Patchogue officials have created a new program to help protect employees from injury when working with electricity.
The program called Lockout-Tagout, adopted by the village board of trustees in a 5-0 vote Monday night, sets guidelines on how employees are to interact with pieces of energized machinery and equipment.
Village officials said the guidelines are modeled after the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s lockout-tagout program, which sets such guidelines.
The Patchogue program establishes minimum requirements for employees working with machinery or equipment that have “potentially hazardous energy” before they “perform any servicing or maintenance activity where the unexpected energization, start up or stored energy can cause harm,” according to village documents.
Patchogue’s program comes a few weeks after a village public works employee was injured on the job while changing a bulb on a light pole.
“It really has to do with safety for our workers,” said trustee Salvatore Felice, who sponsored the legislation to start the program. “They have to make sure machinery is de-energized or turned off. If you don’t, you take the chance of getting hurt.”
Village trustee Susan Brinkman said Monday that employees will be trained in all aspects of the program.
“The purpose of the program is to ensure employees are fully aware of the measures that need to be put in place to protect them from hazardous energy in any piece of equipment or machine they may be working on,” Brinkman said. “There are certain procedures that have to be followed to protect them from any kind of unexpected release of stored energy.”