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Nail guns have replaced hammers in wood frame construction. They are powerful, easy to operate and boost productivity for nailing tasks. Nail guns are a leading cause of injury among residential carpenters and responsible for an estimated 37,000 emergency room visits each year, of which 60% are occupationally-related. Puncture wounds to the hands and fingers are most common, but more serious injuries and deaths occur using nail guns.
All nail guns have the potential to cause serious injury. Using a nail gun with a bump or automatic trigger (also known as contact trip trigger) can result in unintended nail discharge. Other risks include lack of training, working too quickly and keeping the trigger squeezed when not nailing. Using a nail gun with a single shot or full sequential trigger reduces the risk of injury.
What Can You Do to Help Prevent Nail Gun Injuries?
Workers can talk to their employer about nail gun safety and prevention. Employers can take several steps to prevent nail gun injuries.
- 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
Employers and workers should provide first aid immediately and seek medical attention for nail gun injuries, even if an injury appears to be minimal.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Workplace Safety & Health Topics. Nail Gun Safety. (2016, February). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nailgun/default.html