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CPSC RIN: 3041-AC31 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: Regulatory Options for Table Saws 

In 2006, the Commission granted a petition asking that the Commission issue a rule to prescribe performance standards for an active injury mitigation (AIM) system to reduce or prevent injuries from contacting the blade of a table saw. The Commission subsequently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would establish a performance standard requiring table saws to limit the depth of cut to 3.5 millimeters when a test probe, acting as a surrogate for a human body/finger, contacts the table saw's spinning blade. Staff has conducted several studies to provide information for the rulemaking. Staff is assigned to submit a final rule briefing package to the Commission in fiscal year 2023.

Agency: Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC)  Priority: Section 3(f)(1) Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 16 CFR 1245   
Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 553(e)    15 U.S.C. 2056    15 U.S.C. 2058   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

In the NPRM, the Commission preliminarily determined that there is an unreasonable risk associated with blade-contact injuries on table saws. Based on injury data reviewed in 2015, there were an estimated 33,400 table saw, emergency department treated injuries. Of these, staff estimated that 30,800 (92 percent) are likely related to the victim making contact with the saw blade. Of the 30,800 ED treated blade-contact injuries, an estimated 28,900 injuries (93.8 percent) involved the finger, with 4,700 amputations (15.2 percent).

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Table saws are consumer products that can be regulated by the Commission under the authority of the CPSA. See 15 U.S.C. 2052(a). Section 7 of the CPSA authorizes the Commission to promulgate a mandatory consumer product safety standard that sets forth performance requirements for a consumer product or that sets forth requirements that a product be marked or accompanied by clear and adequate warnings or instructions. 15 U.S.C. 20512084. Section 7(a) of the CPSA authorizes the Commission to promulgate a mandatory consumer product safety standard that sets forth performance or labeling requirements for a consumer product if such requirements are reasonably necessary to prevent or reduce an unreasonable risk of injury. 15 U.S.C. 2056(a). Section 9 of the CPSA specifies the procedure that the Commission must follow to issue a consumer product safety standard under section 7 of the CPSA.


The Commission could (1) pursue table saw voluntary standard activities; (2) extend the effective dates of a possible rule; (3) exempt certain categories of table saws from the draft proposed rule; (4) limit the applicability of the performance requirements to some, but not all, tables saws; or (5) pursue an information and education campaign to inform the public of the hazards of blade contact and the benefits of the AIM technology.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The expected gross benefits range from about $970 million to $2.45 billion over the product life of 1 year of sales. The expected costs of the draft proposed rule will range from about $168 million to about $345 million annually. Based on staff’s benefit and cost estimates, net benefits (i.e., benefits minus costs) for the market were estimated to amount to about $625 million to $2.3 billion over the product life of 1 year of table saw sales.


The CPSC has determined preliminarily that there may be an unreasonable risk of blade-contact injuries associated with table saws. Each year, approximately 30,000 table saw blade contact injuries are treated in emergency room departments. The most common diagnoses in blade-contact injuries were lacerations (60 percent), fractures (20 percent), and amputations (10 percent).

Action Date FR Cite
Commission Decision to Grant Petition  07/11/2006 
ANPRM  10/11/2011  76 FR 62678   
Notice of Extension of Time for Comments  12/02/2011  76 FR 75504   
Comment Period End  02/10/2012 
Notice to Reopen Comment Period  02/15/2012  77 FR 8751   
Reopened Comment Period End  03/16/2012 
Staff Sent NPRM Briefing Package to Commission  01/17/2017 
Commission Decision  04/27/2017 
NPRM  05/12/2017  82-FR 22190   
NPRM Comment Period End  07/26/2017 
Public Hearing  08/09/2017  82 FR 31035   
Staff Sent 2016 NEISS Table Saw Type Study Status Report to Commission   08/15/2017 
Staff Sent 2017 NEISS Table Saw Special Study to Commission  11/13/2018 
Notice of Availability of 2017 NEISS Table Saw Special Study  12/04/2018  83FR62561   
Staff Sends a Status Briefing Package on Table Saws to Commission  08/28/2019 
Commission Decision  09/10/2019 
Staff Sends SNPRM Briefing Package to Commission  09/21/2023 
Commission Decision  11/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Caroleene Paul
Project Manager, Directorate for Engineering Sciences
Consumer Product Safety Commission
National Product Testing and Evaluation Center, 5 Research Place,
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone:301 987-2225