In construction activities, nail guns have replaced the common hammers in wood framing. They are very easy to operate device and powerful. They boost productivity for most nailing tasks. But nail guns are still a leading cause of injury among residential carpenters and are responsible for an estimated 37,00 emergency room visits each year, of which 60% are occupationally related according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Puncture wounds to the hands and fingers are most common, but more serious injuries and deaths occur using nail guns.
The potential to cause serious injury is presented with all nail guns. An unintended nail discharge can easily occur when using a nail gun with a bump or automatic trigger (also known as contact trip trigger).
Other Causes of Injury:
- Lack of training; and
- Working fast and keeping the trigger squeezed when not nailing.
What Can Be Done to Reduce the Risk and Help Prevent Nail Gun Injury?
Workers can talk to their employer about nail gum safety and prevention. Employers can take several steps to prevent nail gun injuries:
- Use a nail gun with a single shot and a full sequential trigger;
- Provide adequate training;
- Establish nail gun work procedures;
- Provide personal protective equipment; and
- Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries and near misses (close calls).
Medical attention should be provided immediately after nail gun injuries, even for hand injuries that appear to be minimal. Employers should encourage employees to seek medical attention when injured and report near misses.
YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD…NAIL GUNS ARE DANGEROUS!
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