I've heard about a new product called a "Safer" Torah. What was dangerous with the old Torah and what have they improved from the old version to make it "safer"?
We were just looking into this product after a recent, unfortunate hagbah accident. The Safer Torah is extremely lightweight, suitable for even the smallest bar mitzvah (or his elderly grandfather) to lift. The parchment is exceedingly thin and the eitzim are made from a light wood -- I heard balsa, but I haven't confirmed that. Because of this the scroll is fragile and probably will not last as many decades (or centuries) as others, but it is reported to do a good job at fending off those post-drop fasts.
The Safer Torah is more expensive than regular ones; scraping parchment thin without cutting through is difficult and time-consuming, and the sofer has to be even more careful than usual because the number of scrape-and-rewrite operations available is greatly reduced. Plan your fundraising campaign accordingly.
It seems that great progress has been made in the realm of Torah safety. It is even more wonderful that this progress was made without write-ups and threats from OSHA implying that we are endangering our gabbaim.
For example, this web site will sell you a tiny Torah that even the weakest person can perform hagbah with.
Another page on that site will sell you the Sephardic version, although its dimensions imply that it is not quite as safe as the Ashkenazi one.
What a Kiddush Hashem these innovations make. It is wonderful that we live in such times. Not only has the ADA caused us to build wheelchair accessible bimas, we now can read from unkosher Torah scrolls that even the weakest among us can lift!