Nail Guns Put Workers in Danger

April 22, 2021

Nail gun

A nail gun can be dangerous if it malfunctions or isn’t used correctly and in a safe manner. Types of nail guns vary based on how they’re powered, the gauge of the nail they fire, and the projects for which they are used. If a nail gun is used incorrectly or is defective, a worker can become catastrophically or even fatally injured. Nail guns are responsible for about 37,000 emergency room visits each year. Approximately 60% of cases involve workers. In 77.7% of nail gun accidents, the nail gun operator is the injury victim. Bystanders and co-workers are injured 22.2% of the time.

Causes of Nail Gun Accidents

Several risk factors can lead to nail gun accidents. A primary factor is the firing mechanism, which is based on the type of gun. The risk of injury is twice as high using a nail gun with a bump or contact trip trigger compared to one with a single shot or full sequential trigger.

Common causes of nail gun accidents include:

Common Types of Nail Gun Injuries

With firing speeds of up to 1,400 feet per second, nail guns can easily drive a nail through human flesh and bone. Over 50% of nail gun injuries are puncture wounds to the fingers, wrist, or hand. These injuries can damage the nerves, bones, tendons, and joints. Lower extremities such as the knee, foot, thigh, and leg are the second most common type of body part injured in nail gun accidents. Serious nail gun injuries have resulted in bone fractures, brain damage, eye injuries, paralysis, and even death.

Nail gun safety training and adherence to safety standards set by OSHA and NIOSH are essential for all workers on the job site.

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