I can’t recall an issue we’ve written about that has drawn more reader feedback than the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s announcement last October to potentially create a mandatory table saw safety rule. Dozens upon dozens of comments have been posted to various articles and blogs at Woodworking Network on this highly-charged topic.

Most of the comments have been highly critical of the CPSC for considering the possibility of mandating that a flesh-detection device, such as the SawStop, become a standard fixture of table saws.  Among other things, opponents have cited cost burdens, failure to address kick-back injuries, and the need for more and better education instead of regulation.

A fair number of readers have posted comments in favor of CPSC adopting a rule requiring SawStop or a similar device if it means helping prevent table saw injuries including amputations of fingers and hands. A study by CPSC reports that 67,000 saw-related injuries take place each year at an estimated cost of $2.7 billion.

If you have a strong opinion on this subject, as so many of your peers do, then I urge you to tell the CPSC why you are for or against the CPSC’s proposed rule development. The safety agency recently voted 2-1 to reopen the acceptance of public comments. The new deadline is March 16.

For a run-down on the opposing sides of the issue, I point to a pair of guest blogs posted in recent months on Woodworking Network. The blog opposing creation of a table saw safety rule was authored by Susan Young, executive manager of the Power Tool Institute. The blog supporting CPSC’s action was written by Stephen Gass, inventor and president of SawStop LLC.

At the end of each of their opinions, you will find many comments from readers.

Check out these blogs and comments if you have not done so already. After you have, make your opinion known to the CPSC at www.regulations.gov/#!home.

Of course, we remain extremely interested in your thoughts on this and other topics.

Recent blogs by Rich Christianson

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Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.

Guest Blogs Welcome
Got a viewpoint you would like to share with our online woodworking community? Woodworking Network welcomes guest blogs from wood products professionals. Submit your opinions to Rich Christianson, Editor at Large, at rchristianson@vancepublishing.com.

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