Here we go again…
“According to a USA Today article, tablesaw safety in the United States is getting another look from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and saw manufacturers may get a call to testify as to why the problem has not been addressed sufficiently.
The CPSC says there are about 10 finger amputations a day, and that is in home shops alone. That’s too many, says CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “The safety of table saws needs to be improved,” she says, “All options are on the table for CPSC at this time.” ” – RTWT@Fine Woodworking
So Stephen Gass wants the Feds to decree that all saw manufacturers must use his patented technology – remind you of any other recent purchase mandates? YHGBSM. While I think the flesh sensing technology is amazing – I’m blown away by both his and the Federal Government’s hubris.
We already have federally mandated riving knives and blade guards – effective and relatively inexpensive safety measures. When used properly, they just work – and make tablesaws much safer.
|Riving knife and Shark Guard
Here’s a video of a safe cut being made – guard and riving knife in place, blade raised just enough to make the cut, and using a push block. (Courtesy of Lee Styron’s LeeWay Workshop)
I woodwork…a lot. I use a riving knife, a blade guard and push blocks or push sticks for any cuts where my hands are in close proximity to the shiny-sharp-whirly-thing. I think about the cut, what my follow-through will be as I push past the blade and how I will return to a neutral position to turn the saw off (or for the next cut). Then the whole process starts anew.
Where am I going with this? Tablesaw ownership is a lot like gun ownership – common sense is the most important accessory you can have. According to the USA Today article (no link to data in the article), the CPSC claims there are an average of 10 finger amputations daily. Anyone care to wager how many of those amputations are due to improper tool use or missing or disabled safety equipment? My bet would be on all of them being rooted in negligence or improper usage.
How about we mandate common sense? Nah, I didn’t think so…then we’d hafta shut Washington, DC down.
*Just found out there is another player in the flesh sensing hazard avoidance end of things…interesting design…and a little competition never hurts
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