NIOSH Releases Nail Gun Safety Guide for Construction Contractors

By workinjury on October 26, 2011

Nail guns are powerful and widely used because of the increased productivity they provide for nailing tasks, especially on residential construction jobs. Unfortunately, nail guns, especially ones with a multi-shot contact trigger, are also very dangerous. According to Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors, a report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nail gun injuries are common in construction, especially in framing, sheathing, roofing and exterior siding and finishing work.

There are different types of nail guns and triggers that can shoot both single and multiple nails depending upon how the trigger is pulled. Although nail guns are generally easy to use, not knowing how the nail gun works increases the risk of serious injury.

According to the report, nail gun injuries often occur under the following conditions:

  • Unintended nail discharge from double fire;
  • Unintended nail discharge from inadvertently knocking or pushing the safety contact while the trigger is squeezed;
  • Nail penetration through lumber;
  • Nail ricochet after hitting a metal feature or hard surface;
  • Missing the work piece;
  • Nailing in an awkward position; and
  • Bypassing safety mechanisms, such as removing the spring from the safety contact tip.

All contractors and subcontractors have a responsibility to ensure that workers using nail guns know how to use them properly. It is a contractor’s job to provide his or her crews with properly working and maintained equipment and the training to safely use that equipment. A contractor is also responsible for establishing appropriate nail gun procedures, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) along with first aid and timely medical treatment.

The NIOSH report relates the story of a New Jersey contractor whose crews experienced double fires and a serious injury resulted. Once the contractor switched to using a different type of nail gun the risk of double fire injuries was significantly reduced.

If you or a loved one have suffered a nail gun injury as the result of negligent use or maintenance, improper training or monitoring, or shortcomings in protective gear, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced New Jersey nail gun injury attorneys at Blume Forte at (973) 635-5400 to determine whether your claim may merit legal action.

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