Health & Safety

OKIB is committed to creating a physically, psychologically and spiritually safe workplace for each of our employees. By ensuring employees are safe and healthy, we can provide the best care to our community. We strive to provide a workplace that is innovative, engaging and understanding; one that promotes physical safety as well as supports employee mental health. OKIB follows the provincial Worksafe BC regulations.

Toolbox Tips

Check out these informative bulletins on a variety of health and safety-related topics:

  • Musculoskeletal injuries and proper body mechanics - Musculoskeletal injuries occur in the soft tissues of your body like the nerves, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and joints, and develop slowly over time.
  • Recognizing Difficult, Angry, or Abusive behavior - There is a difference between reasonable expressions of anger (angry behavior) which is short lived and not aimed at you personally, and unacceptable behavior that is hostile or abusive behavior. While you may tolerate some degree of angry behavior without being concerned, hostile and abusive is something you do not want to accept.
  • Staying Hydrated - With our extremely warm Okanagan summers, it is essential that we stay on top of our hydration and ensure that we are drinking enough water each day to prevent any effects of dehydration and/or heat-related illnesses.
  • New Employee Safety - Remember when you first started working at OKIB? Remember how you wanted to impress everyone with your ambition to do a good job and be part of the team. This is not unusual. Think about your workplace from the new worker's point of view for a moment. Remember your own first day on the job. New employees can be some of the most ambitious and yet most dangerous employees in an organization. They have the will to do just about anything, but not necessarily the knowledge to do it safely. They aren’t experienced in all the safety aspects of doing the job correctly which can lead to disaster.
  • Holiday Safety - Holidays can be busy and joyous times, but holiday decorations and new toys can bring risks along with festive cheer. Stay safe by knowing how to manage the health or safety hazards of holiday items you bring into your home. To ensure that you and your family have a happy and safe season, we have put together a collection of holiday safety tips.
  • Winter Work - Shoveling snow and removing ice can be a straightforward process, but it is a winter task that can easily result in an injury. Consider a person who is sitting at a desk working for a long period of time deciding to go outside and shovel in cold weather. They are potentially opening themselves up to a number of different possible injuries.
  • Winter Driving Safety - Winter driving can sometimes be a daunting task, especially when conditions are snowy or icy. If road conditions are dangerous, consider making alternate travel arrangements or postponing your trip until conditions improve. Follow these steps to keep yourself safe and collision free during the next few blustery winter months.
  • Prevention of Musculoskeletal Injuries - Many of the ways work is done - such as lifting, reaching, or repeating the same movements - may strain the body. Wear and tear on muscles, tissues, ligaments, and joints can injure the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, legs and back. These injuries are called musculoskeletal injuries or MSI.
  • Respectful Communication - Respectful communication is vital for a healthy work environment. Creating a culture that fosters good, effective and respectful communication in the workplace can improve productivity, teamwork and employee engagement. Respectful communication is the responsibility of everyone, at all levels, in all interactions.
  • Universal Precautions - Universal precautions are a set of strategies developed to prevent transmission of blood borne pathogens. The focus on universal precautions is on blood and selected body fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, and amniotic fluid.
  • Staff Safety Tips - As an Okanagan Indian Band employee, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings to help ensure the workforce is protected and workers get home safely each day. All employees should actively play a role in upholding an organizations workplace safety.
  • Workplace Infection Prevention - With Influenza Season approaching and the continuous spread of Covid 19 and its variants, it’s important that we are practicing personal protective measures at all times. Influenza is caused by viruses and is generally spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Here are some simple precautions that help safeguard everyone’s health.
  • Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac - Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac are the three most common poisonous plants that somebody working outside will encounter. All three have common health effects but are different in appearance. They can also differ based on the region you are located in. A skin reaction is most common in spring or early summer when the leaves are tender.
  • Recreational Water Safety - With hot weather now in the forecast, Emergency Management BC urge residents and visitors to take extra care in and around rivers and lakes. Many lakes across the Interior of B.C. are flooding, including Okanagan Lake and Osoyoos Lake. Boaters are asked to keep their wakes low to reduce shoreline and property damage, watch for floating debris, and keep some safety measures in mind while on the water.
  • Heat Illness Safety - With warmer weather right around the corner, we all need to mindful of the health impacts of Heat. Heat stress creates many hazards in the workplace for those employees who must work in a hot environment.
  • The Benefits of Laughter - Laughter is the purest form of communication. It expresses our real desires and intent. Through laughter we are capable of being real, genuine, and authentically ourselves. Laughter has long been considered good medicine. Research has proven that laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.
  • Stress - Many of us are faced with it everyday, but we might not know how to deal with it. It is important to learn how to handle stress because it can affect our performance and relationships in our work and home.
  • Storing and Handling Materials - From filing cabinets and shelves to trolleys, storage and moving systems can present a range of hazards and risks to employees.
  • Near Miss - A Near Miss is an unplanned event that did not result in an injury, illness, or damage this time, but had the potential to do so.
  • Winter Weather - The winter season brings cold temperatures and severe weather conditions that create many hazards for individuals working in areas that experience these conditions. Even if you work indoors, winter weather still poses many hazards for you, such as driving into work in bad weather or walking through an icy parking lot to get to your building. It is important to recognize and address the hazards the winter season brings with it.

Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

Homewood Health provides our EFAP and you and your family can access their services confidentially by calling 1-800-663-1142. Whether you need advice, counselling or just need a little help—Homewood is here for you 24/7/365. Homewood can help you tackle your personal and workplace challenges: everything from grief and stress, to helping you manage your relationships. 1-800-663-1142 is the number to call.

Homewood Health provides information that may be useful to you or your family:

Additional information on our Health and Safety program

We welcome open dialogue with staff and members about health and safety-related issues in the workplace. For more information, or to ask questions, contact:

Health and Safety Coordinator
[email protected]

Occupational Health and Safety Committee

The Joint Health and Safety Committee is a committee made up of worker and employer representatives working together to identify and resolve health and safety problems in the workplace.

The Committee’s role in the workplace includes: promoting safe work practices, assisting in creating a safe and healthy workplace, recommending actions which will improve the effectiveness of the occupational health and safety program and promoting compliance with Worksafe BC OH&S Regulation.