A 26-year-old Idaho construction worker died following a nail gun accident in April 2007. He was framing a house when he slipped and fell. His finger was on the contact trigger of the nail gun he was using. The nosepiece hit his head as he fell, driving a 3-inch nail into his skull. The nail injured his brain stem, causing his death. The safety controls on the nail gun were found to be intact. Death and serious injury can occur using nail gunseven when they are work-ing properly.
This story is taken from the OSHA “Nail Gun Safety” manual. Fact is that most of us figure that nail gun’s have built in safety features and don’t think any more about it. We figure we’re safe because these guns are designed to not fire unless a number of things are in effect. The truth is, however, that nail guns account for thousands of injuries each year (It’s hard to get a proper count because most of these are not reported. Unlike some other workplace injuries, nail guns are often used by Do-It-Yourselvers and contractors that work alone or with one or two others and therefore don’t get recorded properly).
The first step if nail guns are being used on your jobsite should be training (after all, there’s a reason it’s got the word “gun” in it. If gun safety is required than so should nail gun safety). Proper training has been shown to effectively reduce the number of injuries on job sites.
That’s where the OSHA Nail Gun Safety Manual comes in. It’s a 40-page document available as a free download and contains everything you need to make sure you and your employees are properly trained in the use of nail guns.