The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which regulates consumer products to protect consumers against unreasonable risks of injuries, has been petitioned to impose a rule that would mandate the use of active flesh-detecting technology in table saws. This technology, developed and brought to market by a company called SawStop, is a patented automatic braking system that stops a saw within milliseconds if its blade comes in contact with an operator's body part.

Many manufacturers of table saws oppose the CPSC's efforts to make SawStop a required safety feature, arguing that the CPSC would be imposing a design standard, rather than a performance standard (as applicable federal law requires), and that doing so would give SawStop a monopolistic position that will ultimately raise costs for consumers.

Below is a list of potentially affected manufacturers:

  • Stanley Black & Decker
  • Bosch Power Tools
  • Delta Power Equipment Corporation
  • Dewalt
  • Dremel
  • Hilti, Inc.
  • Hitachi Koki, U.S.A., LTD.
  • Makita USA, Inc.
  • Metabo Corporation
  • Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation
  • Robert Bosch Tool Corp.
  • Rotozip Power Tools
  • Ryobi Technologies
  • Skil Power Tools
  • Techtronic Industries Co., LTD.

The CPSC is accepting comments about the proposed rule until December 12, 2011. Our Product Liability practice group has a wealth of experience responding to the CPSC with respect to dangerous product inquiries and investigations and would be well positioned to assist any interested party with its preparation and delivery of comments about the proposed SawStop mandate. .