Skip to main content

Table Saws

MARCH 31, 2008

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is participating in voluntary standard activities for Stationary and Fixed Electric Tools (ANSI/UL 987). This standard provides performance requirements for table saws that include specific performance requirements for safety features such as blade guards and riving knives.

Based on data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), the estimated number of emergency room treated injuries associated with table saws averaged 29,000 per year from 1991 to 2000. The injury trend remained stable during that time period and into 2002. As part of a special study on stationary saw-related injuries, follow-up interviews were conducted on NEISS cases treated between October 1, 2001 and December 31, 2001. The special study identified incidents associated with table saws that had been recorded under codes such as “saws, not specified” or “other power saws.” The identification of these additional incidents allowed more precise injury estimates to be computed for 2001 (38,000 injuries) and 2002 (38,980 injuries).

The CPSC staff is participating in the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Electric Tools Standards Technical Panel (STP) which covers UL 987 Standard for Stationary and Fixed Electric Tools. The STP for electric tools convened for the first time in February 2003 and was presented with a proposal that all table saws incorporate a system to detect contact between a person and a saw blade and that could react to reduce the severity of the blade contact injury. There was also a proposal for a requirement that all table saws have a riving knife similar to those required on European table saws to reduce the incidence of kickback; the standard was revised in January 31, 2005, to incorporate the riving knife requirement.  

Additional Information

Incident Data:

Voluntary Standard and Code Activities:

CPSC Staff Reports, Memoranda and Contracts:

Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

  • For further information concerning UL 987, Stationary and Fixed Electric Tools, please contact Joe Musso at

Contact CPSC


Report an unsafe product