Portland And Vancouver Ban Fireworks; Three Alternative Ways To Celebrate Safely. 

The cities of Portland and Vancouver announced that they have put a ban on fireworks this Fourth of July, citing an increasing number of injuries but also a huge risk for fire and property damage. According to the City of Portland, of the 307 fires in 2021, fifteen were caused by fireworks, including 3 deaths. 

Although fireworks are a significant part of the July 4th traditions for Americans, the celebrations, while not as loud, can still be bright.  We urge those of you who live in the Portland and Vancouver areas to respect the ban and try these fun firework alternatives instead. 

  1.  Confetti Cannons.  This fun, and festive Confetti Cannon provides the pop and color that is a must on any July 4th.  Made with biodegradable confetti, it’s earth-friendly too. 
  2. Laser Light Show.  Light up the night with laser light.  Throw the colors up against a wall or fence and for some extra fun turn up some music and celebrate.  
  3. Blow in the Dark Bubbles.  Whether you are nine or ninety it will be hard to resist this activity.  Easy to make with a two-step solution, these are so fun you may not even miss the sparklers. 

Just because residents of Portland and Vancouver cannot light their own fireworks does not mean there are not plenty of Fireworks and 4th of July celebrations to enjoy around town.   However you choose to celebrate,  the team at EPB&B wishes you a safe and happy holiday. 

Stay Safe and Celebrate.


An Exceptional Customer Experience  Continues With Our New VP of First Impressions

Exceptional customer service at EPB&B starts from the very first interaction, and that is why we believe one of the most important positions at our agency starts at the front desk with our Vice President of First Impressions.

This position is used as an entryway into the insurance business, it is a program over time that has given those looking for a new career to see if insurance is a good fit for them, and gives a  person insight into the different opportunities available to them within EPB&B  and the industry.  It is so successful, that the past seven-team members to hold this position have moved on to other positions in the agency, including Sharif Morton who has recently been promoted to a Commercial Lines Assistant. 

This week we are pleased to welcome our new Vice President of First Impressions, Arlene Sieler. We have asked Arlene to share a little bit about herself.

  • What Make You Interested In A Career In Insurance? I’ve never worked in the insurance industry before this, but I’m really excited to learn more from everyone and see what makes insurance fun! 
  • What Made You Choose EPB&B As The Next Step In Your Career Path? I recently moved to Portland with my partner, and I wanted to find a job that was more of a career, something to grow into, and somewhere I could apply myself. I was especially drawn to the environment of the workplace and how nice everyone is. 
  • Any Fun Facts To Help Others Get To Know You A Bit? Fun facts about me, I have a double degree in history and psychology. I have a 3-year-old cat named Lincoln. And I enjoy playing dungeon and dragons with my friends online! 

Welcome Arlene, we are happy to have you as part of the team. 

Arelene Sieler, Vice President Of First Impressions


Pet Insurance: Protect Your Pets, And Your Peace of Mind.

Yes, pet insurance is a thing. At Elliott, Powell, Baden, and Baker we know all too well that pets are part of the family, providing unconditional love, protection, and a lot of material for social media posts.  Any pet parent will tell you that they will do anything to keep their pet happy and healthy and that can be expensive. Unforeseen accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions that come with owning a pet can bring shockingly high veterinary bills, leaving some families to make some very difficult decisions.  

Pet insurance from Safeco Insurance can take the stress and worry out of caring for your pet and give you the opportunity to get the finest veterinary care for your four-legged friend  From wellness coverage such as wellness exams, teeth cleaning, and dietary food and supplements to care due to unexpected illness and injury, pet insurance offers coverage that can give you peace of mind so you can focus your love and attention where it matters most. 

Contact the team at EPB&B for more information on how pet insurance can fit for your family. 


