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California proposes curbs on table saws

A law that would require an change in the design of table saws to prevent amputations and other injuries passed a committee vote in the California State Senate on July 3, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. 

The 3-to-2 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee followed party lines, as did the 64-4 approval in the State Assembly. Republicans are generally opposed to AB 2218, which would make California the first state to require "injury mitigation technology" that can stop a blade quickly enough to avoid amputations and severe lacerations.

Only one product on the market, SafeSaw by Oregon firm SD3, meets the bill’s criteria. SafeSaw can shut down in one-hundredth of a second when a finger or hand makes contact with a blade. The Power Tool Institute, a trade group in Cleveland, criticized the bill for attempting to create a monopoly for Stephen Gass, who owns the company. 

Proponents have said that Gass' invention has demonstrated that the technology is viable. Gass himself has pledged to license his invention, which has more than 90 patents, without discrimination and at a reasonable price to his competitors.

The bill will be voted upon by the entire Senate sometime in August. 

 


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