Thousands injured annually in table saw incidents: study

Table saws -- a common tool in woodworking -- are associated with an average of 31,500 injuries annually, finds a new study conducted at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH.

According to a study abstract, hospital emergency rooms treated approximately 565,670 non-occupational table saw injuries between 1990 and 2007.

Two-thirds of the injuries suffered were lacerations, most often to the finger or thumb. Approximately 10 percent of the cases involved amputation. In 72 percent of the cases, the injury occurred as a result of kickback. Less common were injuries stemming from debris thrown by the saw, moving the saw or getting an article of clothing stuck in the blade.

To prevent a table saw-related injury:

  • Keep table saws in an area that is not accessible to children.
  • Protect the blade with a rigid cover when not in use.
  • Read the owner's manual carefully for safety rules.
  • Complete a table saw-specific safety course before operating the saw.

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