In This Issue

Grant and Scholarship Opportunities

4th Annual Risk & Insurance Symposium

Public Entity Partners’ Loss Control Consultant Named Finalist for Inaugural Sue Ann Head Award

Essential Elements of Motor Vehicle Safety Checklist Now Available

TOSHA’s Top 20 Most-Cited Standards for the Public Sector

Tennessee Sports Concussion Law

Choosing and Protecting Passwords

Tennessee Trivia

Q. What is the largest underground lake in the United States and where is it located?

Click here for the answer

Message from the President

Dawn Crawford

Dear members,

Most people enjoy a refreshing dip in a swimming pool to cool off during the hot summer days, and city residents flock to municipal pools in droves when the temperature soars. Although public pools have a lower incidence of injuries and deaths than private pools or open waters, accidents in public pools do happen.

Many liability exposures can be avoided through the proper training and supervision of pool operations. Bob Marinelli, risk control manager at Trident Public Risk Solutions, suggests the following to help keep swimmers at public pools safe:

  1. Hire enough lifeguards to handle high volume.
    The American Red Cross suggests there be one lifeguard on duty for every 25 swimmers.

  2. Vet lifeguards for experience and maturity.
    Lifeguards must be able to enforce the rules and require compliance with safety standards.

  3. Train and retrain for proper pool maintenance.
    Proper pool area maintenance and chemical balance of pool water is critical for the safety of swimmers.

  4. Evaluate recreational programs carefully.
    Activities such as swimming lessons, swim leagues and water aerobics have their own risks. All programs should be run by trustworthy organizations with appropriately trained/certified personnel.

Enjoy the opportunity to cool down in a local swimming hole ― and stay safe.

All the best,

Dawn Crawford signature
Dawn R. Crawford


Grant and Scholarship Opportunities

Public Entity Partners offers several grant and scholarship opportunities throughout the year to members. Applications for the Safety Partners Grant and the Excellence in Risk Management PRIMA Institute Scholarship are currently being accepted, but the application period will be closing soon. Applications will become available on Aug. 19th for the James L. Richardson Driver Safety Grant and Aug. 26th for the Excellence in Risk Management TnPRIMA Conference Scholarship. Grant and scholarship applications are accepted online at the links provided below.

Grant Name


Application Period

Safety Partners Grant

This grant helps our members purchase employee safety devices, equipment and safety education/training that might be cost prohibitive or at least burdensome, even when the city or agency recognizes this need. Public Entity Partners will reimburse up to 50% of the cost of the approved item(s) within a maximum limit.



James L. Richardson Driver Safety Grant

This 50/50 matching grant program offers financial assistance to PE Partners’ members with Automobile Liability coverage who may be eligible to apply, and addresses training needs and safety concerns for employees who operate city/agency vehicles. 

Examples of items that qualify to be purchased through this grant are:

  • Instructor-led training
  • DVD training
  • Back-up camera and alarms
  • GPS tracking systems
  • Alert systems to administrators (such as vehicle black box technology)
  • Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) checks

Please note that MVR checks will be reimbursed at 100%, up to your entity’s eligibility amount.



Scholarship Name


Application Period

"Excellence in Risk Management" PRIMA Institute Scholarship

This scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance to qualified individuals to attend the PRIMA Institute Education Program, a five-day comprehensive risk management foundations program designed for both new and experienced risk managers.



"Excellence in Risk Management" TnPRIMA Conference Scholarship

This scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance to qualified individuals to attend the Tennessee Public Risk Management Association (TnPRIMA) Conference. Special consideration will be given to individuals who:

  • Are first time attendees;
  • Are the only representative being sent by their employer to the TnPRIMA conference;
  • Provide risk management services for their organization as a whole; or
  • Spend a reasonable portion of their daily activities devoted to risk management or some related element of risk management.



If you have questions about a grant or scholarship or your entity’s eligibility, please contact:

Tahtia Mitchell

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4th Annual Risk & Insurance Symposium

Join us next month for the 4th Annual Risk & Insurance Symposium, scheduled for Aug. 21st - 23rd at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. This free, three-day event is open to all members and offers an exciting program.

Session topics include:

  • Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • The Open Records Act
  • Protecting Your Entity from ADA Lawsuits
  • Internal Investigations
  • Cyber Security
  • Active Shooter Preparedness
  • OSHA Recordkeeping
  • The Changing Landscape of Officer-Involved Shootings
  • Enterprise Risk Management in Action

When: Aug. 21st - 23rd, 2019. Sessions will begin at noon on the 21st and conclude before noon on the 23rd.

Where: Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, 700 Cool Springs Blvd., Franklin, TN 37067

Who should attend:

  • Anyone with safety responsibilities, interests or concerns
  • Supervisors with safety responsibilities
  • Safety, risk and HR managers
  • Mayors and elected officials
  • City managers/administrators
  • Finance directors
  • Human resource employees
  • Fleet managers
  • Training officers
  • City attorneys

To view the agenda and register, visit Our hotel block for the Franklin Marriott is full, but additional hotel options can be found on the event website.

