Today's News / Safety in the Construction Industry

New guidance document covers nail gun safety

Nail gun injuries send 37,000 to ERs each year

September 22, 2011
KEYWORDS injuries / nail / safety
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Image from CSB animation of DuPont accidentsOSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have developed new guidance, Nail Gun Safety – A Guide for Construction Contractors*, to help construction employers and workers prevent work-related nail gun injuries.

"Nail gun injuries are responsible for approximately 37,000 emergency room visits annually. In some cases, workers have died from their injuries," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "This document will help construction employers make necessary changes to improve nail gun safety and protect their workers from preventable injuries and death."

"NIOSH is pleased to partner with OSHA in presenting effective, evidence-based guidance for safer nail gun use," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D.

Construction workers, particularly those in residential construction, use nail guns nearly every day. Although this tool is easy to operate and increases productivity, there have been reports of internal and external bodily injuries. These injuries occur as a result of unintended nail discharge; nails that bounce off a hard surface or miss the work piece and become airborne; and disabling the gun's safety features, among other causes. Injury prevention is possible if contractors take steps such as using full sequential trigger nail guns; establishing nail gun work procedures; and providing workers with personal protective equipment.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov. NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. More information can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh.

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