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Information shared here is not intended for external use.
Now that we are hearing that evacuations are being lifted and power restored in many of our locations, here are some things you need to know.
- What about air quality issues and concerns?
All Exchange Bank locations are equipped with HVAC systems that filters the air we breathe. We maintain those systems and change filters to ensure the air circulating is clear of particulate matter related to smoke. In some locations, there may be a lingering smell of smoke since that is not related to particulate matter. The Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) website states the following regarding the safety of working in an office where it smells like smoke:
“Ask your employer if your office buildings ventilation system has a filter designed to capture smoke particulate matter. If it has such filters, they air should be safe.”
- Availability of N95 filtering respirators
While there are conditions under which employees working outdoors must wear a respirator, it is not necessary to wear an N95 mask when working indoors. Even if you can smell smoke, the HVAC system in our locations filters out the same particulate matter as an N95. If you feel safer using an N95, have your manager contact Facilities. They have a supply of the respirators and can supply them on request.
Use of an N95 is completely voluntary. Per OSHA, here is what you need to know if you choose to use one:
- The respirator will provide some protection against the particles in smoke, but it will not provide complete protection.
- A respirator that has not been fit-tested may not provide the maximum level of protection.
- Disposable dust masks respirators marked N95, N-99, N-100, R-95, P-95, P-99, or P-100 do not protect against gases or vapors. (this is why you may smell smoke even with the mask)
- Although a medical evaluation is not required, employees are advised to consult their doctor about potential exposures to smoke and respirator use, particularly if they have certain health problems such as respiratory or heart conditions.
You can access additional information in the California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 5144, Appendix D Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required under the Standard.
- Your safety is our primary concern
If you have a medical condition such as asthma, cardiovascular disease or other medical issue and are concerned about working in an area where there has been smoke, please consult your physician to determine appropriate measures to minimize health risks. Your manager can work with Human Resources to determine how to best accommodate your medical needs including a temporary assignment in another work location if medically advised.
Should you have questions or special needs, please speak with your manager or contact someone in Human Resources. Thanks, we have made it this far and together we can make it through the home stretch!
Lori T. Zaret, SPHR
SVP Human Resources
Exchange Bank's priority is to make sure that every employee is safe and feels taken care of during these stressful times. Communication is our top priority. If you have not already updated your UltiPro contact information, please take a moment to do so. Our new Emergency Notification System uses UltiPro to contact you in an emergency. Lori Zaret shared an important Bank-wide email about how we can help one another. I encourage you to read Helping our EB Family carefully and proactively assist each other as you are able.
Be safe and take care of each other.
President and CEO
The last few days have been trying and with continued threats of high winds and extreme fire conditions, and the next few days may pose the same challenges. Many of us are evacuated from our homes, and those who aren’t may be living in the darkness without power for an extended period of time. Some are opening their homes to friends and family who have been evacuated and others have loved ones out on the front lines serving the community and keeping us safe. It is during these difficult times is when the strength of our EB family shines the brightest! Here are some things we are doing to help one another:
EB is Open for Business / Alternate Work Locations
Just as we are dealing with this emergency, our customers are as well and they are counting on us to help them manage their finances during this time. We need all our EB employees who can come in to work to report in. With some branch closures and AJS/Ops Center temporarily off limits, we may need to reassign people to a different work location such as an open branch or the downtown headquarters. Check in with your supervisor regarding your work location if you are impacted.
Everbridge Emergency Notification System
We are using our new Everbridge emergency notification system to keep you informed with emergency updates. We know the system is not yet perfect as we were still in test mode when this emergency struck, and we will use what we learn to make adjustments. Since this system uses your contact information in UltiPro, please take a moment to review your personal information in UltiPro to ensure the following information is current:
- Home Address
- Primary Phone Number
- Work Phone Number & Extension
- Personal E-mail Address
To view your information:
Menu > Myself > Personal > Name, Address, and Telephone
To edit your information:
On the right hand side under ‘Things I Can Do’, select ‘Change Name, Address, or Telephone’, make changes, then click ‘Save’
Please contact #Human Resources with any questions.
Paid Emergency Leave
This week we may be operating with reduced staffing levels. For those of us who are able to come in to work, the best way we can help others in crisis is by being present to fill in for our impacted coworkers, keep our branches open and assist our customers who may be impacted themselves. For those employees who cannot come in to work as a result of issues related to the fires, evacuations or school closures we are making paid emergency leave available during this week. This is only intended for those employees who are unable to come to work as a result of issues related to the fires. We are relying on the integrity of our employees to honor these guidelines. Joe Muldowney will send out a communication on how to code emergency time in UltiPro. As things progress during the week, we will monitor the situation and assess ongoing needs.
Children at Work
With schools temporarily closed, some employees may consider bringing their children to work or have asked if that is possible. With fires still burning up North, having children at work increases the risk in the event that an evacuation became necessary. Additionally, with some offices closed we have space limitations in the open branches and offices. We need to devote all of our attention to assisting our customers and offering support to our impacted coworkers. If it is not critical for you to report to work you should consider staying home until you can make childcare arrangements or until school is back in session. Working from home may be an option for some employees, or temporarily adjusting your work schedule may also be possible. Work with your manager to explore the options that best meet your personal and EB’s business needs. Remember, safety is the most important consideration.
Employees who have suffered a financial hardship through damage to their property, emergency evacuation or other fire-related issue may apply for an interest free emergency loan up to $500. Information about emergency loans is available in the Employment Practices on the HR Website (link attached). https://spweb.eb.corp/sites/departments/dept320/EBDocs/Employee_Assistance_Loan_Program.pdf. In light of this situation, we may grant exceptions for financial needs resulting from this emergency on a case-by-case basis.
As more information becomes available regarding the extent of damage resulting from fire, water or smoke, we may expand our assistance and will communicate on this further.
Employee Assistance Program
Counseling services, childcare and elder care referrals, legal services and other assistance is available through MHN. These services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To speak to a counselor or get assistance, call 1-800- 730-3859 or visit members.mhn.com and use the Company Code exchangebank. MHN can help you and your family with issues including stress, anxiety, financial and legal issues, family problems, alcohol or drug use and many other day to day challenges. There is no cost for up to 5 counseling sessions per incident.
Can you provide a coworker temporary living? Or do you need temporary living?
The great news is that the quick actions taken in response to the Kincade fire minimized the loss of property from fire. As people return home, they may find smoke or water damage that they need to address and in some cases may make their home temporarily uninhabitable.
- Do you have an extra room to provide a temporary living arrangement for a coworker who has been temporarily evacuated and needs a place to stay? If you have space and are willing to take in a coworker, please send a note to #humanresources or by calling someone in Human Resources.
- Are you in need of temporary living due to evacuation? Some evacuated employees are staying with friends or relatives who live a distance away. They would like to come to work but need a temporary place to stay closer to our offices. If you need temporary living arrangements, please let us know by sending a note to #humanresources or by calling someone in Human Resources. We will work with our employees to connect those who can provide temporary living arrangements to those who are in need.
Stay tuned for additional communications, and please keep us informed of any issues or needs that you become aware of. Working together, we will help our EB family in this time of need.
Lori T. Zaret
SPHR | SVP Human Resources