Just another example of our litigeous society thinking it can legislate stupidity or bad luck out of the system. What's that phrase again? "Woodoworking is inherantly dangerous...?"
The employer should be teaching safe practices on the job, or if financially able, provide the safest equipment made, true. But the employer won't get sued because its bad PR and legal strategy to put a small business out of business miss Ryobi's the deeper pockets. Instead, some moron personal injury lawyer is going to get 500K in contingency fees and the dope who stuck his fingers in harm's way can use his other hand to pull a slot machine at some resort for the rest of his life.
A better resolution would be for Ryobi to have spent much less than the judgement amount on an instructional safety DVD, marking a "no hands zone" on the table, and including push sticks in the package. Then the operator error or a bad break in the materials would come to the front in lieu of forcing Ryobi to license "flesh sensing technology."
Not a fan of Ryobi here, they make cheap stuff and like another poster said, if you want to bet your body parts, go ahead, but it's unfair to make a company responsible for poor judgement on the part of the user, either in operation or selection of equipment.
As far as i-anything in the woodshop, its a solution looking for a problem. I have an ipod hooked to a sound system for music while I work, but drop your i-thing on a cement floor or a chisel on your i-thing, just once, and its destroyed. Articles on CD? Great. Paper magazine? Fine also, better color, clearer images on plans, and so forth. I'm typically an early adopter on technology things but it has to make sense. So go ahead and write a construction calculator app for an i-phone, and I'll be interested when I have it in the hardware store or the lumber yard. But an i-pad on a workbench? Dumb.
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