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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

U.S. power saw injury epidemiology and prevention strategies

Lee Hurt, MS, Epidemiology, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, 619 Sideling Court, Sykesville, MD 21784, 410 489-4417, leehurt@gwu.edu and Katherine Hunting, PhD, MPH, Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, 2300 I Street, NW, Suite 202, Washington, DC 20037.

Objective: This investigation researched the epidemiology of occupational and non-occupational power saw injuries in the U.S. Existing power saw injury prevention strategies were reviewed and a novel safety device was described. Methods: Data on occupational injuries were gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data on non-occupational injuries were gathered from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. A literature review yielded additional descriptive information from studies of state-based occupational injury surveillance systems, a school shop class injury surveillance system, and surveys of amateur wood workers. No studies were found regarding power saw injury prevention. A product review of existing and new power saw safety devices was performed. Results: There were 2,520 occupational injuries from power saws in the U.S in 2003. There were estimated to be 75,349 non-occupational injuries from power saws in 2004. Table saws were involved in substantially more injuries than any other type of saw. The non-occupational data show injuries to youth, as well as large numbers among the retired elderly. Saw manufacturers provide various devices to prevent injury. A new engineering control safety device which detects contact between the saw blade and flesh, and then brakes the blade in 5 milliseconds looks promising. Conclusions: There is a need for further studies to identify injury rates based on usage and tool type. Additional research is needed to identify injury risk factors and optimal prevention strategies and safety devices.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Handout (.ppt format, 3111.0 kb)

APHA Student Assembly Late Breaker Poster Session

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA