Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced in a press release its joint effort with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in developing new guidelines for preventing nail gun injuries for those working in the construction industry.
Our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers in Charlotte are aware that injuries from nail guns send about 37,000 workers to the hospital annually. If not used properly, nail guns can inflict fatal injuries.
Using a nail gun is a daily occurrence for residential construction workers. This tool is not hard to operate; all it takes is a pull of the trigger to discharge the nail. Most often an injury happens to the hand, inflicting structural damage to bones, joints, tendons and nerves 25 percent of the time. There have also been reports of these accidents at work causing paralysis, brain damage and blindness.
The Nail Gun Safety – A Guide for Construction Contractors has helpful information about all types of nail guns, but pays particular attention to framing nail guns because they are the most dangerous and use the biggest nails.
The most important safety feature on a nail gun is its trigger. The full sequential trigger is the safest one to have. The only way this nail gun will fire is if the safety contact tip is against the work surface and then the trigger is pulled in that order only. To fire multiple nails the safety contact tip and the trigger both must be release. This is the only trigger out of a total of four, the others being contact, single actuation and single sequential, that requires releasing both the trigger and safety contact tip in order to discharge multiple nails.
The guide reviews the risk factors that most contribute to nail gun injuries: unintended double fires or unintended nail fires when the safety contact tip is accidentally hit while the trigger is pulled, nails that pass through or ricochet off work pieces, nails that totally miss their intended target, nailing in an awkward position and bypassing safety features.
How to avoid potentially devastating nail gun injuries:
-Read the owner’s manual that comes with any nail gun prior to its use.
-Wearing safety goggles/glasses are a must.
-Never touch the trigger until you are ready to fire.
-Keep co-workers out of the line of fire.
-Treat a nail gun as you would a hand gun, never point it at anyone.
-Prior to clearing a jam always disconnect the air hose.
-Make sure the safety contact tip is against the work piece prior to firing the nail gun.
-Never use bottled gas for a compressed air nail gun and never exceed the air pressure needed for the gun.
-Make sure your hands are away from the discharge tip.
-Never use the gun around flammable material.
-Nail sheathing from top to bottom in a vertical position.
-When nailing roof sheathing move from the eaves to the ridge to prevent a potential fall hazard.
-Always move forward, never backward, when nailing flat areas.
-When working above others make sure to secure the hose so the weight of it doesn’t pull the nail gun down potentially hitting workers below.
If you or a loved one is dealing with a workers’ compensation or disability claim in North Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Work Site Safety Inspections Important in Reducing Work Injuries in Charlotte, Asheville, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 27, 2011.
Power Tools Often Cause Workplace Injuries to North Carolina Workers, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, June 15, 2011.