Continuing education credits for Certified Municipal Financial Officer (CMFO), Utility Commissioners and POST are marked on the agenda where applicable. Participants who attend the entire event are eligible to receive up to 15 hours of POST credit, up to 14 utility commissioner CEUs, and up to 16 CMFO credit hours, with 13 of the CMFO credit hours in the financial category.

If you have questions about the symposium or issues with registration, please contact Halie Gallik at 615.371.6005 or

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Public Entity Partners’ Loss Control Consultant Named Finalist
for Workers’ Compensation Award


Michael Fann and Judy Housley at the Centennial Gala

Workers’ compensation professionals from across Tennessee gathered in Murfreesboro June 12th - 14th for the 22nd annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, hosted by the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. This year, the bureau celebrated 100 years of workers’ compensation with a special centennial gala and dinner on June 12th, along with the announcement of Terry Hill of Manier & Herod law firm as the winner of the inaugural Sue Ann Head Award for Excellence in Workers’ Compensation.

Judy Housley, Public Entity Partners' casualty loss control consultant for the East Tennessee region, was one of three finalists for the award. The award is based on the nominee’s overall service to the Tennessee workers’ compensation system. Award winners must have worked in the system for a minimum of five years.

Public Entity Partners began offering workers’ compensation coverage in 1981, and has consistently worked with our members to foster employee safety and provide fair coverage consistent with state law. Judy Housley joined the Public Entity Partners team in May 1986, and has worked to serve more than 165 local governments in East Tennessee for 33 of the 38 years that we have offered workers’ compensation coverage. Judy, along with the rest of the loss control department, works to provide best practice recommendations that increase safety, reduce liability and improve the local governments she serves. Through risk control surveys, the loss control department examines each entity’s policies, procedures, activities, facilities and work processes, then works with the entity’s staff to create solutions and best practices.

“The injury frequency rate for Judy’s region is 6.40, which is 19% below the statewide frequency rate and a more than 26% decrease in our East Tennessee frequency rate over the last 10 years,” says Michael Fann, director of loss control. “This is a direct result of the work Judy has done and the relationships she’s built with PE Partners’ members in East Tennessee.”

Congratulations, Judy, and thank you for your service!

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Essential Elements of Motor Vehicle Safety Checklist Now Available

Auto accidents are a high-risk issue for any public entity. These accidents potentially impact four different lines of coverage ― workers’ compensation for employee injuries, auto general liability for property damage and injuries to third parties, automobile physical damage for damage to your entity’s vehicles, and property coverage if the accident impacts your facility or equipment.

Public Entity Partners recently completed an essential elements of motor vehicle safety checklist and sample policy that are now available on our online portal in the Loss Control Resources and Recommendations area. If you would like to learn more about this area, or have questions about the checklist and sample policy, please reach out to your casualty loss control consultant.

East Tennessee
Judy Housley

Middle Tennessee
Chester Darden

West Tennessee
Paul Chambliss

To log into the online portal, please visit

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TOSHA’s Top 20 Most-Cited Standards for the Public Sector

Each year, TOSHA publishes the top 20 most-cited standards for the public sector so that public employers can take steps to fix recognized hazards in these common areas. The list for the top 20 most-cited standards from 2018 can be found here.

The top five most-cited standards from the 2018 list are:

  1. Hazard Communication
  2. Wiring Methods, Components and Equipment for General Use
  3. Electrical General
  4. Portable Fire Extinguishers
  5. Bloodborne Pathogens

It comes as no surprise that Hazard Communication continues to be the most-cited standard. This standard requires employers who use hazardous chemicals to ensure proper chemical labeling, provide safety data sheets, train employees and create a written hazard communication program.

Do you think your entity needs to learn more about hazard communication and the requirements you should be meeting under TOSHA? Resources are available directly from OSHA’s website at Training is also available on PE Partners’ Local Government Risk Academy through our Global SDS and the Hazardous Communication Standard and Chemicals and MSDS online training courses. PE Partners’ members are also eligible to check out DVDs from our DVD library on safety topics, including hazard communication, chemical handling safety, GHS Container Labeling and GHS Safety Data Sheets.

To learn more about online training opportunities available for all PE Partners members and member employees, click here.

To access the DVD request form and view a library of all available DVDs by topic and description, click here.

OSHA recordkeeping, including the OSHA 300 log, is listed as the 11th most-cited standard on the list. At the Risk & Insurance Symposium in August, TOSHA will be providing a session on OSHA recordkeeping that can help you meet this standard. To register for the symposium or learn more about the agenda, click here.

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Tennessee Sports Concussion Law

If your organization sponsors youth athletic activities, you should familiarize yourself with the Tennessee Sports Concussion Law and its requirements, including training and how to respond when a youth athlete appears to have suffered a concussion during a game or at practice.

Some of the law’s requirements include concussion recognition and head injury safety education training that must be completed on an annual basis by all coaches and athletic directors. The training coursework must be approved by the Tennessee Department of Health.

In addition, a concussion information and signature form for coaches must be signed prior to initiating practice or competition for the year. All youth athletes and their parent(s) or guardian(s) must review and sign a concussion and head injury information sheet prior to the athlete’s participation in practice or competition. The Tennessee Sports Concussion Law requires all documentation to be maintained for three years.

