Table Saw Accident Stories and Statistics

The statistics of saw accidents...

how and why they happen.


Accident for No Apparent Reason

Wood piece too small

Belly hit.

Material: Spruce, Blade : Rip

"Attempting to cut a small piece of wood. After it was cut, I did not have enough pressure on my push block to get it past the blade. It kicked back into my stomach. I sustained a small cut (more like a scrape). No bruise has formed as of yet.

Inadequate support of material

Cut on thumb.

Material: Teak

"Cut: ripping thin strip of teak 3/8"(w) x 5/8"(h) x 18"(l), from a slightly wider piece. Setup: blade h= 3/4", fence from blade d=3/8".Cause (my best guess): the throat plate around the blade was 3/4", which means that when the fence was 3/8" from blade an open gap was created where the material was unsupported. At the end of my cut, the strip of wood was pulled down into the machine and my right thumb was thrown into the blade. It cut transversely across the middle of my thumb nail (exactly 3/8" from the tip). I was using a push stick I made from a scrap of wood I found. It was big enough to get the job done, but too small to protect my hand if something went wrong. Also, the shop had no splitter.Reflections: It was early in the morning and my mind was hazy. It's not the safest wood shop and I should have exercised extra precautions (especially at $10/hour). If the shop was a little more put together and had properly maintained tools (not just regarding the table saw), I might not have used this tool in this way for this operation. It's hard to do woodworking, and it's even harder to do it the wrong way. Safety shouldn't be a difficult question to ask--it should be natural to the process--but in shoddy work-places it's a question you have to ask constantly and in backward ways. If you stop thinking for a moment, you will be lucky or you will get cut. Machines don't give you the chance to reason with them."

Saw Feed Jumped

Cut on thumb with nerve damage.

Material: Red Oak, Blade : Rip

"Pushing oak blank, saw feed jumped, and hand slipped into blade. Five stitches to end digit of right thumb. Permanent nerve damage, bone fragment damage at end of thumb. Did not loose nail, as cut was across pad."

Cut hand While 3 Feet Away

15 stitches on hand.

Material: Maple, Blade : Rip

"A piece of wood split off while ripping and was thrown back by the blade. It opened a gash in my right hand which was 3 feet behind but pushing the stock towards the blade. Needed 15 stitches."

Wood Slintered and Went Through Fingers

Splinter punctured fingers.

Material: Cedar, Blade : General Purpose

"ripping thin strips of cedar on RAS. Wood shattered and splinter kicked back. Went through one finger and almost through second finger. Spinter was 8" long and 1/2" wide"

Unexpected Kickback Pulled Hand into Blade

Cut half way through palm.

Material: not specifed, Blade : Rip

"I was cutting in half a small, odd-shaped piece of wood. To use a push stick and a guard would have made the cut impossible. After making half the cut, I reached over the saw to pull the piece thru, thinking that a kickback would just pull the piece out of my hand. The kickback pulled my hand across the blade, cutting halfway thru the palm."

Compressor Started and I Must Have Jumped

First Accident in 40 Years.

Material: oak, Blade : Rip

"April 3rd, 2010. At home Garage shop. ripping 1/2in oak 4inx6in. Just finished cut when compresser went off must have jumped? Blade pulled cut off piece of oak and thumb and index finger of left hand over blade. Cut thumb to the bone and split nails on both finger and thumb. Five hour in ER. Forty years first accident. Tired and things were going wrong. Told myself to quit for the day! Did not listen. Will listen to inner voice from now on. Sam G. Duluth,MN"

No Guard on the Blade

Power off and saw slowing down

Material: unk, Blade : Rip

"I was done cutting but the saw at school had no gaurd . When i was moving the wood off the table my thumb hit the saw that was slowing down...power was off..broke bone, cut tendons, about 3/4 of the way cut into my thumb....2 surgeries, one to clean and close, set bone and second to hook up the tendons and pick out pieces of the leather glove. It has healed but can't bend it..have numb spots. Glad i still have a thumb. It was a table type saw we use for cutting frames for canvas to paint."

Poor Lighting

Reaching across blade in poor light

Material: pine, Blade : Rip

"reaching for work piece, mal-adjusted blade height in poor light, caught my right thumb on back side of blade."

Jig was Inadequate

Experimenting with Cove Cuts

Material: pine, Blade : General Purpose

"Experimenting with cove cuts to make trim molding. Feeding 1x4 at 45 degree with the blade beveled at 30 degrees. Didn't want to wait for the holding jig and feather board so I was hand feeding the board with a make-shift jig. The board kicked back and my finger hit the blade. "

Hand Slipped

Ripping 2x4's

Material: pine, Blade : General Purpose

"Ripping 2x4, left thumb slipped off end of board into saw blade. "

Blade set too high.

Ripping some stock to make trim moulding and my blade was set too high from the previous cut. My cut stock was about to reach a piece of heavy wood on my outfeed table possibly causing kickback when i reached over the blade (with no blade guard) and moved the heavy piece of wood out of the way. When i was bringing my hand back over the blade, i contacted the blade and it threw my hand at me. My thumb, pointer, middle and ring finger were more or less chewed up. 31 stitches, 3 severed tendons, an exposed nerve ending, a skin and nerve graph from a cadaver, 3 stainless steel pins, 5 months off of work, and loss of feeling from nerve damage was the result. The total bill to insurance was over $48,000.

Lots of Experience

I have experience in handling of machinery of carpentry, it was cutting a few strips of hard wood and in fifth court I felt that the wood skipped, and zaz court in the thumb and in the part superios of my index finger 5 stitches and 14 in the thumb, till now 3 months later my thumb feels sleepy. Very painful.

Grabbed my pushblock

I was on my last cut making 1.5 inch squares for a chessboard I am working on. I used a dowel stick to push the wood through. The blade grabbed the dowel and sucked it through along with the tip of my left index finger.

Roller accident at work

While working in a textile manufacturing plant 3 fingers of left hand got hurt in an accident by a roller.

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