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Hello woodworkers, I hope this message will clear up some points regarding Whirlwind Tool safety which is shown on my website. I do not have, and likely never will have, any hardware to sell. Instead I hope to get the machinery manufacturers interested in Whirlwind as a win-win and I now have five operational prototypes and each new one is an improvement over the previous versions with still more designs cued up here in the shop. Of course the manufacturers will probably not move until my patents issue, but we are getting closer each day.
My original design goal was to develop a user-controlled and multi-tiered hazard-avoidance system approach with a suitable balance of end-user cost vs. safety features benefit for the various table saw stakeholders ranging from the machinery manufacturers and retailers to the wide spectrum of table saw operators from the novice to the most advanced users. I hope also to curtail some of the table saw litigation that we see by establishing identifiable responsibility for most table saw related injuries, which I believe is to the benefit of all. To that end I now have five operational prototypes with additional models under development.
This particular table saw hazard avoidance concept is designed to offer hazard protection through a series of FIVE simple steps:
First, the operator must easily and conveniently make personal safety-related decisions prior to operation of the saw, by first choosing to use, partially use or to override and even remove the hazard avoidance system with the use of a keyed switch.
Second, if the saw is operated in safe-mode, the operator must quickly and simply acknowledge that safety checks have been completed before each and every start of the machine or the saw will not start. This is not some long aircraft-like pre-flight checklists; instead it is whatever the operator wants it to be – or not to be. The point is that once the operator arms the brake to start the saw, (s)he owns the safety responsibility for the following operation. If there is a resulting injury, there is unlikely to be litigation blaming the manufacturer of the saw.
Third, through electronic flesh-sensing, an extra margin of safety is provided the saw operator by non-destructive blade braking if the operator’s hands enter the “danger zone” which should always be avoided.
Fourth, each emergency braking event serves as a learning experience and a warning to novice saw operators that they have crossed into dangerous proximity of the saw blade and must rethink their operating practices to insure their personal safety.
Fifth, if the blade-enclosure hazard avoidance system is used, the dangerous, long-feared, and unpredictable table saw “kick-back” phenomenon is eliminated.
Each time the saw is stopped, either through a normal stop or a flesh sensing emergency stop, the saw will revert to the amber light safe condition. The emergency flesh sensing stop is completely non-destructive. Neither the blade, nor the circuitry, nor the saw are damaged during the stop and the operator may simply correct the dangerous condition, rearm the flesh sensing brake circuit and resume sawing. Think safety twice, cut once.
Attaboy (or attagirl) to '2dtenor' for sharing with us some reasonable legal perspective regarding these seemingly silly and unfair jury awards favoring people "who obviously should have known better."
As it happens I am a stand-alone struggling inventor with patents currently pending directly related to table saw safety which are, among other things, intended to more fully level the playing field between tool manufacturers and injured operators making frivolous legal claims involving product liability. My "Whirlwind Tool," new flesh sensing technology website can be readily found on Google and YouTube, but note that I HAVE NO HARDWARE to sell. Instead, I aim to interest the table saw manufacturers to take note because under simple license we offer something very special. You may view videos of prototypes by visiting my Whirlwind Tool website, but in the context of this important LEGAL and JURY AWARD thread, let me point out some Whirlwind features.
Whirlwind provides a solid physical blade enclosure and electronic barrier to prevent the operator from contacting the blade.
When the operator's hand comes too close for comfort, even outside the physical enclosure barrier, the saw will immediately shut down and non-destructively stop the blade in one second. This is an attention grapping event.
The saw may be restarted only after the operator acknowledges that it is safe to do so.
NOW FOR THE HAPPY NEWS FOR DEFENSE LAWYERS!!!
** Whirlwind is primarily for new product but possibly for field retrofit.
** The Whirlwind equipped saw will NEVER start without the Whirlwind safety blade enclosure in place.
** That is, UNLESS, the supplied 'Supervisory Override' key lock feature is positioned so as to intentionally disable Whirlwind.
** Each and every START of a Whirlwind equipped saw, unless overridden with the key as stated above, will require that the saw operator each time simply depress a button acknowledging that ALL SAFETY CHECKS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED, thereby ARMING the safety blade brake and allowing for just ONE start operation. Each succesive START of the saw will also require that simple extra step by the operator.
** AS WE MAY ALL CLEARLY SEE, UNDER THESE CONDITIONS, WE ASK THE SAW OPERATOR TO ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE INTENDED OPERATION AND ABSOLVE THE MANUFACTURER FROM OTHERWISE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.
If you agree that this concept has merit, please help me spread the word that new table saw safety "flesh sensing" solutions are coming soon, not just my Whirlwind Tool, but many others. It is not right that in the 21st century, we accept 19th century safety features on this most important tool.
My best to all here -- always work safely. DavidWW
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