Our goal is to compile statistics on saw accidents in the hope that the information provided will help you improve your saw safety and thus prevent accidents.
In 2003 the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that “93,880 saw-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms”. Of these 52,000 (55%) involved stationary saws (table saw 38,000 (73%), miter saw 7,640 (15%), band saw 4060 (8%), and radial arm saw 2,300 (4%). (Data summarized from: Injuries Associated with Stationary Power Saws, May 2003, Propit Adler, Directorate for Epidemiology, Division of Hazard Analysis, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
The average age of injured party was 51 years old. The average size of the work piece was 2 ft long x 6 in wide by 1 inch depth. The vast majority of accidents occur while ripping. There does not seem to be a correlation on the type of blade being used at the time the accident occurred.
As expected, the hand motion was predominately in a push position when the accident occurred.
And the mechanism of injury was generally from the hand contacting the saw blade.
One factor in saw blade accidents is the unpredictability of wood motion during a saw cut as is shown in the chart describing whether the hand was moved into the blade, kickback caused the hand to fall into the blade or another method of contact.
This chart depicts percentage of accidents that occurred when guards were installed. Another interesting statistic is that 9% of the injuries occurred when anti-kickback safety devices were in place. An interesting article by Tony Hintz for the NewWoodworker.com online magazine that discusses the statistics of woodworking accidents can be found at the following link: http://www.newwoodworker.com/safesurvy.html