OUCH! Table Saws Make the Cut

One of the power tools that is regularly involved in incidents that hurt their operators are table saws. Based on a two-year study in 2007 and 2008, CPSC estimates that about 67,300 people suffered from medically treated blade contact injuries each of those two years.

According to CPSC’s analysis of table saw injuries, the people getting hurt are often experienced operators, including some who disabled safety devices. Victims reported that the device either got in the way or slowed their work down.

Blade contact injuries are serious. CPSC’s study estimates that, on average, consumers treated in emergency department for blade contact injuries suffered:

  • 4,000 amputations per year or 333 each month
  • 4,150 broken bones per year or 346 each month
  • 2,800 avulsions or 238 each month. Avulsions involve a separation of body parts.

A key question has been: Should CPSC set performance requirements that would make table saws safer? In a unanimous vote earlier this month, CPSC decided to move forward with rulemaking on table saws. This rulemaking will start the process of determining how to best improve the safety of table saws.

So, if CPSC creates a mandatory rule to make table saws safer, what would the impact be? What requirements could the rule include to keep people from disabling new safety features?

That’s where you come in. Consumers, victims, industry representatives: Let us know your thoughts on this issue. You have until December 12 to submit comments. Simply go online to Regulations.gov to submit comments.

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