Friday, October 24, 2014

Do You Have CSA Compliant Foot Controls?

A large majority of equipment is operated by a foot control. This is to allow the operator’s hands to be free to manipulate the part during the process. This type of control is acceptable providing there is a safeguard in place to ensure the operator cannot access any hazards during the cycle.

Most foot controls are electrically or pneumatically operated. It is important to ensure that they are shrouded to prevent accidental activation and that each operator on a machine has their own controls.

foot pedal

      Many of the old mechanical style presses and shears are activated by a treadle. A treadle is a metal bar, mounted across the bottom of the machine, which when stepped on, causes the machine to cycle by pulling on a mechanical linkage.


      While CSA Z432 does not specifically say that a treadle is not a permissible activation control, section 12.10 does spell out a number of requirements for foot controls which treadles just cannot achieve. These include:

  1. Pedals shall be shrouded to prevent accidental activation,
  2. Pedals shall not be of greater width than a foot,
  3. Pedals shall not require ankle movement greater than 25 degrees, and
  4. Travel distance of the control shall be kept to a minimum to reduce leg movement and allow a balanced posture.

If you have a machine that is activated by a treadle, consider performing a risk assessment and replacing the activation method. It is possible to retrofit these old machines with proper controls. Call us, we can help!


Posted by Kristin Petaski at 2:11 PM 0 Comments
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