It isn’t often that a woodworking topic makes national news, but today’s USA Today carries just such a story. While not charting a specific course of government action, CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum was quoted by the paper as saying “The safety of table saws needs to be improved in a way that prevents
school children in shop class and woodworkers from suffering these
life-altering injuries.” At the core of this discussion is the technology developed for the SawStop by its inventor Stephen Gass, who is mentioned in the article in reference to an estimate that table saw injuries cost the economy $2 billion a year.
It’s the numbers in this story that got me thinking, and I spent a few hours with a calculator and investigating where they come from. The first number is 10. That’s the number of amputations a day due to table saw accidents. That’s several thousand per year. CPSC is the source of this estimate, which comes from the Nation