Foot controls allow the worker to manually activate the press cycle by
pressing down on a foot switch or pedal, leaving the hands free during
the press stroke. Foot controls do not intrinsically separate the
operator's hands from the machine's point of operation during the
operating cycle; therefore, power presses with foot controls must be
protected by safeguarding devices not always directly linked to machine
Safeguarding devices (such as barriers,
gates, and pullouts)
may have interlocks capable of controlling initiation of the stroke.
However, it also may be possible to operate the press with safeguards
removed or modified so that they do not function as intended. This poses
several operator risks, which are minimized by regular inspections and
Foot switches can be inadvertently activated while the
workers' hands are at the point of operation.
The area on or around the foot pedal may be slippery.
Manually fed mechanical power presses must
incorporate a single-stroke (or anti-repeat) feature that allows
the clutch to engage and the press to cycle only once each time
the foot control is depressed.
[29 CFR 1910.217(b)(3)(i)]
The foot pedal
must be protected from unintended operation.
[29 CFR 1910.217(b)(4)(i)]
A non-slip pad must be firmly attached to the
[29 CFR 1910.217(b)(4)(ii)]
The pedal return device must be a compression
spring and one that will prevent interleaving spring coils (such
as double compression spring).
[29 CFR 1910.217(b)(4)(iii)]
Foot controls should be used with point-of-operation safeguards
that cannot be easily bypassed or misadjusted.
Interlocking safeguards should be considered so that the foot
control is inoperable when the safeguards are not functioning.
Guarded foot pedal
An ergonomically correct, sitting work position, if possible, is
preferred over a standing position if a foot control is used.
To reduce strain on the foot, a foot rest should be provided
near the pedal.
Riding the pedal (keeping the foot on the pedal without actually
depressing it) is hazardous, and standard operating procedures
should note this unacceptable work practice.
The rate at which presses are being cycled should be monitored
periodically to ensure that operators are not working at a pace
that leads to inadvertent pressing of the foot pedal.