Fear Of Liability Makes Saws Less Safe

Ah, Mr. Law Of Unintended Consequences! We meet again!

So a very clever gentleman has invented a table saw which can detect soft, tasty, human flesh and instantly stop itself, resulting in little injury to the hapless user, a feature my grandfather, who could play Frodo post-Mordor, if you get my drift, would surely have appreciated. Naturally, this invention has been met with fear and loathing by saw manufacturers.


Because if they can make saws safe. they fear being sued if they don't. In other words, the fear of lawsuits is actually keeping safer saws off the market. Since retooling to use a new technology is slow and expensive, not every saw sold can instantly have this. This means that 'unsafe' saws will still be for sale, which means any drunken oaf who slices his own arm off will immediately sue the saw manufacturer for not using the available technology, regardless of the economic realities involved.

In a sane society, it would be the case that a safety feature is a positive option, something worth paying extra for initially and which will eventually become commonplace as economic conditions and improving technology make it cost-effective, and as older assembly lines become phased out. In the lawyer-infested madhouse we live in, though, fingers and limbs will continue to be sliced off as the battle continues not in the marketplace, but in the courts.


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