If you routinely use a nail gun at work, you should be aware of just how dangerous it can be if used improperly. Nail gun injuries send 37,000 people to emergency rooms each year, and these visits are not limited to those directly working with nail guns. OSHA estimates that about 1 in 10 nail gun injuries happen to the user’s co-workers.
This happens when a nail becomes airborne or when workers accidentally fire contact trigger nail guns. Often using a nail gun requires the help of a co-worker, such as during framing and sheathing in construction. In these cases, chances of background injuries to the user’s coworkers increase.
What steps can you take to prevent that?
- To start with, ditch the contact trigger nail gun and opt for a sequential trigger nail gun. According to OSHA, the risk of nail gun injury is twice as likely with a multi-shot contact trigger than with a single-shot sequential trigger.
- Shoot away from your body and away from your co-worker. Ensure no one is in the line of fire when you use a nail gun.
- Keep the area clear when you’re using a nail gun. Labels and signs in the work area can prompt co-workers to maintain a safe distance.
- If you are using a corded or pneumatic nail gun, make sure you keep the cord or air hose untangled at all times. Cords and hoses are a tripping hazard for everyone and if you use a contact-trigger nail gun, getting caught in them can accidentally press the trigger and discharge a nail. Also, never yank the hose to reach the nail gun; that could also press the trigger and shoot a nail.
Always wear appropriate PPE when using nail gun and make sure those working near you safeguard themselves as well. Use signs to remind workers to always wear hard hats, high-impact eye protection, and ear protection when working with nail guns.
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