Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Safety Pays? Not According To Table Saw Makers

John Henshaw's OSHA says that "Safety Pays."

Turns out he's wrong, at least according to table saw manufacturers.

According to a National Public Radio story, a couple of entrepreneurs have developed a system called "Sawstop" that will stop table saws from cutting through flesh. (You can watch it not cut through a hot dog here.) Being as table saw accidents send 40,000 people to the E.R. every year, cause 3,000 amputations and cost the economy over $2 billion according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, you'd think that sawmakers would be jumping on this technology, even if the safer saws cost more.

And you'd be wrong.

Not one table saw manufacturer has bought the technology. "We've concluded that safety doesn't sell," according to one manufacturer, even though a woodshop owner figured that one prevented workers comp claim would pay for two of the safer saws.

The inventors have petitioned the CPSC to require "Sawstop" technology. The saw manufacturers are opposing it.

Calling John Henshaw.