Stephen Colbert did a table saw safety parody on Comedy Central recently. In his “People Who Are Destroying America” segment he lampoons the controversy over Sawstop’s founder Steve Gass’s call for tougher table saw saftey by using his Sawstop technology.
In a petition to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Gass is suggesting that they require the Sawstop emergency brake on all table saws sold in the US. This in a sense would create a monopoly for his company as his wide ranging patent would not allow others to make such a device. Of course the table saw industry is against having this mandated and the opinion of woodworkers is varied.
In an article from hardwoodfloorsmag.com the sites editors wrote:
Table Saw Safety Parody On Comedy Central
“Safe sawing? That’s like wearing condoms on your hands when everybody knows woodworking feels best bareback.”
That’s how Comedy Central’s ribald political pundit Stephen Colbert characterized the ongoing debate over the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s controversial proposed overhaul of table saw safety standards. Colbert’s window on the issue was his recurring “People Destroying America” segment, and his target this time was “finger hugger” Stephen Gass, inventor of SawStop.
In the table saw safety clip from The Colbert Report shown below one of the woodworkers states “I have the right to cut my own finger off on my table saw if I want to”
While I think the the technology discussed in the table saw safety parody on comedy central is a great step in table saw safety, I do not agree with the government telling us that we have to have it, what are your thoughts? If you would like to find out more about the Sawstop table saw shown above click here.
Update February 24, 2012:
The Consumer Products Safety Commission has extended the deadline for public comment on the issue of table saw safety, here is more from Woodworker’s Journal.
As they ponder whether new safety standards are needed for table saws, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has extended the time frame available for public comments on the issue. You now have until March 16, 2012 to share your opinion with the CPSC on “the risk of injury associated with table saw blade contact, regulatory alternatives, other possible means to address this risk, and other topics or issues.” (The extension of the public comments period comes at the request of the Power Tool Institute, Inc.)
You will have to hurry if you want to have your opinions about table saw safety taken into account in the upcoming new standard the CPSC is thinking about implementing.