Proper nail gun safety could help prevent an estimated 37,000 emergency room visits each year. In Part 1 of this four-part series, we went over nail gun injury statistics. Today we will cover how nail gun injuries most frequently occur. Part 3 and Part 4 will provide nail gun injury prevention tips.
How Do Nail Gun Injuries Happen?
One of the most crucial steps in prevention is education. From the standpoint of a Florida roofing lawyer, teaching your workers the various scenarios surrounding most nail gun injuries can facilitate awareness and encourage safety.
Here are some common ways that nail gun injuries can happen.
Bypassing the Nail Gun’s Safety Mechanisms
OSHA states that any tool must be maintained in a safe condition; this stipulation includes tools furnished by the employee or by you as the employer. Tampering with the nail gun makes it more dangerous. For example, removing the spring from the safety tip makes unintended nail firing far more likely.
Bottom line: make sure your employees know not to do anything to the nail gun that could result in an OSHA violation, even if they think it will make their work more efficient or convenient.
This occurs when a nail hits a surface that is too hard for it to penetrate and instead bounces off, causing injury to the worker or a fellow worker. This can happen due to wood knots and metal framing hardware, as well as dense laminated beams.
Unintended Nail Discharge
Unfortunately, firing a nail by accident can happen even if you haven’t tampered with any safety features. It typically only happens with contact or single actuation triggers.
When using a contact trigger, the nail gun can double fire while a worker is trying to accurately position the nail gun against a surface. The contact trigger causes the gun to go off twice, and the unintended nail can result in an injury.
Unintended nail discharge can also occur when a nail gun with a contact or single actuation trigger is held with the trigger squeezed, and then the safety contact tip gets knocked into something (or someone) by mistake.
Penetration Through Lumber
There are times a nail is shot right through the workpiece, injuring the worker’s hand or becoming airborne and injuring another worker. This is especially common when a nail is placed near a knot in the wood, causing a blow-out.
Missing the Workpiece
A similar scenario can occur when a worker misses the piece of lumber completely. This is a common error when nailing near the edge of a workpiece.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.