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Why do some machines use two-hand controls?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Workers' Compensation |

In many factory jobs, machines are essentially used to perform the entire task. The worker’s job is simply to run the machine, usually by activating it by pushing a button.

What you’ll find, however, is that many of these machines have two-hand controls. This means that the worker has to use both hands to push them, or the machine won’t activate. Considering that the worker may only have one job to do, you may think that this seems a bit excessive. But why are these types of systems used?

Preventing amputation injuries

The general reason for these systems is that some machines can cause amputation injuries. An example could be a hydraulic press that is used to make parts in the automotive industry. A worker may have to activate the press hundreds of times during their shift. All it takes is one incident of leaving their hand in the wrong place for the press to come down on their hand and cause life-altering injuries.

Since it’s difficult for workers to avoid a single moment of inattention over an entire career, machines were designed with two-button controls. It is impossible for a worker to leave their hand in the way of the press if they have to be pushing two buttons at the same time. This is a simple safety system, when compared with more modern systems like lockout controls and keycard access, but it can be helpful.

Of course, no matter what safety systems are in use, workplace accidents do happen. Those who have suffered from serious injuries, such as amputation injuries, need to know exactly what legal steps they can take to seek workers’ compensation.