Annually, more than 4,000 Americans suffer amputations while using table saws and nearly 30,000 more need emergency room treatment with lesser injuries. Sadly, these injuries don't have to happen at all. For many years now a table saw manufacturer called Sawstop (http://www.sawstop.com/ ) has manufactured its table saws using technology that stops a table saw blade nearly instantaneously when contact is made with human skin. Years ago I discovered this technology while investigating a table saw accident and had the opportunity to speak with Sawstop's owner. He imparted that the rest of industry has been resistant to this amazing technology because of its cost.
We have previously reported on the myriad ways in which workers' compensation carriers' procedures add costs to the system and thereby drive up insurance rates. Here is yet another example.
ABC 7 News reveals that a cellphone user took a dramatic video of a construction site accident in San Jose, California, and that this video was sent anonymously to Santa Clara county officials in an effort to expose work site dangers. The video shows an explosion occurring at San Jose's Santa Clara Valley Medical Center that injured a worker. The explosion occurred a little over a year ago when the general contractor and a subcontractor were adding a new section of steam pipe to provide heating to one of the new hospital buildings. A worker for the subcontractor was climbing out of an underground vault as the steam pipe exploded. Fortunately, co-workers were able to rapidly pull the worker out of the vault, saving him from suffering serious injuries and burns.