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State of Tennessee Real Estate Asset Management Division

State of Tennessee Real Estate Asset Management Safety Plan

Promote a safety culture by increasing the understanding of safety and emergency practices through awareness, information and instruction.

To provide quality facility services by establishing workplace safety principles through applicable laws, policies, standards and regulations to assure compliance performance every time.

Safety Policy

It is the policy of the division of State of Tennessee Real Estate Asset Management to maintain facilities for tenants, visitors, and contractors that will not adversely affect their health and safety, nor subject them to avoidable risks of accidental injury.  In addition, the goal of the management team is to safeguard the health and safety of the division of State of Tennessee Real Estate Asset Management employees.  It is recognized that all workers have a fundamental right to a workplace that neither impairs their health or safety.

  1. Maintain ongoing programs at all levels to identify personal health and safety risks.  The management staff shall insure that all employees clearly understand all facets of the health and safety programs and policies that directly affect them and their duties.
  2. Control and reduce personal exposure to all known or clearly suspected occupational health and safety risks and attempt to eliminate hazards as quickly as governmental regulations, technology and economic feasibility allow.
  3. Provide incentive programs to encourage employees to identify, control, and eliminate occupational health and safety risks.
  4. Conduct continuing education on occupational and health and safety concerns.
  5. Plan, design, and construct all work locations to provide the safest and healthiest working environment possible.
  6. Recognize that despite every effort the division makes, the basic responsibility for employee health and safety rests with the individual. It is a condition of employment for all employees to conduct their work in a safe and healthy manner.


DGS-Safety-Delivered a presentation for the TOSHA safety committee on the transitioning of DGS safety plan in regards to supporting other agencies in resolving TOSHA citations and complaints in lease buildings. DGS will serve as a point of support in regards to TOSHA complaints, violations, or consultative/monitoring inspections related to facility hazardous issues in lease buildings under the umbrella of STREAM lease agreements.

DGS-Safety also spoke of customer-focused government as it relates to TOSHA internal customer centered initiatives demonstrated by John Houghton, TOSHA Inspector. John provides a level of support by extended professional services and direction in matters in regards to monitoring/consultative visit cite findings to support in the corrective actions of safeguarding all DGS tenants against any hazards.

Photo of John Houghton

DGS-Safety and DGS-Printing Collaboration

During a town hall meeting, the words from the executive leader's principal presentation spoke of core values streaming from the following attributes: Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation, Collaboration and Customer Focus.

DGS- Safety had an experience of receiving such high regard of results driven type of service that were demonstrated by a colleague in DGS-Printing Division that mirror core value attributes. The printing division collaborated with DGS-Safety on developing emergency planning booklets that needed a graphic designer to create egress routes that provided clear and concise mapping that displayed key components in the diagram to illustrate emergency equipment, (fire extinguishers, AEDs) and diverse route paths of evacuating tenants.

The project began with initial talks with Rick Johnson, Production Manager on timelines and the visual ideas and images of the booklet. Rick provided weeks prior to the anticipated date of completion; mapping that provided visual aids that defined the route structure in a summarizing layout that informed our tenants' critical points of egress.

Rick provided consistent actions of delivery by being responsible for meeting timelines for each booklet. He provided originality in the booklet design; working in partnership with other DGS staff on their input on incorporating ideas for the booklet and adjusting the design of the layout with absolutely, positively customer focus. During the entire project, Rick displayed an easygoing attitude along with exhibiting core value disposition.

Photo of Rick Johnson

Emergency Evacuation Drills 

Collaboration with DGS fire wardens is important for a safety program to maintain compliance with local, state and federal fire safety legislation. Periodic fire drills are required in state complexes to ensure rapid evacuation to a pre-designated place of safety for all employees, visitors and contractors. Fire drill exercises serve as a learning component for all tenants' as a reminder of fire exit routes, the sound familiarity of the alarm alert, and safe assembly points.

We would like to applaud all fire wardens throughout the state for their assistance in our emergency exercise evacuation efforts by assembly all tenants to the designated safe refuge points.

Click here for Emergency Drill Photos
DGS fire wardens

Surviving the Storm Seminar with Lisa Spencer, Chief Meteorologist for WSMV Channel 4 News
Lisa Spencer, Chief Meteorologist for Channel 4 News conducted weather preparedness’ presentation for the Nashville fire and safety wardens.  She provided an overview on Tennessee weather risk, extreme weather risk mitigation, actions to avoid in a weather emergency, and best practice actions to take to increase opportunities in surviving a severe weather emergency and the importance of pre-planning weather drills.


STREAM Training

Drop, Cover and Hold

What takes less than 60 seconds to rehearse? It is the earthquake safe actions.

