Review of compatibility and selection of multiple lever controls used in heavy machinery

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-102
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Online published21 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


The current state-of-the-art of research on use of multiple lever controls in heavy machinery such as underground mining machines, forklifts, excavators and cranes is reviewed. Strong stereotypes for control selection and operation are noted. These controls may be complex due to many similar controls, multi-functions of a control and lack of distinguishing features of controls. Multiple lever controls have a number of serious design problems associated with control selection and direction of motion of the control for a required machine output. Possible solutions to these problems are reviewed and suggestions are given for designs which are more ergonomically sound. The guiding principle for a compatible design is that there is directional compatibility between control movement and corresponding machine output movement. Design for ease and accuracy of control selection requires further research.

Research Area(s)

  • Control selection, Design principles, Directional compatibility, Lever controls