Government Could Require Advanced Safety Technology on Table Saws

Table Saw Dangers: How Technology Can Prevent Injuries and Why It’s Time for a Mandate

Injuries caused by table saws are a common occurrence in the US, with over 30,000 injuries reported each year. Despite their popularity for cutting materials quickly and precisely, table saws pose a significant risk of serious injury.

According to Matt Baxter, the assistant manager at Woodcraft of Tulsa, table saws are one of the most dangerous tools in his shop due to their high-speed spinning blades that can easily pull workpieces into them. Baxter emphasizes the importance of paying close attention to work and hand placement when using these tools to prevent accidents.

However, there is technology available to prevent such injuries. SawStop produces table saws with safety features that can immediately stop the blade from spinning upon detecting contact with skin. The technology works by running an electrical current through the blade, completing a circuit using the natural electrical current present in the body. This safety measure can prevent severe injuries within seconds, turning a potentially serious injury into a minor cut.

Despite this technology being available for some time, it is not currently required for companies to use it. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is proposing a rule that would mandate safety brakes on all table saws sold in the United States. While manufacturers argue that this requirement would increase costs for consumers, Laura Kane, the manager at Woodcraft of Tulsa believes that safety features on table saws are essential for preventing accidents and injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has already voted to move forward with this mandate, with approval expected later this year.

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