Some pieces of heavy machinery will use two-hand controls. A common example is a hydraulic press, such as the type of press used to form metal parts for automobiles. In order to activate these presses, a worker has to reach up and push two separate buttons that are far enough apart that they must use both hands to do so.
Workers sometimes find these systems frustrating. What is the point of the redundancy? It takes them extra time to make sure they’re pushing both buttons at once, so it may cut back on their efficiency and their production numbers. What are the advantages of this system and why is it in use?
Preventing significant injuries
The reason that two-hand controls are used is often to protect the worker. Serious injuries could occur if one of the worker’s hands is in the wrong position when they activate the machine.
For instance, say that a worker has to place pieces of sheet metal onto the press before activating it. If a worker who has done this thousands of times absentmindedly leaves one hand on the metal sheet and then activates the press, they could suffer a crush injury or even an amputation injury.
By forcing the worker to reach up with both hands to activate the machine, it ensures that they can never have their hand in the wrong place at the moment that the machine turns on. This doesn’t mean that injuries are impossible, but it does lower the risk of some of the most severe injuries workers can suffer.
Workers’ comp benefits
Even with modern safety systems like these in place, workers do get hurt on the job. They need to know how to seek workers’ comp benefits to cover a portion of their lost wages and their medical bills if they were hurt while on the clock.