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.
- Unintended nail discharge from double fire;
- Unintended nail discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed;
- Nail penetration through lumber work piece;
- Nail ricochet after striking a hard surface or metal feature;
- Missing the work piece;
- Awkward position nailing; and
- Bypassing safety mechanisms.
Safety Steps You Can Take
By taking these steps, employers can prevent nail gun injuries from occurring:
- Use full sequential trigger nail guns;
- Provide training;
- Establish nail gun work procedures;
- Provide personal protective equipment (PPE);
- 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.