In an effort to address the large number of serious hand and finger injuries that occur each year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously to publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) aimed at improving the safety of table saws.
Based on the injury data obtained in a 2007 and 2008 CPSC special study (pdf), staff's injury cost model estimates that consumers suffered about 67,300 medically treated blade contact injuries annually - with an associated injury cost of $2.36 billion dollars in each of those two years.
CPSC staff estimates from its 2007 and 2008 study of emergency department treated injuries related to table saws, that consumers suffered, on average, about 11 fractures, 11 amputations, and 8 avulsions every day from contact with the saw blade.
The ANPR invites written comments from the public regarding the risks of injury associated with table saws and ways in which these risks could be addressed. Following publication of the ANPR, the public will have 60 days to provide comments to the Commission. Comments can be submitted at www.regulations.gov
Commissioner Statements on this vote:
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.