In This Issue

Local Government Risk Academy Offers New Courses

Leadership in Risk Management

Building a Robust Business Continuity Plan

The Surprising Cause of Most Slips, Trips and Falls

Guest Column – C. Seth Sumner, City of Savannah

Tennessee Trivia

Q. Who is Jasper Newton Daniel better known as?

Click Here for the Answer

Message from the President

DawnI don’t know about you, but I go through spells when my first name should be Grace — as in not very graceful. When I look at causes of loss in our workers’ compensation claims, I find that slips and falls make up 36 percent of those losses. Unfortunately, it appears that these accidents happen to the best of us. However, there are things we can do to minimize these events. Included in this newsletter are some specific steps we can take to reduce the chances of getting hurt — and sometimes hurting our pride.

This newsletter also includes a few tools to help us all with our disaster recovery (DR) plans. Developing a DR plan is a daunting task. Once developed, it also needs to be periodically reviewed and updated. Public Entity Partners pays for a service, Agility Recovery, which provides easy-to-use tools for our property coverage members. With your Agility Recovery subscription, you have access to resources and templates that help you evaluate and record your program. These tools aid in identifying need-to-know items in the event of a disaster, such as your primary contacts and your power, system and communication requirements. You can also upload other valuable documentation for safekeeping. Here is a brief listing of the templates available to assist you in developing your DR plan. This newsletter also includes an article that outlines 10 steps for building your continuity plan. Please contact your member services representative for more information on how to get set up with these valuable tools.

Be sure to read the guest column by Seth Sumner, assistant city manager for the City of Savannah, who discusses the great things happening in his community.

Best regards,
Dawn R. Crawford


Local Government Risk Academy Offers New Courses

Have you checked out the course offerings in our Local Government Risk Academy online training program? We frequently update our course offerings to keep training topics fresh and interesting for your employees. Below is an overview of just a few of the courses provided:

  • Back Injury Prevention
  • Ladder Safety 101
  • Work Zone Traffic Control 101
  • Computer Security Basics
  • Dealing with Cold Stress
  • Fall Protection
  • Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls
  • Violence in the Workplace
  • Ethical Behavior for Local Government


If you would like to sign up to be your entity’s learning administrator, you may create an account by clicking here. To learn more about Public Entity Partners’s Local Government Risk Academy, click here.

Wayne Anderson
East Tennessee   
(772) 473-4243

Callie Westerfield
Middle Tennessee
(800) 624-9698

Celeste Taylor
West Tennessee
(731) 514-5994

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Leadership in Risk Management

Public Entity Partners congratulates Forestine Carroll, risk manager for Memphis Housing Authority, and JamiAnn Hannah, risk manager for the City of Gallatin, for being named to the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) Leadership Development Committee for 2016.

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10 Steps to Building a Robust Business Continuity Plan

We get it. Disaster recovery and business continuity planning can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be! Simply follow the steps in this article and you’ll be well on your way.

  1. Pull Together a Team

    Designate one team member from each department to participate in disaster planning. This team will also serve as your emergency
    response team during a disaster.

  2. Update Your Contact List

    Communication is paramount to recovery after a disaster. Update and document all employee and key external contact info. Keep contact
    info accessible in a secure environment both online and offline. This step should be a top priority.

  3. Create/Restock Your Emergency Kit

    Your emergency kit should include everything your organization needs in the event you’re asked to evacuate. Here’s a sample checklist
    for your disaster recovery kit: Click Here.

  4. Back Up Your Data

    Forty-one percent of small businesses in the U.S. have experienced data loss. Ideally, you should back up data on a daily basis and
    test it from a remote location.

  5. Review Insurance Coverage

    Never assume your organization is fully covered by your insurance policy. Talk to your agent and get specific. Inquire about business
    interruption coverage as well as extra expense insurance.

  6. Prioritize Your Essential Functions

    Think through a worst-case scenario. If your entire office was destroyed, what would you need to keep your organization running? This is
    your list of business essentials.

  7. Understand Your Risk

    Your organization is unique. So is your risk. Understanding your vulnerability to weather-related disasters is one thing. Understanding your
    vulnerabilities down to suppliers, vendors and key partners is a whole different ballgame. Make a list and think through
    the implications.

  8. Find Alternate Workspace

    Where would your employees work if your building was destroyed? Consider shared space agreements with another business, or mobile
    office facilities.

  9. Prepare Your Employees

    A shocking 75 percent of employees feel their employer is not well-prepared for a disaster. Develop a plan, assign responsibilities,
    communicate the plan, and test the plan regularly.