It is the internationally recognized "Drop, Cover and Hold On" a procedure to protect lives during shakings. The Department of General Services-Safety participated in the Great Central U.S. Shakeout and conducted an overview for DGS-Fire Wardens on- WHAT RESCUERS AND EXPERTS *DO and DO NOT* RECOMMEND YOU DO DURING AN EARTHQUAKE.

To learn more about protection during earthquakes link in to the below:


Risk Control Initiatives

During DGS-Safety Lunch and Learn, Keith Butterfield, Risk Control Manager with Tennessee Department of Treasury Division of Risk Management shared with the DGS audience on the state's risk management initiatives.

Keith spoke about DGS and Risk Management collaboration for the state's risk control program by noting the importance of having policies and protocols in relations to general incidents and assuring agencies are conducting on-going facilities inspections for non-complaint safety issues and providing a plan of corrective actions and recommendations for resolution.

Keith indicated that every employee has a specific role in our risk management initiatives by communicating workplace hazardous conditions and job related injuries so that safety personnel can implement corrective action plans to mitigate the risk.

Keith Butterfield photo

Tornado Simulation Training

Safety and fire wardens housed at downtown Nashville complexes from various state agencies attended a realistic simulation demonstration of severe weather inside a mobile trailer exhibit provided by the Nashville Metro Fire Education Department during the Department of General Services (DGS) weather preparedness seminar.

Assistant Fire Marshall Captain Maggie Lawrence led the instruction. Captain Lawrence has worked with DGS on several training initiatives; the tornado simulation provided a realistic demonstration of rigorous weather, including thunder and lightning, and a tornado effect inside the display.

DGS Motor Vehicle Equipment and Management (MVM) division provided shuttle services for the participants. Bruce Moore orchestrated the shuttle services for the state partners that traveled from our downtown state buildings to the event site at Metro Center.

John Lawrence and Victor Vaughn with MVM noted that their collaboration allowed our safety/fire wardens an opportunity to gain a reminder of the importance of developing a shelter safe place and the significance of developing an emergency action plan.

Hazardous Communication Training

DGS-Safety has conducted the annual hazardous communication training for the Printing Division. The course provided an overview of specific hazards related to the chemicals used by the staff. The attendees gain knowledge and resources specific for protective measures to avoid adverse effects when handling chemicals. In addition, the class received information on defining hazard information on chemical labeling and safety data sheets according to the Global Harmonization System.

Click here for the class photo

Annual Emergency Training

DGS Safety held their annual emergency training for floor wardens; the theme for the event was to recap, reaffirm, and refocus the floor warden's responsibilities. The session provided learning through group participation discussion and followed up with an emergency response activity game to refresh participants on workplace emergency hazards and appropriate responses in planning for those hazards. The mini-lecture provided the basic responsibilities for floor wardens. The lecture displayed media(s) on the importance of evacuation planning and attendees received job aides for emergency planning.

We applaud all the floor wardens that exemplify safe practices and procedures as well as ensuring safe evacuation during emergency drills.

Click here for photo of attendees.

Facility Inspection Team

One of the primary goals of DGS Internal Audit is to ensure our department maintains an adequate system of internal control by conducting special reviews, audits, and providing consulting services. Auditors Emily Gray and Jack Williams conducted quarterly facility audit reviews with DGS-Safety on regulatory programs items including hazardous chemicals, waste management, electrical safety, emergency response, and permit required space to determine OSHA compliance.

The purpose of this collaboration is to maintain risk control facilities, keep personnel working, maintain safe properties and our public free from harm by enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our resources and reduce liabilities for an effective risk control program.

Click here for photo of Emily and Jack.

CPR/AED Training

James Milliken the Regional Administrator for the office of Health Care Facilities for the Tennessee Department of Health was the instructor for the annual CPR/AED course for DGS employees. Jenny Dudzinski, Assistant State Nursing Director for the Department of Health assisted in the classroom instruction as well.

The course provided a chronological format of recorded attempts of cardiopulmonary resuscitation dated far back as 800 BC to the modern procedure of CPR that expanded in the mid 20th century. The course also provided the procedures and the chain of survival process of providing treatment to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. AED trainer units and mannequins provided hands on practice and used as training aids for procedural steps for restitution rescue scenarios.

Click here for the class photo

Warehouse & Distribution Safety Training

DGS-Safety created a training module incorporating safety principles based on the department's core value characteristics of Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation, Collaboration and Customer Focus. The titled course, Safety Core Values began a series of quarterly safety sessions for the Warehouse & Distribution management staff based on a collaborative initiative with Warehouse & Distribution Director, Bill Davis. Bill and DGS Safety outlined an effective training plan for the staff to redefine and refocus on safety standards. The team is also scheduled to complete courses in Asbestos Awareness, CPR/AED and Emergency Planning.

Click here for the class photo