Construction and Nail Gun Safety

Nail guns are used every day on many construction jobs. They boost productivity but also cause tens of thousands of serious injuries each year. Nail gun injuries are common – one study found that 2 out of 5 residential carpenter apprentices experienced a nail gun injury over a four-year period. Injuries resulting from use of nail guns hospitalize more construction workers than any other tool-related injury. 

When they do occur, these injuries are often not reported or given proper medical treatment. Research has identified that the risk of a nail gun injury is twice as high when using a multi-shot contact trigger as when using a single-shot sequential trigger nailer.

There are seven major risk factors that can lead to nail gun injury. Understanding them will help you to prevent injuries on your job sites.

  1. Unintended nail discharge from double fire;
  2. Unintended nail discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed;
  3. Nail penetration through lumber work piece;
  4. Nail ricochet after striking a hard surface or metal feature;
  5. Missing the work piece;
  6. Awkward position nailing; and
  7. Bypassing safety mechanisms.

Safety Steps You Can Take

By taking these steps, employers can prevent nail gun injuries from occurring:

  1. Use full sequential trigger nail guns;
  2. Provide training;
  3. Establish nail gun work procedures;
  4. Provide personal protective equipment (PPE);
  5. Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries and close calls; and

Provide first aid and medical treatment.

For more safety information, contact our offices at Diversified Safety Services. 

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