Circular Saw Design DefectManufacturer will be held liable for injuries sustained from the production of a defectively designed dangerous product. When a product is defective, all parties in the commercial chain of distribution can be found liable for the injuries. In such cases manufacturers, retailers and distributors can be found strictly liable for injuries. Circular saws are also required to be provided with a safety guard. These guards are designed to adjust for appropriate size of the material being cut in order to avoid finger amputation. Additionally, circular saws should be outfitted with a kickback dog. A kickback dog helps prevent the material being cut from flying back.
Chain saws are a gimme on any dangerous-tool list. A study by the CPSC found that in 1999, there were over 28,500 reported chain-saw injuries in the U.S. By 2004, as the included chart shows, that number was up over 32,000.When a manufacturer fails to design the product so that it is free from defects they will be held liable for injuries sustained as a result of their negligence. To establish a case for a defective product it is required to show the following elements: (1) that the saw was defective; (2) defendant in engaged in the sale of such products; (3) the saw is defective because of the defendant design, labeling or manufacturing defect; and (4) that an injury was suffered as a result of this defect. A circular saw is considered defectively designed when due to its design it is unreasonably dangerous when put to use. To determine a defective design courts will look at the utility of the product, its potential danger to the user and whether a safer alternative or design exist in the marketplace. The most common type of design defect in circular saws is improperly designed or lack of bade guards. These guards act to prevent contact of the operators hands or limbs when cutting any type of material. Many manufacturers completely fail to have any sort of shield or guard on the saws blade. Saws that do have blade guards can still be considered defective if the guards does not provide proper or sufficient protection to prevent injury. Saws that are fitted with guard protection may still be defective. Most designs use a telescoping device that allows for the device to automatically position itself in order to cut the material or wood. These types of devices can be defective when the telescoping device exposes an excessive amount of the blade. When the telescoping blade guard fails to close after the cut is made then it will be considered to be defectively designed.
Circular SawA study in Australia’s Hazard Magazine found that of all reported saw injuries, circular saws make up the largest group at 30 percent. Of the recorded injuries, 56 percent involve DIYers, 99 percent of whom are male, with 68 percent of those blokes in the 20-to-39 age range.
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Another type of design defect with circular saws include failure to protect against propelled objects caused by the blade or saw. This type of defect can be in the way of the material used to configure the guard or the place of the guard. Blades in both circular saws or concrete cutting saws can also be defective. in Magee v. Jefferson Rental the plaintiff was seriously injured when the blade of a concrete cutting saw exploded causing shards propel through the guard. In the following case courts found that the cutting guard material was made of a weak substance. Which allowed for the shards to go through the guard.
CIRCULAR-SAW ACCIDENTSBecause of their tendency to produce injuries of greater than average severity, woodworking circular – saw accidents deserve special attention in allaccident-prevention programs.
- Deaths are not common in these accidents, but permanent disabilities occur much more frequently than in other kinds ofaccidents. Nearly half (48 %) of the disabling injuries in this survey resulted in some degree of permanent disability. In contrast, the proportionof permanent impairments among all disabling injuries experienced in manufacturing activities generally averages less than 6 percent.
- It is impossible on the basis of any data available to estimate eitherthe annual volume of circular-saw accidents or the total amount of manpowerlost because of those accidents. It is obvious, however, that the injury total is large and that the resulting economic losses are huge.
Who is liable? – Circular Saw Defect LawsuitsLiability for these types of injuries can be imposed on all sellers in the commercial chain of distribution. What this means is that any seller including the retailer you purchased the product from i.e. Home Depot, Lowes, Costco or WalMart, any distributor of the product, wholesaler and the manufacturer. All parties can be held liable for the injuries suffered. However if the product was altered from its original manufacturing specifications, then liability can be limited to certain parties. It is important to know which entity to hold accountable for your injuries. Our offices will do the appropriate research and determine who is at fault and make sure the proper parties are held accountable.
What makes circular saws defective?A product is considered defective when there is a (1) design defect; (2) a manufacturing defect; or (3) failure to warn or inadequate label issue. A manufacturing defect is shown when there is a deviation from the manufacturers original design standards. Common Injuries caused by Defective Circular Saw Accidents Common injuries suffered from a defective circular saw can serious. Common injuries can include the following:
- Orbital or eye injuries, including blindness;
- Chest injuries;
- Cheek injuries;
- Crushed hands or fingers;
- Amputated hand or fingers;
- Face injuries;
- Burn injuries;
- Head injuries, causing traumatic brain injuries;
- Jugular vein severance causing serious injury;
- Leg injuries;
- Back injuries.
Employee liability for Saw Accidents at WorkAn employer will also be found liable when their employee is injured during the course of their employment. If the injury was caused by a defect in any tool, machinery or device used in the business of the employer, then the employer can be found liable. Employer can be held liable when they act in a negligent manner. Either when they fail to properly train their staff to use the equipment or when the product is defective. In each instance they can be held liable for the injuries which occur.
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In nearly 80 percent of the circular- saw accidents analyzed, the injured person received his injury by coming into contact with the saw blade. Generally, he was feeding number into the saw at the time of injury, but contact with the blade also occurred frequently when:
* This report was prepared in the Branch of Industrial Hazards, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, by Frank S. McElroy and George R.McCormack.
- removing scraps of lumberor sawdust from the saw table;
- adjusting or changing blades; or
- placing lumber on the saw table.