On May 12, 2017, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a proposed rule titled: Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws. The proposed rule would require table saw manufacturers to incorporate active injury mitigation (AIM) technology in all types of table saws. CPSC’s proposed rule in addition to being overly broad imposes such stringent and cost-prohibitive requirements that it will cause most if not all small table saw manufacturers to exit the market.
On July 26, 2017 the Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) filed a comment letter urging CPSC to perform a supplemental initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and extend the comment period deadline. The letter to CPSC may be accessed here.
- CPSC estimates that there are 22 firms that supply table saws on the U.S. market, and that of those firms between eight and ten are small businesses.
- The proposed rule limits the depth of cut to 3.5mm or less when a human body or finger contacts the spinning blade at a radial approach rate of 1 meter per second (m/s). In essence, it requires that all table saws employ SawStop’s AIM technology.
- Advocacy spoke with small businesses who indicated that the proposed rule will have a significant impact on their business. Specifically, they stated that in order to comply with the requirement they will have to completely redesign and retool their current table saws, and that the costs to do so will be so high that many will exit the market.
- Advocacy urged the CPSC to publish a supplemental initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) in which the Commission addresses the issues of use of propriety technology, reanalyzing voluntary standards, supplementing the existing costs and benefit analysis, and analyzing significant alternatives to the proposed rule.
- Advocacy also requested CPSC to extend the comment deadline.