Safer Saws chickendinner

Manufacturers “There’s no time left to waste,” says Steve Gass, the inventor responsible for SawStop. Gass is making a proposal claim, saying that since his innovation could protect people from serious injury, the bureacratic process for approving it should be hastened. Given the evidence he provides to back his position, such as that thousands of people suffer hand injuries from table saws a year, SawStop is overwhelmingly effective at preventing injury, and the approval process has dragged on for over a decade, he definitely has a point in urging for the process to be sped along.

Customers: “That sounded like a pretty good innovation,” wrote Chris Arnold about the SawStop, making the evaluatory claim, voicing his support for SawStop technology as a means to increase the safety of table saws.

Industry Spokespeople: “‘False positives’ or ‘nuisance trips’ produce downtime and expenses,” writes a spokesman for the Power Tools Institute. Here, the spokeman is claiming that if this safety feature is mandated, there will be unforeseen costs in money and time due to the technology being unable to differentiate between human skin and other materials more conductive than dry wood. This is a causal claim, and certainly an issue which will have to be considered when assessing table saw safety regulations.

Consumer Safety Advocates: “[C]onsumers suffer 40,000 table saw injuries each year, 4,000 of which are finger amputations,” reports the National Consumers League, a consumer adovate group. This is a claim of fact, assessing the number of injuries caused by table says on an annual basis, with the implication that more widespread implementation of SawStop technology would reduce the frequency of these incedents.

Injured Plaintiffs: “[S]ix people have already had fingers amputated today. And there’s going to be another 10 tomorrow,” says Joshua Ward, a victim of a table-saw injury. This is a factual claim, with the implication being that these injuries are the fault of a failure to more widely adopt innovations that would make table saws safer for use.

Government Officials: “[W]e failed you, and that we continue to fail the 10 victims per day that you mentioned earlier,” says Elliot Kaye, of the CPSC. This is an evaluatory claim, arguing that they have an obligation to push for safety regulation such as that surrounding table saws, and are in the wrong for not having done so.

News Reporters: “Congress has thrown up a roadblock against safer saws,” writes Chris Arnold of NPR, arguing that the government has failed in its duty to actively pursue table saw safety legislation. This is most directly a factual assertation, but is also an evaluatory claim, that Congress has a moral responsibility to hastily accept safety regulations.

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