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Waukesha, WI, US
Amazing and Irritating!
I am sorry that Carlos suffered this accident, but it seems that several issued were overlooked in the settlement of this case
Was the flesh detecting feature available when the saw was purchased? If it was why was the saw purchased knowing that it did not have the safety feature? There is a substantial difference in cost and design between the Ryobi and the SawStop and a decision had to have been made to buy the Ryobi. How can a manufacturer be held liable when a product is purchased when the buyer made a decision to purchase a product based on price and not safety features.
The real irritating issue is the fact Carlos Osorio was not using the tool correctly or following proper safety procedures. I taught wood shop and I was very detailed in my presentation on the operation of the table saw. Prior to operating the saw each student had to operate the saw under my supervision before they could use the tool. Further, there were certain jobs that could not be done on the saw. As I was taught in becoming a pilot, “There is no such thing as an accident”. Errors were made prior to the incident or the injury would not have happened. This is another example of a growing trend in thinking that it is not my fault, somebody else caused it to happen.
Finally, when does a manufactures liability end? Using this case a precedent, could an injured carpenter sue because a saw he was using 20 years ago did not have this safety feature. In looking at the saw in question, I would feel that there were a lot of other features that were factored into the decision to buy. Portability, size, cost are all issues that had to have been part of the decision process. Further more I would be willing to bet that if Carlos had been using the SawStop he would have been irate over the cost of the repairs after his finger was saved. I have seen demonstrations of the SawStop feature and lots of things get destroyed when the feature works.
I just do not understand how the facts could have been presented in this case that led the jury to uphold the liability issue. Not having been at the trial, I can only imagine how Carlos’ lawyer must have had to present the facts that led to the juries decision.
The situation in the picture is acceptable because one of the hammers is a ball peen which has a softer face for striking tempered steel chisels. If the picture showed two claw hammers I would have a problem and feel it is a safety hazard, again because of the face hardeness. I have seen claw hammers use and have seen the face crack or break when not hit squarely.
I am not particularly interested in what someone else thinks about a tool, especially if the report never takes a stand and selects the best tool. This seems to “table stakes” for woodworking magazines, they all have tool reveiws. To some, this may be considered good reading, but I have worked with tools long enough to know what I want in a tool. There are so many ways to find out about tools that I do not even bother with your Tool Review articles Researching new tools is the best reason I can use for going to my Woodworking and Hardware Stores.
Fine Woodworking is the place I go to learn new methods and materials for woodworking. Articles about how to do different steps in a project are the main reason I read your magazine. I expect to get a through, well illustrated article on a project or method of performing an operation. Whenever I am planning a new project or wanting to learn a new technique, Fine Working is the first place I look! Your articles have always gone into more detail, and demonstrated the “Professional” thinking and methods. Please stay with what you have always done best and continue to maintain your position as the “Fine Woodworking” source. Do not drop down to reveiwing tools like other magazines do almost monthly.
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