table saw

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Advocacy group pushes CPSC for rule on table saw safety technology

July 20, 2016

Washington – The National Consumers League has repeated its call for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require injury-prevention technology on all table saws sold in the United States.

In 2003, a petition filed with CPSC requested the agency to mandate active injury mitigation technology on every table saw sold domestically, citing the technology’s ability to stop a moving saw blade upon coming in contact with, or close proximity to, flesh. In 2011, CPSC voted unanimously to begin a rulemaking process.

NCL referenced CPSC’s own finding that 40,000 Americans sustain table saw injuries requiring emergency room visits each year – including about 4,000 amputations. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,300 U.S. workers suffered occupational injuries involving table saws in 2014. Of those, 740 had been with their employer for less than one year.

“Tens of thousands of people suffer … injuries every year working on table saws that are more dangerous than they need to be,” NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg and Director of Health Policy Karin Bolte wrote in a June 1 letter to CPSC. “The CPSC has the power to put an end to those unnecessary tragedies. But it must move quickly because every day brings 10 more avoidable amputations."

“Incredibly, however, five years have gone by, and the Commission has yet to issue a proposed rule on table saws,” the letter states.

CPSC’s most recent regulatory agenda lists “Staff Sends [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] Briefing Package to Commission” – with an action date of September 2016 – as the next step in its rulemaking process regarding table saws.