Check out this fascinating solution to protecting users from the blade of a table saw.
The way it works is that the saw blade registers electrical contact with human skin and immediately stops. I can’t imagine not having this safety system in place, now that it is available. However, I still have some questions that commenters might want to weigh in on:
1. Unless the system is more redundant than an airplane, it must be able to fail. How do you keep users to remain vigilant when 99.999% of the time there is no penalty for carelessness?
2. To answer my own question, is the fear of a spinning blade strong enough to do that on its own? I know I’m not going to intentionally test the SawStop.
3. Can we use natural fears such as this in other areas of automation?
4. For great insight into human decision making, read this thread on a woodworking site. What would it take to change the mind of this first post-er?
“When do we as adult woodworkers take responsibility and understand the dangers of woodworking. Most accidents happen due to not paying attention to what we’re doing. If we stay focused while we’re using power tools, or even hand tools, we eliminate accidents.”