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CPSC preparing for vote on table saw safety in two weeks

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Forum topic by glassyeyes posted 09-24-2011 04:12 PM 1653 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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glassyeyes

136 posts in 2080 days


09-24-2011 04:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sawstop cpsc consumer product safety commission gass flesh sensing technology table saw table saw safety

WASHINGTON POST, Sat Sept 24, 2011: The Consumer Product Safety Commission will soon vote on whether or not to take the first step toward mandatory regulations concerning table saw safety, specifically concerning “flesh sensing” technology. The CPSC will be soliciting public comment on this issue.

The article includes some of the background to this debate, and notes that regulators are concerned about enacting regulations that would effectively grant a monopoly to the inventor, Gass.

What do you think about this issue? I’m ambivalent—I have been an unsafe operator in the past, and appreciate the SawStop feature, but i am generally opposed to establishing a monopoly. Not everyone can afford the added cost.

-- Now, where did I put those bandaids?


24 replies so far

View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 1782 days


#1 posted 09-24-2011 04:58 PM

I am on the fence over this issue. On the one hand…in a learning or industrial environment the technology should be in place. You have people with little to no experience operating machinery that could disable or kill them. And as anti-government meddling as I am, regulation seems to be the only course of action.
On the other hand(yep, I still got both of ‘em), I agree wholeheartedly, that were this technology be made mandatory for all machinery, most hobbyists, DIYers, etc would be priced right out of the market. I do not feel that it is our government’s place to protect us from our own stupidity…the gene pool needs a good flushing every now again. This is an issue which will remain controversial way past it’s time. I will stand back and continue on with my ‘dangerous’ machinery. BTW I remember the same type of thing when self ejecting chuck keys came under the same scrutiny.
As to Mr Gass, , his spiteful move after having his technology rejected by the major manufacturers was quit petty…

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11536 posts in 1441 days


#2 posted 09-25-2011 04:22 AM

I have to agree with Mickey that it’s not the govts job to protect us from our own stupidity. I’ve always said “You can’t legislate common sense”.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View James Clapperton's profile

James Clapperton

35 posts in 1206 days


#3 posted 09-25-2011 04:33 AM

I’m thinking that if this is passed and a monopoly is made, the price of these saws will come
down immediately. When Feins license ran out on the multimaster, everyone jumped on. Do you think Sawstop would pass by millions of dollars of hobbyists revenue or simply make it cheaper and get all of the market instead? Who knows.

View pariswoodworking's profile

pariswoodworking

380 posts in 1236 days


#4 posted 09-25-2011 05:03 AM

It would be great for saftey, But I’m not sur about the monopoly. If they keep the prices low, it would be good to have a monopoly. They could raise prices though. If the government puts some kind of reguations on them that will keep the prices low, then it would be a good idea.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View Stuey's profile

Stuey

43 posts in 1708 days


#5 posted 09-25-2011 05:17 AM

My problem with the whole issue is that, from what I’ve read, SawStop’s founder is bankrolling most if not all of the lobbying here. He’s been spending time and lots of money trying to get the govt. to force manufacturers to license his proprietary technology.

Didn’t Volvo allow other auto makers to implement 3-point seat belts in their cars without demanding any royalty or licensing fees?

If this is passed, the price of all saws will go up. Imagine the effect on consumers when the cost and complexity of $100-$600 portable table saws shoot up.

-- http://toolguyd.com

View rance's profile

rance

4147 posts in 1911 days


#6 posted 09-25-2011 05:36 AM

WHEN WILL THE NANNYING STOP ? ? ?

As much as I enjoy using a Saw Stop, Mr Gauss’s actions are deplorable. If Gauss REALLY cared about safety for consumers, he would let others use his technology for a reasonable fee(not gouging them and subsequently, the consumers).

And now the govt. wants to help him make a monopoly? What other businesses has the govt. help make a monopoly? Any? I thought the govt. was suppose to help PREVENT MONOPOLIES.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2427 days


#7 posted 09-25-2011 09:01 AM

I thought the govt. was suppose to help PREVENT MONOPOLIES They have been creating and allowing them for the last 30 years. Anti-trust stopped in the 80s.

I am against monopolies, but for safety especially in school shops. If they do this, how long will it be before the gov’t causes tool makers to price all hobbyists and homeowners out ? Considering the nuimber of saws in use, the accident rate must be awfuly low!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View glassyeyes's profile

glassyeyes

136 posts in 2080 days


#8 posted 09-25-2011 02:41 PM

James, Gass is asking a fairly substantial licencing fee. The technology is also thought to add $150-300 to each saw beyond the royalties. A $300 tabletop saw might top $600—IF the tech could even be successfully engineered into such a small saw.

