Table Saw Injury Statistics + Safety Tips

operating table saw

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Any regular woodworker knows how efficient table saws can be in a workshop. But no matter how useful they are, undesirable accidents are bound to happen if they’re not properly handled. 

Fortunately, our experts are here to discuss today’s table saw injury statistics and recommend safety tips so you won’t encounter these mishaps during usage. 

Table Saw Injury Facts and Statistics You Should Know

#1: Safety Features are Still Flawed and Have Not Been Updated to Avoid Hazards of Blade Exposure

It’s a no-brainer that most of these injuries come from accidental blade contact. Because of this, these tools were geared with blade guards and riving knives. But are these features enough to keep the operator safe from blade exposure? Probably not. 

Unlike what newbie woodworkers would believe, blade guards don’t exactly prevent your fingers from getting cut. Instead, it’s designed to prevent wood chips from falling down the blade and flying toward the user. So if you ask us, it still doesn’t eliminate the risk of blade contact injuries. 

table saw blade and wood

Luckily, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) proposed adjustments to the table saw’s usual safety devices. In 2017, they recommended decreasing the cut’s depth to 0.137 inches in a safety standard policy to address the alarming increase of table saw injuries. 

#2: Table Saw Safety Standards Remain Unsuccessful to Protect Users from Injuries

If you’re a regular power tool user, you’d know that table saw manufacturers often introduce blade guards as part of the tool’s safety precaution. But did you also know that this technological standard has been around and unchanged for several years? 

And given the increasing numbers of table saw accidents, it’s safe to say that these standards aren’t exactly without flaws. 

operating table saw

However, our power tool engineers would still like to note that the manufacturers aren’t totally complacent about user safety. In fact, most of them are working on advanced technologies like flesh sensors to eliminate potential accidents during table saw usage. 

#3: More Than 700,000 Table Saws are in Use Today

One of the reasons table saw injuries are ballooning over the years is the fact that many people continue to purchase and rely on them for their cutting needs. 

Approximately 700,000 units are shipped every year in the United States, and that data was generated a few years back. By today, the total number of table saw users are expected to have reached more than double this number.  

#4: According to Yearly Records, 30,000 Table Saw Related Injuries Were Recorded in the USA Alone

Considering the popularity of this tool, it’s not surprising that injuries relating to table saws reach a yearly record of over 30,000. 

wrong way of using a table saw

You may not know, but this annual record is significantly higher than injuries caused by other power tools. These numbers are a harsh reminder that we should practice caution when using table saws. 

#5: There are 10 Table-Saw Related Amputations Everyday

These tools are geared with sharp moving blades, so accidents resulting in amputations are not uncommon. In the US, ten of these daily accidents are due to finger and hand blade contact, eventually leading to amputations. 

#6: Medical and Hospital Care Costs Accumulated from Table Saw Injuries Rose to $2B

As you can imagine, seeking medical care for these undesirable accidents can cost a lot. You can be hospitalized, depending on how severe your condition is. 

With these recurring incidents, it’s not a stretch that the overall yearly medical expenses grew up to $2 billion. 

table saw hand injury

#7: Students and Novices are Also Victims of Table Saw Related Accidents

As table saws are complex power tools, students and newbies are common victims of these accidents. Because of this, our experts highly advise woodworking schools and teachers to strengthen awareness of power tool safety measures to help beginners avoid these mishaps.

#8: Table Saws Will Continue to be in Demand From 2022 to 2028

As the DIY and woodworking industry continues to grow, many experts and professionals see raging demand for table saws in the years to come. The increase in consumer reach is foreseen until 2028. 

And as this demand expands [1], we’re sure that manufacturers will continue innovating technologies to ease the upward trend of table saw injury statistics. 

What Types of Injury are Commonly Caused by Table Saws?

As previously stated, most injuries incurred in table saw usage involves fingers and hands. However, it’s also possible to encounter eye injuries when not using proper blade guards. Besides that, attaining wounds and cuts are also highly likely when cutting a material too large for your table saw. 

table saw finger injury

Table Saw Related Deaths Per Year

Nowadays, deaths are not that common when you’re injured by a table saw. However, do not disregard the fact that 10% of these incidents still lead to permanent disabilities, and kickbacks cause 72% of those.

An old data from 2011 claims that over 162,000 people died using table saws. But with the advanced technologies engineered in newly released models, it’s likely that this number has already decreased today.

How to Avoid Table Saw Accidents: Safety Tips and Reminders

Although using powerful tools like table saws involves quite a risk, you can still avoid possible accidents by adhering to safety tips and procedures. Here are what you can do to prevent these unfortunate incidents from happening: 

table saw safety guard

FAQ

How many table saw related accidents are treated each year?

There are approximately 40,000 table saw-related accidents treated each year in US hospitals’ emergency rooms. Among these injuries, about 4,000 or 10 percent end up in amputations or permanent disability.  

Conclusion

Like any other power tool in the market, table saws must be used with enough caution to avoid undesirable mishaps and take advantage of their perks. 

If you want added protection while using these tools, we recommend wearing proper and complete safety gear to ensure user safety during the cutting operations. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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