Visit to learn more. Resources include:

  • Sample Policy
  • Parent/Athlete Signature Form
  • Coach Signature Form
  • Concussion Checklist
  • CDC Heads Up App
  • Return to Learn/Return to Play: Concussion Management Guidelines
  • Training Courses

If your entity operates sports facilities that are utilized by other organizations providing youth athletics, you should require in your agreement that the organization follow the Tennessee Sports Concussion Law.

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Choosing and Protecting Passwords

By: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
Original release date: May 21, 2009 | Last revised: November 21, 2018

Why you need strong passwords

You probably use a number of personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords, and passphrases every day: from getting money from the ATM or using your debit card in a store, to logging in to your email or into an online retailer. Keeping track of all of the number, letter, and word combinations may be frustrating at times, but you’ve seen enough news coverage to know that hackers represent a real threat to your information. Often, an attack is not specifically about your account, but about using the access to your information to launch a larger attack.

One of the best ways to protect information or physical property is to ensure that only authorized people have access to it. Verifying that those requesting access are the people they claim to be is the next step. This authentication process is more important and more difficult in the cyber world. Passwords are the most common means of authentication, but only work if they are complex and confidential. Many systems and services have been successfully breached because of insecure and inadequate passwords. Once a system is compromised, it’s open to exploitation by other unwanted sources.

How to choose good passwords

Avoid common mistakes

Most people use passwords that are based on personal information and are easy to remember. However, that also makes it easier for an attacker to crack them. Consider a four-digit PIN. Is yours a combination of the month, day, or year of your birthday? Does it contain your address or phone number? Think about how easy it is to find someone’s birthday or similar information. What about your email password—is it a word that can be found in the dictionary? If so, it may be susceptible to dictionary attacks, which attempt to guess passwords based on common words or phrases. Although intentionally misspelling a word ("daytt" instead of "date") may offer some protection against dictionary attacks, an even better method is to rely on a series of words and use memory techniques, or mnemonics, to help you remember how to decode it. For example, instead of the password "hoops," use "IlTpbb" for "[I] [l]ike [T]o [p]lay [b]asket[b]all." Using both lowercase and capital letters adds another layer of obscurity. Changing the same example used above to "Il!2pBb." creates a password very different from any dictionary word.

Length and complexity

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed specific guidelines for strong passwords. According to NIST guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible (8–64 characters) when you can. For example, "Pattern2baseball#4mYmiemale!" would be a strong password because it has 28 characters. It also includes the upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. You may need to try different variations of a passphrase—some applications limit the length of passwords, some do not accept spaces or certain special characters. Avoid common phrases, famous quotations, and song lyrics.

Dos and don'ts

Once you’ve come up with a strong, memorable password it’s tempting to reuse it ― don’t! Reusing a password, even a strong one, endangers your accounts just as much as using a weak password. If attackers guess your password, they would have access to all of your accounts. Use the following techniques to develop unique passwords for each of your accounts:

  • Do use different passwords on different systems and accounts.
  • Don't use passwords that are based on personal information that can be easily accessed or guessed.
  • Do use the longest password or passphrase permissible by each password system
  • Don't use words that can be found in any dictionary of any language.
  • Do develop mnemonics to remember complex passwords.
  • Do consider using a password manager program to keep track of your passwords. (See more information below.)

How to protect your passwords

Now that you've chosen a password that's easy for your to remember, but difficult for others to guess, you have to make sure not to leave it someplace for people to find. Writing it down and leaving it in your desk, next to your computer, or, worse, taped to your computer, is just making it easy for someone who has physical access to your office. Don't tell anyone your passwords, and watch for attackers trying to trick you through phone calls or email messages requesting that you reveal your passwords. (See Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information.)

Programs called password managers offer the option to create randomly generated passwords for all of your accounts. You then access those strong passwords with a master password. If you use a password manager, remember to use a strong master password.

Password problems can stem from your web browsers’ ability to save passwords and your online sessions in memory. Depending on your web browsers’ settings, anyone with access to your computer may be able to discover all of your passwords and gain access to your information. Always remember to log out when you are using a public computer (at the library, an Internet cafe, or even a shared computer at your office). Avoid using public computers and public Wi-Fi to access sensitive accounts such as banking and email.

There's no guarantee that these techniques will prevent an attacker from learning your password, but they will make it more difficult.

For more information on passwords, multi-factor authentication, and related password topics, see Supplementing Passwords.

Don’t forget security basics

  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other software up-to-date.
  • Use and maintain anti-virus software and a firewall. (See Understanding Anti-Virus Software and Understanding Firewalls.)
  • Regularly scan your computer for spyware. (Some anti-virus programs incorporate spyware detection.)
  • Use caution with email attachments and untrusted links.
  • Watch for suspicious activity on your accounts.


Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

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Tennessee Trivia

Q: What is the largest underground lake in the United States and where is it located?

A. Craighead Caverns, located between Sweetwater and Madisonville, is best known for The Lost Sea. In addition to being the largest underground lake in the U.S., The Lost Sea is also the world’s second-largest non-subglacial underground lake.