Certain types of machinery require the operator to use both hands in order to make it work. This is primarily the case on machinery and equipment that has dangerous parts such as rotating blades; for example many push along petrol lawnmowers only work by squeezing the left and right handles on the handlebar to get the blades spinning and the lawnmower to move. By forcing the operator to have both hands on the controls and therefore in a safe place, it means their hands should not be at risk whilst the equipment is in operation.
Whilst positively contributing to overall levels of health and safety and offering protection for the operator, there are also some drawbacks associated with two-handed machinery. For starters, whilst the operator's hands may be in a safe location, there may be little protection afforded for other workers or people nearby who can still be seriously injured by the machinery if they were to get too close. It will also only afford protection for the operator's hands, with dangers to other parts of the body - especially the feet - still existing.
The distance of the two-handed controls from the dangerous part combined with the time taken for these parts to come to a complete stop will play a part in the probability of an accident occurring. If the parts take a while to come to a complete stop after the controls have been released the worker may reach down to clear a blockage or something and injure themselves on the still moving parts.
Two-handed controls also need to be sufficiently spaced apart to prevent an operator being able to hold both down with just one hand, otherwise their other hand may inadvertently come into contact with the dangerous area. If they are able to do this then it defeats the entire purpose of having controls requiring two hands to be used.
As well as certain types of lawnmowers, two-handed machinery is used in industries such as the construction industry. The safe use of work equipment and the multitude of hazards and risks that they present are covered in health and safety qualifications such as the NEBOSH Diploma, NEBOSH General Certificate and the NEBOSH Construction Certificate. Please click here for more information regarding our NEBOSH courses.
Need an Accredited Course?
Along with designing bespoke health and safety training programmes, we also run the accredited NEBOSH, IOSH and ConstructionSkills (CSkills) health and safety courses as open courses at selected venues across the UK, as well as in-house for those companies who have a number of employees requiring the training, as it will be much more cost effective than sending them all onto a scheduled open course.
For more information please call 0115 984 9940 to discuss the options or send us an online contact form. Alternatively, use the "Courses" menu at the top of the page to view the courses and qualifications for the various awarding bodies.
These courses form the basis for our in-house training programmes. They can either be run as they are if the outline is exactly what you want, or can be be modified to suit the individual requirements of your organisation. Two or more can also be combined to tailor a bespoke training session for you.
Please click on a course title to find out more about what each one entails: