The speed at which a power press operator can move his hand from the press actuator button to the point of press operation, at which he could be injured, was measured for three common locations of the palm buttons, using the NIOSH power press simulator. Five male and five female subjects were used, none of whom had had previous experience as a power press operator or with the press simulator. During 3 minutes of performance of a simulated stamping operation, an observer created four random "afterreach" events in which the workpiece was displaced and the subjects were required to adjust the workpiece before the ram completed its downstroke. Hand reach speed was calculated by dividing the distance from the palm button location by the measured afterreach time. The fastest hand reach speeds recorded for each subject varied from 1.12 to 4.91 meters per second (m/sec) for shoulder level vertical orientation of the palm buttons, from 1.11 to 2.20m/sec for waist level vertical orientation, and from 1.05 to 4.05m/sec for waist level horizontal orientation. Eight of the ten subjects "beat" the OSHA standard for hand speed (1.6m/sec) from at least one of the three locations, and four of the subjects beat the standard for all three locations. Differences in mean hand speed for the different locations and for males and females were not statistically significant. The authors conclude that the OSHA standard may not infer the maximum average hand reach speed obtainable for all palm button locations and orientations, and that using the current standard for determining safety distance may place some operators at an increased risk of sustaining traumatic injury due to the afterreach hazard.