National Consumers League

National Consumers League calls on CPSC for safer table saw standards

June 15, 2016

Contact: NCL Communications, Cindy Hoang, cindyh@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—Today the nation’s pioneering consumer advocacy organization is calling on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for the implementation of a requirement that table saws sold in the United States be equipped with technology to prevent serious injuries. Citing CPSC’s own data that indicates Americans suffer 40,000 emergency room-treated table saw injuries every year—about 4,000 of which are amputations—the National Consumers League (NCL) reiterated concerns it first raised before the Commission more than five years ago.

“Tens of thousands of people suffer similar injuries every year working on table saws that are more dangerous than they need to be,” said Karin Bolte, NCL director of health policy, who spoke before the Commission today. “The CPSC has the power to put an end to these unnecessary tragedies. But it must move quickly because every day brings 10 more avoidable amputations.”

In 2003, a petition was filed with the CPSC asking the agency to enact a requirement that every table saw sold in the U.S. be equipped with “active injury mitigation” (AIM) technology that would prevent serious injuries and amputations by stopping the moving saw blade when it comes in contact with, or in close proximity to, human flesh. AIM technology has been proven to virtually eliminate serious injuries resulting from contact with a spinning table saw blade.

In 2010, after the CPSC had not moved forward on a table saw standard in seven years, NCL wrote a letter urging the Commission to take “speedy action” on table saw safety. NCL’s Greenberg also worked with table saw victims from across the country on a public education campaign highlighting the need for a table saw safety regulation. Following NCL’s campaign, in 2011, the Commission voted unanimously to begin the rulemaking process for a table saw safety standard.  

“Every year the CPSC fails to act is another year in which tens of thousands of avoidable injuries occur,” said Bolte. “NCL has a simple message today: CPSC must act with urgency to finally adopt a mandatory safety standard with Active Injury Mitigation technology and thereby put an end to the devastating injuries caused by table saws.”

Read the full testimony here (PDF).

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.