Nail Gun Safety: Best Practices for Accident Prevention

nail gunNail guns, a common staple in most commercial construction jobs, are both a boon to productivity and a common safety hazard.

As OHSA reports, nail gun injuries are too common. Injuries resulting from use of nail guns hospitalize more construction workers than any other tool-related injury. One study found that 2 out of 5 carpenter apprentices experienced a nail gun injury over a four-year period. When they do occur, these injuries are often not reported or given proper medical treatment. Research has also 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.

The most common injuries occur from:

  • Unintended nail discharge from double fire.
  • Unintended nail discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed.
  • Nail penetration through lumber work piece.
  • Missing the work piece.
  • Awkward position nailing.
  • Bypassing safety mechanisms.

Hands on training and safety planning are keys to prevent the wide-spread accident rates for nail guns. OSHA’s Construction standard at 29 CFR 1926.300(a) requires that all hand and power tools, whether furnished by the employer or the employee be maintained in a safe condition.

Specifically, these requirements also include:

1.  Use the full sequential trigger

2.  Provide training

3.  Establish nail gun work procedures

4.  Provide personal protective equipment

5.  Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries

6.  Provide first aid and medical treatment

Keeping safety a priority is always the smarter long-term policy for any construction project–For more information, contact Diversified Safety Services.



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