A 2001 to 2008 study by the United States Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that approximately 36,400 people every year are treated in emergency hospitals for serious injuries from table saw use. The CPSC conducted a special follow-up study for the years of 2007 and 2008. This follow-up, two-year study, revealed injuries to 79,500 people requiring emergency room treatment. Of these 79,500 victims, the CPSC estimated that 66,900 of the injuries resulted from the operators’ fingers, hands or bodies coming into contact with the saw blade. The most common injuries associated with blade contact are amputations, fractures, lacerations and avulsions. According to the CPSC, the medical costs associated with table saw injuries is approximately $2.360 billion per year, which is a societal cost of $35,000.00 for every single blade contact injury.
Since the 1990s the engineering and technology has existed to significantly reduce or entirely eliminate the most troubling injuries associated with table saws. In fact, since the 1990s, there has existed designs and technology wherein the very instant that a person’s finger or flesh comes into to any contact with a rotating saw blade, the saw blade immediately stops rotating and retracts into the base of the unit. As a commissioner at the CPSC stated, this flesh-detection technology, which relies upon electrical currents, effectively acts to “reduce virtually all the injuries associated with table saws.” Moreover, this technology can be applied to most other types of saw equipment, including bench top saws, cabinet saws, carpenter saws, band saws, radial saws, cabinet saws, and industrial saws.
While it is easy for consumers to recognize the wonders and benefits of this technology, the power saw industry has undertaken a concerted and dangerous campaign to block these wonderful safety advances. Tens of thousands of human injuries and amputations would have never taken place, but for the sole fact that the power tool industry and many saw manufacturers (e.g., Ryobi, Stanley, Black & Decker, Bosch, Makita, DeWalt, Hitachi, Skil, among many others) have undertaken a rigorous, concerted campaign that places money over consumer safety. The manufacturers of these power saws have acted together through the “Power Tool Institute,” which outlines its first two objectives as follows: (1) to promote the common business interests of the power tool industry, and (2) to represent the industry before government. It is not surprising that “safety” falls below the business and financial interests of these big manufacturers. The Power Tool Institute tells consumers that “the demands of safety apply to all,” but its actions in opposing engineering suggest otherwise. Moreover, while opposing technology and safety, the power tool industry and the manufacturers of power saws have engaged in a campaign to blame the victims of these horrific injuries and to attack the inventors of safer technologies. The conduct of the Power Tool Institute and their big manufacturer-members is a prime example of corporate financial interests over human safety. There is no legitimate excuse for the behavior of the power saw industry, and their conduct suggests that it is driven primarily by money.
In 2010, the CPSC again called on the table saw industry to address the hazards associated with table saw blade contact. Despite the CPSC’s urging for the power saw industry to make voluntary progress on preventing the hazards associated with these products, “no meaningful revisions to the voluntary standard were made.” As stated by the Commissioner of the CPSC, the “severity of the blade contact injuries associated with table saws demanded action.” Calling victims’ injuries “gruesome,” the Commissioner of the CPSC states that injuries associated with table saw blades have “changed the lives of tens of thousands of consumers and impacted their families forever.”
The Kansas City-based law firm of Bautista LeRoy LLC is a national law firm that specializes in product liability cases, and representing individuals that have been injured due to unsafe products. In particular, the law firm of Bautista LeRoy LLC specializes in representing individuals injured from a table saws, bench top saws, cabinet saws, contractor saws, band saws, radial saws, cabinet saws, and other industrial saws. The failure of table saw manufacturers to address the defects and dangers associated with their saws is a very serious matter. Many manufacturers within the table saw industry (e.g., Ryobi, Stanley, Black & Decker, Bosch, Makita, DeWalt, Hitachi, Skil, among several others) are making a concerted effort to block safety, and this is a very dangerous situation for consumers.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a table saw accident, it is very important that you obtain legal representation to protect your rights. Time is very critical as evidence needs to be preserved, and other time limitations that exist. You can reach the law firm of Bautista LeRoy LLC at (816) 221-0382.