Table Saws: Most Injurious Woodworking Tool

There is a table saw injury every 9 minutes. Every year there are:

  1. Over 60,000 injuries
  2. Over 3,000 amputations
  3. $2 billion in injury-related costs

Source: US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Table saws are associated with more injuries than any other type of woodworking tool. Most table saw-related injuries result from contact with the saw blade. Passive injury prevention strategies focusing on preventing finger/thumb/hand contact with the blade need to be implemented.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Trauma, a professional journal for ER staff, roughly 31,400 people are treated in emergency rooms every year for table saw injuries. This is based on ER reports compiled from 1990 to 2007 and amazingly, that figure doesn't even include folks who are injured on the job. Those statistics are kept separate and aren't included in the study.

As you might imagine, roughly 93 percent of those injuries were to the users' finger, thumb or another part of their hand. 66 percent of those injured had lacerations while 10 percent had amputations. Other types of injuries include soft-tissue injuries to the head, face, and neck, presumably from flying lumber or debris caused by kickback.

Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care:
Study: Nonoccupational Table Saw-Related Injuries Treated in US Emergency Departments, 1990-2007