Table Saw Legislation Moves to State Level

A while back, we brought you news of proposed federal rulemaking that would influence table saws. This week, a committee in the California legislature approved a similar bill at the state level. The “AB 2218 Table Saw Safety Act,” originally introduced by Assemblyman Das Williams (D), “Prohibits the sale of any new table saw on or after January 1, 2015, unless that table saw is equipped with active injury mitigation technology.”

“Active injury mitigation technology” is defined in the bill as “technology to detect contact with, or dangerous proximity between, a hand or finger and the teeth of the blade above the table top of a table saw, and to prevent the blade from cutting the hand or finger deeper than one-eighth of an inch when the hand or finger approaches any portion of the blade above the table top at a speed of one foot per second from any direction and along any path.”

This week’s action in the California State Assembly saw the Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection pass the bill, on an 8 to 1 vote, with referral to the Committee on Appropriations. Nine trade groups, including the California Medical Association, California State Council of Laborers, Consumer Attorneys of California and the State Building and Construction Trades Council, are listed as having registered support for the bill. No opposition is on file.

At this time, no date has been set for the Committee on Appropriations’ hearing of AB 2218 Table Saw Safety Act. You can follow the bill’s progress at the following link, by inputting the bill number:

Full text of the bill is available as .pdf here:

Contact information for California Assembly members, including websites, mailing addresses and office phone numbers, can be found here:

A listing of members of the California State Assembly Committee on Appropriations, with contact information, is here:

(Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R) was the sole member of the Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection to vote against passing the bill to Appropriations; those voting aye were Michael Allen (D), Bill Berryhill (R), Betsy Butler (D), Mike Eng (D), Mary Hayashi (D), Jerry Hill (D), Fiona Ma (D) and Cameron Smyth (R).)


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About Joanna Takes

Joanna Werch Takes has been at Woodworker's Journal since 1998. Her work includes writing and editing for many print magazine departments, among them the "Stumpers" mystery tool department. Joanna is also a frequent contributor to the Woodworker's Journal eZine. Joanna's previous experience includes work as a newspaper reporter. Her woodworking has consisted of small projects such as toys and a storage box. She is active in the Women of Today service organization.

4 thoughts on “Table Saw Legislation Moves to State Level

  1. I am a professional woodworker with a full time shop. At this time I have no employes. Having had many different people working for me in the past I have had few Table Saw accidents. That said my husband was the only one. He used the saw doing some thin ripping without a push stick. I was walked in the shop just in time to take him to the hospital. The resulting injury left him with one finger that was 1/8 inch shorter than the rest. The resulting surgery to cost us about $ 6000.00.
    I wish he had just used the push stick and the feather boards that were on the machine. Seems to me that we need the SawStop to prevent stupidity that results in accidents. The amount of controversy on the subject of the SawStop has been quite amazing. Personally I wish I had them on my Table Saws. Once they are required on all Saws sold they will not be so expensive.
    Just my opinion. Thanks for listening.

  2. No professional here but I do use my table saw regularly. Having a SawStop on mine I really have to agree with @Lois Snyder. Stupidity and clumsiness don’t tend to do as much harm seeing as I haven’t hurt myself yet. That being said I strongly agree with this being a good thing.

  3. It will be great if the saw legislation passes nationwide. But, that doesn’t do a thing for all the saws already in shops and homes. If the “saw stop” is able to be retrofitted for a reasonable price that will help. If after all the above and no retrofit you will need to practice safety measures that have existed since day one. Remember, the tool is a machine and needs a brain to operate it
    “YOURS ” .

    Tony Licata

  4. There are those who were meant to work with power tools and those who were not. There is no need to empower the government even more, to punish the rest of us by forcing us to spend more on safety equipment that is meant to protect those who have no business using power tools in the first place. If you run your hand through a table saw, that is a good sign that you should just stay away from power tools, for your own sake as well as for the safety of everyone else around you.

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