Thousands of persons are injured every year in table saw accidents, many of them occurring in Georgia.These horrific injuries include amputations and involve not just woodworkers and other workers, but also DIY fans.Personal injury attorneysand Workers’ Compensation lawyers have been regularly pointing out that the technology to prevent these accidents not only exists, but has also been widely proven to prevent amputations and other injuries from table saw accidents.However, the technology has been widely resisted by the manufacturer lobby.That might soon change.
Last week, the National Consumers League accompanied by injured workers traveled to Washington to meet with representatives of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.Also attending were manufacturers of table saws who took the opportunity to demonstrate the latest guarding technology that they have developed to prevent table saw-related injuries.Unfortunately, the guarding technology that these manufacturers have developed is cumbersome to use and not very popular.
The technology that can actually prevent these injuries however has been developed by an inventor called Steven Gass.The technology, SawStop works by using electrical sensors to detect a human finger.When a finger is detected, the blade comes to a stop within a few one thousandths of a second.The technology promises to virtually eliminate fingertip amputations from table saw-accidents, but the manufacturer lobby believes that mandating SawStop on all tools, would give its maker a monopoly.
SawStop is now in use in table saws that are manufactured by Gass’ own company.He has offered to license the technology out to other manufacturers, so they can use it in their table saws, but says he has been rejected every time.Manufacturers are simply not interested in investing more dollars in a feature that they don’t believe can boost sales.
The National Consumers League wants that to change.It is pushing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to mandate SawStop to prevent these injuries.The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a unique opportunity here to place the safety of ordinary Americans above the concerns of the manufacturer lobby.Every year, an approximate 40,000 Americans are injured in table saw-related accidents.It’s appalling that these people continue to be injured every day even though the technology to prevent table saw-accidents has been out there for a while now.The Consumer Product Safety Commission needs to pressure manufacturers to make their tools safer for all Americans to use.
Fingertip amputations can be serious injuries, and can have a devastating impact on a person’s life.For instance, a person’s ability to earn a living may be severely impacted by an injury like this.A woodworker, who relies heavily on finger coordination and finger dexterity in order to perform his duties, may be unable to return to work after a fingertip amputation.Even other workers, who rely on their hands to perform manual labor, may not be able to return to the same work that they were performing earlier, as a result of their injuries. See, Table Saw Injuries Preventable.