After blogging “Table saw 1, Injury-free arm and hand 0” on the 20th of May last year, I have remained alert to news regarding installation of injury prevention devices on table saws. Pleasingly my father has left the building industry with all his digits and limbs intact, however other table-saw users have not fared to so well. Last year I noted that the injury prevention technology was available, however it was recognised that the technology was likely to increase the initial purchase price of the table saw.
In a radical step in injury prevention, over the past week I have learned that a federal antitrust lawsuit has been filed by the developer of the injury prevention technology – SawStop LLC – with the complaint naming major power tool companies who feared increased legal liability from table saw injuries if the technology was introduced by some companies and not others. As such, it is claimed that
“Defendants engaged in a group boycott of Plaintiff’s safety products for table saws beginning around 2001 or 2002…”
As an injury prevention professional, this statement brings about an almost visceral response as I reflect with sheer horror on the many oft-permanent injuries that could have been prevented if product safety, instead of the almighty dollar, had been a priority for any of these companies at any point over the last dozen years. I hope other injury prevention professionals are just as outraged by this audacity.
Read more at http://www.fairwarning.org/2014/02/power-tool-makers-accused-in-lawsuit-of-thwarting-adoption-of-finger-saving-device/ and http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/power-tool-makers-fight-against-finger-saving-device-140302?news=852569.