Submit Your Comment on Proposed Table Saw Rule

The US Consumer Products Safety Commission is considering new safety regulations for table saws, based on a petition asking for a requirement that table saws should be equipped with a device to reduce or prevent injuries if the operator  makes hand contact with the blade. The commission can write a performance standard for new saws, require manufacturers to adopt a voluntary standard, or require labeling about the dangers of using a table saw. Part of the process is for the commission to request comments from the public on the proposed rule. The document regarding this is available online from the federal register. The public comment period for this proposed rule expires on December 12, 2011, and we encourage all of our readers to submit a comment directly to the CPSC. Instructions for submitting comments by mail are within the document, or comments may be submitted online at

We have written extensively on this blog about the issue, and the outcome of this rule-making process will have a profound effect on all woodworkers. We hope you will take the time to examine both sides of this issue, consider the scope and costs of the problem versus the consequences of proposed solutions, and participate in the comment process.

The Power Tool Institute has posted their position online at

The founder of SawStop has posted this response online at

Popular Woodworking Magazine has free articles available online about safe use of the table saw.

–Robert W. Lang

71 thoughts on “Submit Your Comment on Proposed Table Saw Rule

  1. Railrunner73

    I believe all woodworkers are very aware of the danger in the workshop. I also think the SawStop feature is a great thing. That being said. I also think it should be my choice as to whether I want to add it to my saw. It is also cost prohibitive. I have a choice to wear a motorcycle helmet or not. Same idea.

  2. HelmetHead

    I thought I was a safe wood worker. But mistakes happen. End of the day mistakes. In June of this year I made a really bad mistake that almost cost me 2 of my best fingers on my primary hand! I’ve gone through lots of pain and suffering. And paid enough money to my Doctor, A Doctor that saved the use on my fingers. Thanks Doc!

    Someone said “You cannot legislate for stupid people”. No, but if there is a solution that is better it needs to be fixed. It can happen to anyone. Every guy I ask who has a table saw. Do you use your guard? Everyone of them sad no, because it always jams up and gets in the way. I use mine now, and I’m super aware on every cut.

  3. gypsyladies

    Safety is always a concern, but the government needs to back off! You cannot legislate for stupid people. I know that stupid people are not the only ones to have accidents – we’re all guilty of being lax. That doesn’t mean the government needs to step in. We need to know how to work our tools, take care of them and the safety rules to use them. That’s enough!

  4. Justrose

    I am retired from the Ministry of Labour, Occupational Health and Safety Branch. Over the years I know there have been horrific injuries from saws and other tools. Always make sure training, lockout procedures, maintenance on equipment is 100% in place, and keep your documentation of these things. Never hesitate to look into more information with the IAPA and other safety agencies.

  5. VicRensberry

    Safety is always important. But let us NOT go down the regulation route. The market place will best decide where to go and as competitive systems are developed we will benefit in both product and price.

  6. Rick Parks

    There is no greater need in the woodshop than safety, however I think it is my responsibility to know where my body parts are located in relation to cutting edges. I have few guards in my shop but am critically aware. I’m not saying this is the way to operate for newbies but I wish to make this decision on my own.

  7. greggc

    Any machine with a sharp blade spinning at a high rate of speed is dangerous and accidents happen even when the operator is careful. That said, however, I am oppposed to more government regulation. We cannot possibly be protected from every risk and I am not willing to give up any more rights to some government official who thinks he knows what’s best for everyone.

  8. slider909

    I think it is a great idea. I have have been using power saws for 40+ years, but I hold my breath every time I watch my kids use them. So if safety devices can help prevent my kids from injury, all the better.

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