The nail gun was once a tool valued primarily on construction sites. However, with the trending proclivity to do-it-yourself on everything from building birdhouses to outdoor furniture using pallets, the nail gun is a common feature in many novice’s hands. But are nail guns safe? Are accidents common? Are they defective in the sense that they can be overly sensitive or go off in someone’s unguarded direction?
Focused on a tool that is responsible for death, brain injury, paralysis, blindness, bone fractures and puncture wounds, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released guidelines on handling a nail gun. OSHA included some safeguards contractors should employ that could prevent common accidents.
According to a study conducted on carpenters’ apprentices over the four year’s of their training, nearly half were injured using a nail gun. One-fifth were injured on more than one occasion, and one-tenth were injured more than twice.
It is estimated that 37,000 emergency room visits each year have been due to nail gun injuries.
There are six primary tips OSHA recommends adherence to, they are:
- Providing adequate training. Training is very important in promoting safety and helping to prevent accidents.
- Providing personal safety and protection equipment.
- Establishing procedures for nail gun use. Put recommendations in place regarding the use of nail guns and ensuring no workers are working in front of an area where nail guns are being used. Also, not using nail guns on metal joinery, as ricocheting is a risk. Another good tactic is to check all wood for knots, existing nails, hangers and other objects before anyone uses a nail gun on it as, again, ricocheting is a risk.
- Utilizing the full sequential trigger. This means that steps must be taken before a nail is fired and then fully repeated before another nail is fired.
- Encouraging sharing of experienced injuries and recommending immediate reporting of any new injuries.
- Readying yourself with first-aid equipment and medical treatments.
If you were hurt by a power tool on or off a job site, there may be cause for recourse. Many power tools are known to have defective parts that allow for easier injuries. If you feel this was the case in your situation, take the time to talk with a personal injury attorney who knows what questions to ask and who can help you pursue compensation for damages after you suffer an injury in the New York area.