Nail Gun Safety – Choose the Full Sequential Trigger
“Nail guns are powerful… They are responsible for an estimated 37,000 emergency room visits each year – 68% of these involved workers.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In the construction industry, many workers use nail guns every day for many jobs. Nail guns boost productivity but they also cause tens of thousands of serious injuries every year. It turns out that nail gun injuries are common. According to one study, 2 out of 5 residential carpenter apprentices experience a nail gun injury over a four-year period. In fact, nail gun injuries hospitalize more construction workers than any other tool-related injury. When they 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.
Nail gun safety starts with understanding the various trigger mechanisms. Here is what you need to know:
All nail guns rely on two basic controls: a finger trigger and a contact safety tip located on the nose of the gun. Triggers mechanisms can vary based on:
The order in which the controls are activated, and
Whether the trigger can be held in the squeezed position to discharge multiple nails OR
If it must be released and then squeezed again for each individual nail.
Combining these variations gives four kinds of triggers. Some nail guns have a selective trigger switch that allows the user to choose among two or more trigger systems.
The safest type of nail gun trigger is the full sequential trigger.
This trigger will only fire a nail when the controls are activated in a certain order. First, the safety contact tip must be pushed into the work piece and then the user squeezes the trigger to discharge the nail. Both the safety contact tip and the trigger must be released and activated again to fire a second nail. Nails cannot be bump fired. This trigger is also known as a single-shot trigger, restrictive trigger, or trigger fire mode.
Follow these Precautions to Minimize the Risk from Using Nail Guns:
The bottom line: When selecting nail guns, contractors should check the tool label and manufacturer’s manuals for manufacturer-specific trigger names and operating information.
SINGLE NAIL: Push safety contact, then squeeze trigger
- MULTIPLE NAILS: Release both safety contact and trigger and repeat process
Accidents Hurt-‐-‐-‐-‐Safety doesn’t!