  10. Test Your Plan

    Testing your recovery plan is the only sure-fire way to find the holes in your business continuity plan prior to an interruption. Start small.
    Get the team together and work through a variety of “what if” scenarios. You’ll be amazed by how much you learn.

  11. Source: Agility Recovery

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The Surprising Cause of Most Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, trips and falls are a major challenge for safety professionals. Not only are they responsible for 25 percent of all occupational injuries that require time off from work, but they’re also notoriously difficult to solve.

So how do you reduce the number of slips, trips and falls in the workplace? To answer that question, you need to know what causes them in the first place — and it’s not what you think.

Most traditional solutions to slips, trips and falls focus on physical factors like wet floors, tripping hazards and walking speed. There are three major ways of dealing with the physical causes of slips, trips and falls:

  • Regular maintenance
  • Rules and procedures, and
  • Proper equipment and guards

Establishing detailed housekeeping procedures and then providing products like anti-slip cleaning products and high-traction mats will go a long way toward helping keep your workers on their feet.

But slip, trip and fall incidents are still prevalent despite these solutions being widely available. And you don’t even need an external trip hazard to fall — people trip over their own feet all the time.

In addition to physical factors, there’s another major contributor to slips, trips and falls: human factors. These include:

  • Distraction (like texting while walking)
  • Walking too quickly, and
  • Not looking where you’re walking

These are best addressed with human factors training that builds and reinforces important habits, such as maintaining a safe walking speed, approaching blind corners cautiously, and keeping an eye out for trip hazards. Proper human factors training should address distraction and give workers the wherewithal to stay focused on where they’re walking.

The most comprehensive solution to slips, trips and falls is combining physical solutions with human factors training. A well-rounded approach will help you drastically cut down on how often your employees are injured by a same-level fall, and the human factors training will provide spillover benefits to other areas of your safety program, too.

(Provided by ISHN)

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Guest Column – C. Seth Sumner, City of Savannah

One measure of the quality and strength of a community is its commitment to parks. Providing high-value, beautiful and accessible amenities as a platform for citizens and visitors to share their life experiences creates a sense of place that people become attached to physically and emotionally. This attachment enhances the intangibles that professional local government managers and elected officials thrive on — civility, community and civic pride. Our belief in Savannah is that if officials are able to create that condition for people, other things will fall into place.

The City of Savannah repurposed a 6-acre site in the center of the city to build a world-class park facility, now known as Tennessee Street Park. Since the late 1800s, the site had been used for education. Tennessee Street Park boasts two age-and-ability-appropriate playgrounds with rubberized surfaces to keep the bumps and scrapes to a minimum, and features the kind of equipment that makes you want to be eight years old all over again. There are also two splash pads that are the place to be in summer: one with water cannons and showers, the other with surface-mounted jets designed to be accessible to everyone. The 17-foot water fountain has become the hot spot for family photos and selfies. There are pavilions for community functions, a quarter-mile walking trail, a 2-acre grand lawn for sports and events, a butterfly garden, and really too many features to list. It is a safe, beautiful place for neighbors to come together and play.

Over the past year, the City of Savannah has experienced the intangibles firsthand with the opening of our award-winning Tennessee Street Park. Truly a place for all people regardless of age or ability, it has become a shining example of the possibilities for small, rural communities. The community pride felt during the grand opening of the park on May 31, 2014, was embodied when I witnessed a handicapped child, whose mobility depends on an electric wheelchair, smile ear-to-ear because he was able to play in the ADA-accessible swing, and later I watched him take his wheelchair out on the splash pad, squealing with joy when the other children came to play with him. The most heartfelt moment of the entire grand opening, and still a story that I love to share more than a year later, is the story the child’s mother told in such a thankful manner. Prior to that day, the mother had to drive two-and-a-half hours just for her eight-year-old son to be able to play in like manner with children his own age. Now, he can play in his own community with his neighbors, and nearly anytime that he wishes. The joy that I have just knowing that makes my day, every day.

To all of our municipal friends in small towns across Tennessee, rest assured these things are possible in your community, too.

C. Seth Sumner is assistant city manager for the City of Savannah. He began working with Savannah in 2012 after serving as city manager of the City of Clifton for two years. Seth has long been an advocate for improving lifestyle amenities and providing top-notch city services.

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Tennessee Trivia

Q. Who is Jasper Newton Daniel better known as?

A. Jack Daniel.