All the way back in 2003, SawStop petitioned the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to require some type of blade-stopping technology on all table saws sold in the United States. At the time, SawStop’s product was revolutionary, and other product manufacturers were at a loss on how to compete on the safety front.
Nearly fifteen years later, there has been plenty of time for competitors to develop rival products. But for the most part, companies seem perfectly content to allow dangerous products to remain on the market. This despite the fact that a literally life-saving model exists, and that table saw injuries result in 30,000 visits to the ER each year, according to the CPSC.
SawStop saws work by:
- Attempting to form a complete circuit from the blade to anything it comes in contact with
- The electrical impulse for the circuit does not react to wood or other traditional materials used in construction
- The circuit is completed if it comes into contact with anything with the same electrical resistance as human skin, bringing the blade to a complete halt nearly instantly
It is impossible to know how many significant injuries or deaths have been prevented because contractors and woodworkers have switched to safer saws. But the fact that any injuries continue to take place is unacceptable. The only reason to use a saw without this technology is to save money, and saving money isn’t worth human pain and suffering.
The CPSC has issued a preliminary requirement regarding saw-stopping technology, requiring all manufacturers to utilize something similar to SawStop. Public comment on the proposed regulation closed on July 26th, and it is unknown how the CPSC will rule. Hopefully, they will err on the side of safety.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a table saw accident, you are aware of just how dangerous these products can be. With the large exposed blade, it is too easy for hands to be drawn into the saw to devastating effect. Please, consider consulting with a qualified attorney regarding the circumstances of the accident.