TopamaxSurvivor, the most recent years of data for injuries that I saw (2007-2008) stated about 33,000 ER visits a year, for “lacerations, broken bones, and amputations.” The average bill for medical care and lost wages is supposed to exceed $30,000 per injury.

rance, one of the car companies gave away the seat belt—possibly Mercedes Benz? And I THINK Craftsman gave away the first successful radial arm saw blade guard.

WHERE ARE THE ALTERNATIVES? What about a retractable guard, as on a circular saw, that couldn’t be removed?

-- Now, where did I put those bandaids?

View IrreverentJack's profile

IrreverentJack

724 posts in 1594 days


#9 posted 09-25-2011 11:14 PM

The power tool manufacturers have been doing everything they can to delay this ruling for around 10yrs. Meanwhile Gass has proven beyond any doubt that his invention/technology works and sells. Testimony in the Osorio/Ryobi case (I’m assuming from both sides) found that cost of new saws would increase $50-$150 but the cheaper saws would survive fewer tripping events. No monopolies will be created. I believe (can’t find the link now) the CPSC has the ability to force/arbitrate a fair settlement for the use of the patents involved. Where are the alternatives? Very Good Question. Bosch supposedly had a flesh sensing design that doesn’t ruin the blade years ago. Could be that this ruling will subject the saw manufacturers to even more Osorio-type lawsuits. It’s their product-liability attorneys opinion that if they put flesh-sensing technology on new saws all the old ones become legally defective/dangerous.

Stuey- I’ve read about Gass testifying-CPSC/Osorio/Congress?- lobbying?? Volvo was first with 3-point seat-belts and now has their own, sort of.., CarStop. -Jack

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TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2427 days


#10 posted 09-25-2011 11:56 PM

33,000 ER visits a year…...........exceed $30,000 per injury Maybe the medical insurance industry should just put it on all saws to increase their profit margin ;-))

That is a lot!! But considering the number of cuts made, I doubt if it is a very high percentage. Probably less than .001%. It is not like auto accidents where drunks run into you. Paying attention would go a long way to lowering that number, but hat isn’t likely to happen ;-(

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6272 posts in 1551 days


#11 posted 09-26-2011 12:35 AM

I went to a town hall over this issue and tried to raise my hand to make a statement. But they wouldn’t call on me because I had my fingers all bandaged up…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Stuey's profile

Stuey

43 posts in 1708 days


#12 posted 09-26-2011 12:47 AM

With the Osario case, the “victim” removed all the safety equipment from the saw and proceeded to use the tool dangerously.

You can injure yourself with a fork if you’re not careful.

Right now many of the portable table saws on the market have quite effective safety precuations if you properly utilize them.

The SawStop does nothing to prevent kickback accidents and injuries.

Gass has proven this is invention/tech works, but has not proven that other manufacturers should be forced to license the tech for use on their own saws.

Many saw buyers are aware of the SawStop and choose to purchase something for a number of reasons such as cost, size, brand preference. Forcing the SawStop is going to have consequences on competitive saws’ sizes and costs.

-- http://toolguyd.com

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6272 posts in 1551 days


#13 posted 09-26-2011 01:57 AM

I say if you’re going to use a tool that can take your fingers off, be prepared to live without fingers. Otherwise, stay away. You shouldn’t be able to sue because your hot coffee is hot, or because the ice was slippery or because you got fired just because you’re a woman. Table saws are designed to cut wood, of course they cut fingers too! Guess what, they also cut cake, cheese and puppies. If you don’t want those things cut, or your fingers, KEEP THEM AWAY FROM THE BLADE!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View rance's profile

rance

4147 posts in 1911 days


#14 posted 09-26-2011 02:10 AM

I’ve never tried puppies, but I HAVE tried frozen hamburger. And it works quite well I might add. How about another way to skin a cat? I’ve always heard there are many ways to skin a cat.

Stuey, The SS actually does have a riving knife which helps to prevent kickback. All new saws do these days.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3240 posts in 1313 days


#15 posted 09-26-2011 02:20 AM

So long as the arguement against SawStop is over monopoly I am opposed. But it the arguement is that SawStop technology will make TS users less safety conscience I disagree. Just because my car has airbags, seatbelts, and anti-lock breaks, I don’t go driving more recklessly.

Again, like air bags which are now required by law, the law did not make previously manufactured cars illegal. If a law requiring flesh sensing technology were passed and did not outlaw current models, I might be fine with it provide provisions are made to prevent a monopoly.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

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