have an account in good standing (i.e. all premiums and other amounts owing to the WSIB are paid up-to-date, no convictions, good claims history).
  • Nominees/applicants must have at least one employee (not including owner/operator) but less than 50 workers.  
  • During the life of their business, applicants must not have:
    • Any fatalities in the workplace
    • Any convictions by the Ministry of Labour for violations to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations or the Employment Standards Act (ESA)

Award criteria

Applications will be reviewed for achievement in the following categories:

  • Safety Culture and Leadership
  • Inspections Process and Documentation
  • Hazard Identification and Control
  • Worker Health and Safety Engagement
  • Return to Work Program
  • Workplace Mental Health
  • Workplace Violence, Harassment and Discrimination 

Application and selection process

All applicants will receive an email confirming receipt by May 22, 2019.

  1. Application packages (completed application form (PDF) ) submitted to the WSIB by May 21, 2019:

    Mail: WSIB
    Attention: Small Business Health & Safety Programs
    200 Front Street West, 11th Floor
    Toronto, ON   M5V 3J1

    Fax: 416-344-3493

  2. Applications scored against award criteria using a thorough review process. Applicants are notified of their standing as information becomes available.
  3. WSIB validates information provided in the application package:
    • Interview with small business owner/operator and confirmation of health and safety practices at workplace (this may include onsite assessment of certain health and safety elements and interviews with workers that can confirm information in the application package)
    • Confirmation of WSIB account in good standing and no major loss time injury rates
    • Confirmation that no fatalities have occurred or there have not been any convictions under the WSIB, OHSA or ESA
  4. Short-listed applications are sent to the judging panel for review.
  5. Gold, Silver and Bronze winners selected by judging panel and notified by WSIB.
  6. Cash prizes awarded. Winners invited to award presentation on September 2019.

Other important information

  • Applications that fail to meet the eligibility requirements will be removed from the selection process.
  • The panel of judges includes representatives from the following organizations: 
    • Canadian Federation of Independent Business
    • Ontario Chamber of Commerce
    • Ministry of Economic Development and Growth
    • Ministry of Labour
    • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
  • WSIB and occupational health and safety system partners may encourage potential applicants to apply, but cannot submit applications on their behalf.
  • WSIB will cover travel costs to and from the award presentation venue for the winners.


For more information please contact:  
Phone: 416-344-4046