A normal day in woodshop class for Days Creek Charter School students quickly became a serious learning moment.
After finishing a cut, one of the students stopped the saw and thought it was safe to reach into the blade area to clear wood debris. Although the saw was not running, the blade was still spinning, and the student’s finger came into contact with the blade.
With a regular saw, this could have resulted in a serious injury to the student’s finger. However, SawStop saws are specially designed to sense skin and stop the blade from spinning. The student’s finger activated the SawStop saw cartridge, which immediately stopped the saw.
In the moment after the cartridge was activated, the student was not even aware of touching the saw blade. More amazing still, the student’s injury looked like a pulled hangnail, the cut was so minimal.
“It’s amazing,” said Brian Agee, wood shop instructor at Days Creek Charter School. “I’m a firm believer in these saws.”
While SawStop saws cannot prevent all injuries, they can prevent serious ones.
“It’s taken one of the most dangerous tools in our shop and made it one of the safest,” said Agee. “SawStop saws greatly increase safety for kids.”
According to PACE claims records, a saw injury can cost tens of thousands of dollars to resolve.
The greater cost, Agee points out, is not measured in monetary terms, “but the toll it takes on the rest of your life.”
With dozens of recorded school injuries caused by table saws in Oregon over the past few decades, PACE is providing SawStop saw and blade replacement grants to districts on a first-come, first-served basis. Days Creek purchased their SawStop saw in 2017, through the PACE safety grant program. Saws bought with the grant money will be restricted to use by vocational shop classes or drama departments. To gain the new saw, the school will be required to dispose of any outdated equipment.