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Government Could Require Advanced Safety Technology on Table Saws


Apr 3, 2024

Each year, over 30,000 injuries are caused by table saws. These injuries can be prevented with the use of technology that may soon be required by the US government. Despite being a popular tool for cutting materials quickly and with precision, table saws pose a risk for serious injuries.

According to Matt Baxter, the assistant manager at Woodcraft of Tulsa, table saws are considered one of the most dangerous tools in the shop due to the high-speed spinning blade that can easily pull workpieces into it. Baxter, who regularly uses tools like table saws, emphasizes the importance of paying close attention to work and hand placement to avoid accidents.

While some individuals may not exercise the same level of caution as Baxter and end up with missing fingers, there is technology available to prevent such injuries. SawStop, a company that produces table saws with safety features, can immediately stop the blade from spinning upon detecting contact with skin.

Baxter explains that 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 the existence of this technology for some time, it is not currently required for companies to use. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is proposing a rule to mandate safety brakes on all table saws sold in the United States. Although manufacturers argue that this requirement would increase the cost of table saws for consumers, the potential benefits of preventing injuries far outweigh the financial implications.

Laura Kane, the manager at Woodcraft of Tulsa, agrees that safety features on table saws are essential for preventing accidents and injuries. She believes that the mandate will ultimately make table saws much safer for users. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has already voted to move forward with the mandate, with approval expected later this year.

By editor

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