In This Issue


Property Conservation Grants

Preventing Vehicle Impact to Facilities

Pharmacy First Fill Card

Safety is No Accident

Workers’ Compensation Adjuster Certification


Tennessee Trivia

Q. What Tennessee city is the gateway to the most-visited national park in the United States?

Click here for the answer

Message from the President

Dawn Crawford

It's common knowledge that vehicle accidents are the number one cause of work-related fatalities. Most entities have at least one truck, if not a whole fleet of vehicles, and their drivers face roadway-related hazards every day.

Technology threatens to increase the potential for driver accidents. In more and more organizations, cellular phones are being used by construction, service and delivery personnel, as well as by management staff. According to one research study, use of a cellular phone while driving increases the risk of having an accident four-fold. Another study found that having a cellular phone in a vehicle increased the risk of being involved in an accident by 34 percent. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports an increase in the number of complaints about drivers talking on their cellular phones while operating a vehicle.

Reported Hazards Associated with Cellular Phones:


  • Users are said to be distracted from defensive driving practices and less responsive to highway traffic situations. When they do react, their response time is said to be longer.
  • People on the phone are more likely to have intense conversations that involve problem-solving, which is more distracting than shooting the breeze with a passenger.
  • Passengers in the car often alert drivers to dangerous situations and stop talking at such times, in contrast to someone on the other end of the line who is unaware of the traffic situation.
  • Cell phone users may be concentrating on dialing a number or handling the equipment, and fail to notice a stop light, traffic sign or vehicle in front of them.
  • Drivers who use cell phones put not only themselves at greater risk for an accident, but also other vehicles on the roadway.

Safety Reminders for Cell Phone Users:


  • While driving, keep conversations short and don't use the cell phone for social calls while driving.
  • Hang up in tricky traffic situations — without warning if necessary. Safe driving takes precedence over telephone etiquette. You can explain later ― because you'll still be alive!
  • Resist dialing a number while on the move. Wait until you are at a traffic light or stop sign — or better yet, pull over.
  • Keep even more distance between you and the car ahead of you than is normally recommended.
  • Consider using a "hands-free" speakerphone system, so you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

All drivers are at risk of having a vehicle accident before, during or after work, and the use of a cell phone increases this risk. Don't become a statistic!

Best Regards,

Dawn Crawford signature
Dawn R. Crawford
President/CEO

 

Property Conservation Grants

Property Conservation Grant applications will be available beginning October 8th and are due by November 16th. Public Entity Partners will reimburse up to 50 percent of the cost (with a maximum reimbursement) of the property conservation-related items that are approved through the grant application.

Examples of items that are eligible for this grant program include:

  • Steel protective bollards
  • Security fencing
  • Lightning attenuation (lightning protection) systems
  • Security cameras or security lighting
  • Sprinkler head protective cages
  • Transformer oil and gas testing recommendations to electric utilities generated by a transformer oil or gas analysis (TOGA) program

Information about all the grants and scholarships offered by Public Entity Partners, including detailed instructions and eligibility requirements, can be found here. If you have questions about the Property Conservation Grant or your grant eligibility, please contact your property conservation consultant.

East Tennessee
Bill Magoon
(865) 500-5595

Middle Tennessee
Bob Lynch
(615) 371-0460

West Tennessee
Andrew “Andy” Lacewell
(731) 660-5869

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Preventing Vehicle Impact to Facilities

By Andy Lacewell

Property Conservation Consultant for Public Entity Partners

Vehicles don’t just collide with other vehicles. They crash into buildings and city facilities on a frequent basis. According to research conducted by the Storefront Safety Council, more than 60 vehicles crash into buildings every day, leading to 3,600 injuries per year1.

The damage caused by vehicles backing into or colliding with buildings and utilities can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Vehicle collisions with buildings can cause significant damage, including collapsed buildings, damage to walls, doors and glass, and even injuries to employees and the general public.

One low-cost way to protect buildings and property is to install steel protective bollards. Bollards provide excellent barrier protection from moving vehicles, and can be used to protect buildings, doorways, overhead doors and fire bays. Protective bollards can also provide vehicle strike protection to utility structures, such as gas regulator stations, fire hydrants, HVAC units and fuel tanks/pumps.

Steel protective bollards can be easily installed in most locations, and typically come in standard or heavy-duty weights. Although most bollards are painted safety yellow, many decorative bollards are available to enhance the look of your property. The majority of bollards are at least three feet tall to match the bumper height of most vehicles.

