Yes Pat Mike,
This is a real problem.
I am a huge fan of the Microjig gripper - MICROJIG – Smarter Woodworking Tools
There is a feeling of control over the wood when you are pushing it through a blade spinning 3000+ RPM
I think many of us have experienced kickback issues; I have been fortunate in that my experiences sent me for clean underwear and not to the hospital. But I also learned that investments in safety accessories are wise investments. In my case, I not only purchased a Gripper, I also invested in Jessem table saw guides.
Those little yellow plastic push sticks (grippers) are great as far as they go, but in my woodworking experience, they don't begin to go far enough. Not all woodworkers limit their project stock to short little pieces. Better control is achieved with good pressure further up the board. By making your own plywood push sticks from plywood cut-offs or scrap lumber, you can save money, too. The bottoms of the plywood gets chewed up when doing thin pieces. A new surface and lug is cut when needed. I found this design in a school shop catalog in the early 1970s. I tried it and found it superior to everything except a power feeder. The below shots are from 2006 but most of the sizes are the same. I've found that longer sticks work well on the jointer to hold things down. I keep them handy to the table saw.
If you use the Grr-Ripper properly there's no reason for them to ever touch your blade. Use two and you can handle longer pieces just fine.
Bad things happen ANY time you cut wood on a table saw no matter what kind of push stick you choose to use if you don't use it and the saw properly. That said, the Grr-Ripper is not for every cut. It's just one of any number of options you can have in your arsenal. No need to settle for just one type of push stick.