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Calgary, AB, CA
While it may be prudent to argue that all saws should come with SawStop, if that can't come to pass for whatever the reason, do we outlaw table saws and grant SawStop a monopoly? There is no mechanical substitute for training, experience and care when using a power tool. A table saw has, and will always have, inherent risk to the operator because of its design relative to its utility. That is, it has a sharp spinning blade under great power that is used to cut a material that has varying characteristics. However, it is only dangerous when the operator fails to understand and recognize those risks!
Not even SawStop can deal with kick-back, board hop or any other cutting anomaly of reflex wood.
About 8 months ago, I ran my hand through my table saw and re-organized 2 fingers from their original specifications. The good doctors managed to save my fingers and all things considered, everything turned out pretty good.
How it happened was I was ripping some 6/4 purpleheart and hit a reflex board. Before I could feel the board pinch the blade and bear down, I heard what sounded like a gunshot. (the blade cracking off a chunk of wood). Instinctively, I turned my head (even though I was wearing a full face shield) and my left arm followed the arc of my turning head. You guessed it, the arc of my turning left hand went right through the blade.
Being a Construction manager I had an interminable number of safety topics to give to our folks, and I used my own experience to do a "Job Hazard Analysis" with a bunch of our site carpenters. With about 200 years of experience behind us, the only thing we came up with is using a clamping jig for future ripping of boards over 4/4.
I had on all the safety gear (form fitting cutters glovers, head shield, canvass apron...the lot) and I was focussed on the cut and the cut brought my hands nowhere near the blade. All that said, I still earned 40+ stitches and a bunch of rehab.
The point I'm trying to make is that no matter how safe you think you are there is zero chance of getting to zero risk. I made and use a ripping jig now, but I gotta be honest, I doubt I ever would have thought of this prior to my JHA with our carpenter shop.
...it's tough to be perfectly safe, but you have to keep trying!
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