EPB&B Prevention Mention : New Heat Rules Implemented By Oregon OSHA

Heat waves continue to break temperature records summer after summer; in response Oregon OSHA has cemented new heat safety rules to regulate employers. At Elliott, Powell, Baden, & Baker, we are always keeping an eye on new regulations that will affect our clients. Some of these regulations have changed from what Oregon businesses might be used to. Below are some key takeaways to review:

Tier 1 (80 Degrees or Higher )Tier 2 (90 Degrees or Higher)
Shaded break area must:
~Have open air/mechanical ventilation
~Be close as possible to work area
~Have seating for every worker scheduled to break
Drinking Water:
~1 qt/hr of water per employee
~77 degrees or cooler
~No caffeinated drinks
Supervisor and employee training 
~Environmental factor awareness (exertion, clothing,PPE, etc.)
~Regulation procedural compliance 
~Immediate symptom reporting and first aid access 
High heat practices:
~Water 65 Degrees or cooler
~Regular and effective communication
~Mandatory buddy system 
~Mandatory paid 10min breaks every two hours regardless of shift length
Emergency Medical Plan Required
~Immediately remove employee from worksite
~Provide with means/place to cool down
~Contact EMS, ensure clear and precise directions to the worksite  

As summer approaches, EPB&B is available as a resource to help you review your site safety regarding heat rules. We have access to a variety of tools to help you navigate the heat and smoke that Oregon workers face every year. Our goal is to keep our clients and business partners within OSHA regulations and employees safe from many of the severe symptoms related to heat stress.       



Five Steps For Proper Sunscreen Use

Swimming, camping, hiking, golfing, or hanging in the yard, whatever your plans this summer make sure they include sunscreen.

Proper use of sunscreen is critical to protecting your skin, not only from sunburn but also from premature aging and most importantly from the most common type of cancer in the United States, skin cancer.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends you use sunscreen every day you will be outside, even on cloudy days, especially if you will be near sand, snow, or water as the UV rays reflect off of these surfaces and increase your chance of sunburn. 

Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen needed to achieve the amount of SPF on the label. Here is the American Academy of Dermatology’s recommendation for proper sunscreen application: 

  • Apply enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. Most adults need about 1 ounce — or enough to fill a shot glass — to fully cover their entire body.
  • Don’t forget to apply it to the tops of your feet, your neck, your ears, and the top of your head.
  • Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Skin cancer also can form on the lips. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • When outdoors, reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the bottle.

Your skin works hard daily to protect you from external factors,  so take the time to return the favor before heading outside for some summer fun.

the AAD recommends a sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher for maximum protection.


Walking Programs; Get moving, Your Boss Says So

Attention employers, summer is here and a great time to implement a walking program for your employees. 

Anyone who runs a business knows that good employee are hard to find, so when you have a good team of people working for you, make sure you are taking care of them, and that includes promoting a healthy workplace. When it comes to health, walking is at the top of the list.  Not only does it relieve stress, and help manage a healthy weight, but when promoted in the workplace it can help with productivity and team cohesiveness.  

Workplace walking challenges have become increasingly popular in recent years, as employers look for ways to maintain a fun and productive workplace.  While there are many ways to implement a walking challenge, here is an example of an easy way to start.

Implemented by Human Resources Manager, Chris Harte last summer, the team at EPB&B pulled together to make a 987-mile trek from Portland to Disneyland.  Of course, they didn’t actually walk to Disneyland, but they put in some serious miles and had a lot of fun doing it.  Here is How: 

  1.  Pick A“ Virtual” Location.  Depending on the number of participants, you may want to go across town or across the country.  Add some fun swag (EPB&B donned mouse ears) that represents your final destination. 
  2. Make The Challenge Optional. Remember a walking challenge is meant to be a fun team-building experience, not another item in the job description. 
  3. Provide Tracking Devices. Most participants have a smartphone or a fitness tracker they can use to track their miles but provide a pedometer (they are inexpensive and work fine) for those who may need one. 
  4. Start Walking. Every step counts.  Whether to the copy machine, running after the kids, or keeping up with Fido, just keep walking.  
  5. Report Miles Walked.  At the end of each week, have each participant report their total miles walked that week to the designated team leader.  I suggest making it an honor system (unless you work with a bunch of cheaters).  Have the team leader share the weekly totals to keep everyone motivated.
  6. Take Pics And Share.  Encourage everyone to brush up on their selfies and  to share their journey with one another. 
  7. CELEBRATE.  When you reach your destination, have a way to celebrate the accomplishment.  A catered theme lunch, a donation to a favorite charity, or workout swag to name a few ideas.

A walking challenge can be done in workplaces that are in office, work from home, or hybrid.  They are a great way to build team cohesiveness, promote health and have some fun.   

The EPB&B Wellness Wednesday Series is written by Sherri Sacconaghi, Creative Strategist and former Health and Fitness Coach.