Public Entity Partners recommends the installation of steel protective bollards anywhere vehicles, fire trucks and mobile equipment enter and exit garage areas. It is also recommended that bollards, or adequate parking stops, be used any time vehicles are parked near buildings or other utility structures.

Public Entity Partners’s annual Property Conservation Grant is a great way to help finance the purchase of these protective devices, along with many other items designed to protect an entity’s property. Public Entity Partners will reimburse up to 50 percent of the cost of the approved items(s), subject to a maximum limit.

Please visit https://www.PEpartners.org/Pages/grantsandscholarships for more information on all Public Entity Partners’s grant programs.

1. http://www.storefrontsafety.org/safety-standards.html.

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Pharmacy First Fill Card

Did you know that Public Entity Partners provides all workers’ compensation contacts with a Pharmacy First Fill Card? These forms may be presented to a workers’ compensation claimant to fill the first prescription that he or she may receive after a work-related injury. This form may be downloaded from our Online Portal, and is also included in each workers’ compensation packet for renewal after July 1, 2018. If you have questions or need a copy of this card, please contact any workers’ compensation adjuster or your member services representative.

East Tennessee
Wayne Anderson
wanderson@PEpartners.org

Middle Tennessee
Callie Westerfield
cwesterfield@PEpartners.org

West Tennessee
Celeste Taylor
ctaylor@PEpartners.org

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Safety is No Accident

It’s no accident that Jellico Electric & Water System achieved 1,200 days without any lost time accidents as of September 13, 2018. While safety has always been at the forefront, it has not always held the high priority it does now at the utility. During the nearly 20 years that Jellico Electric & Water System has been a member with Public Entity Partners, they have made great progress in their efforts to keep employees injury-free and encourage a true safety culture.

This improvement comes from hard work ― to raise the visibility of safety concerns and to show all employees that they are valued for the work they do.

Joe Carroll, general manager for Jellico Electric & Water System, shared about the strides they have taken to improve safety at their entity:

“When I first became general manager, I looked at our loss history and knew it could not continue. We brought in Mike Sutton as our safety coordinator to really push a change in our safety culture. It has been our goal from day one to be safer. You have to start with leadership, and we are grateful to have Mike lead this charge. He has been an asset for Jellico Electric & Water System. It’s been a team effort, and our employees really should be commended. We couldn’t be more proud of the work they have done to accomplish this.”

Mike works to set up safety training and positively reward employees for staying accident-free.

E. E. Hill & Son, Inc., the system’s insurance agency, also partners with the utility system to raise the visibility of safety issues. Paige Etter, the agency’s commercial lines agent, shared:

“We have brought lunch several times to Jellico Water & Electric System to celebrate the amount of time they have gone without any lost time accidents. We created a board to post at the utility that shows every day each employee goes home without a lost time accident. We really try to encourage them to take advantage of the training resources offered by Public Entity Partners — whether it’s online training, the DVD library or specific training offered by the Loss Control Department. We want to partner with every account we represent to encourage safety.”
  Jellico Sign  

Please help us congratulate Jellico Water & Electric System for changing their safety culture and achieving 1,200 days without a lost time accident.

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Workers’ Compensation Adjuster Certification

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has created a voluntary certification program that oversees the requirements of Tennessee’s workers’ compensation laws, rules and regulations for workers’ compensation adjusters. According to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, “the purpose of this program is two-fold: to assure that injured employees are treated fairly, and to assure that Tennessee workers’ compensation claims are handled in an appropriate and uniform manner.” As of September 1st, only 72 workers’ compensation adjusters in the state of Tennessee held this certification.

This two-day certification program is taught by directors and supervisors with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and includes an exam that must be passed in order to be recognized as a Certified Adjuster.

Public Entity Partners has always striven to provide expert claims administration as part of its mission. Our workers’ compensation and property / casualty adjusters all have extensive experience adjusting claims specifically for governmental entities, but are also dedicated to the pursuit of continuing education in their field.

Please help us to congratulate our workers’ compensation adjusters on completing this course:

Carol Cobb
Pamela Dickover
Kellie Earls
Dawn Feinstein
Antoinette Hayes
Russell Martin
Grace Nichols
Michelle Vickers
Michele Williams

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Tennessee Trivia

Q: What Tennessee city is the gateway to the most-visited national park in the United States?

A. Gatlinburg is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which draws more than eleven million visitors each year — about twice the number of the second-most popular park.