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Interesting range of opinions presented. As a safety professional, I do not condone the behavior of workers who do not follow their training, or knowingly put themsleves at risk of injury. Remember that seatbelts, airbags, and smoke detectors were all new at the time of their inception. Widespread public acceptance of some of these devices -all of which would be looked at today as being in the collective good, took many years. A cursory review of history will quickly tell you that it has very rarely been industry that initiates or recommends safety improvements. It is almost always government that ends up legislating change to improve the minimum degree of protection of life and limb for their citizens. Workplace safety law in virtually every country did not develop out of concern by industry for the well-being of their employees; one would have to be incredibly naive to believe that.
For those that embrace the "common sense defense" as I call it, please consider this: every person that has been seriously injured or killed at work or at home while performing some task was doing something at the time the incident occurred that made "sense" to them. Obviously, if they could have forseen the outcome of their actions, they would not have taken them, but none of us have a crystal ball, do we? I have read a lot of the research in this area, and there is little doubt that we can rely solely or primarily on people's common sense to protect themselves from the various calamities of work and life.
Would anyone seriously be willing to have all our streets declared Autobahns? It's only the "other" driver we need to worry about, right?
I have worked in the occupational health & safety field for 17 years, and have personally attended more than 30 incident scenes involving amputation injuries on table saws -all on unguarded table saws.It is NOT a matter of stupidity or carelessness; it is a matter of human fallibility. We wear seatbelts to reduce the severity of injury if we are involved in an accident, but who believes it will our actions that contribute to being involved in one, it is always the other person's fault.
Engineering controls like effective safeguards (i.e blade guards) are always better than relying on a human being to have to behave in a certain manner at all times to protect themselves. The research and data is simply overwhelming in support of this. I am a serious amateur woodworker, just like many of you, and I use the guard on my 5 h.p. General at all times.
I am not clear in this case if the individual that was injured was using the blade guard on the saw at the time. Certainly the Sawstop is potentially a more effective guarding solution, than using conventional barrier guards ( traditional saw blade guards) alone.
I know how quickly life can be changed forever due to poor decision-making. We are all capable of this. We should all support improving the design of safety devices; just look at the data on personal injuries on table saws (likely only a fraction of what actually occurs do to under reporting) and form your own opinion.
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