CPSC Still Considering Table Saw Standard

The agency will accept comments until Feb. 10, 2012, but has not yet decided whether to pursue a a new performance safety standards.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has extended until Feb. 10, 2012, its request for comments on a possible performance safety standard to address an unreasonable risk of injury associated with table saws. The Power Tool Institute, Inc. requested the extension.

Comments may be submitted at www.regulations.gov (Docket No. CPSC-2011-0074).

A standard has been under consideration since at least April 2003, when a petition was submitted asking the commission to require performance standards for a system to reduce or prevent injuries from contact with the blade of a table saw. The petitioners cited estimates of 30,000 annual injuries involving table saws, with approximately 90 percent of the injuries occurring to the fingers and hands and 10 percent of the injuries resulting in amputation.

CPSC accepted comments later that year but could not publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking because it lost its quorum. Ultimately, the ANPRM was published Oct. 11, 2011. It listed three alternatives: (1) A voluntary standard addressing risks associated with table saw blade contact injuries; (2) a mandatory rule establishing performance requirements that would address table saw blade contact injuries; and (3) a labeling rule requiring specified warnings and instructions to address table saw blade contact injuries.

On Nov. 3, the Power Tool Institute requested a 60-day extension of the comment period, saying stakeholders needed more time to evaluate updated injury information supplied by the CPSC staff.

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