Nail guns are used every day on many construction jobs. They boost productivity but also cause tens of thousands of serious injuries each year. Nail gun injuries are common - one study found that 2 out of 5 residential carpenter apprentices experienced a nail gun injury over a four-year period.
Injuries resulting from use of nail guns hospitalize more construction workers than any other tool-related injury. When they do occur, these injuries are often not reported or given proper medical treatment. Research has identified that the risk of a nail gun injury is twice as high when using a multi-shot contact trigger as when using a single-shot sequential trigger nailer.
Here are resources to help you protect workers from nail gun hazards:
Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors (PDF* | EPUB** | MOBI**). OSHA Publication 3459, (2011).
Straight Talk About Nail Gun Safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The booklet illustrates the potential risks of traumatic injury using nail guns and how these risks can be reduced.
Nail Gun Safety: The Facts. The Duke University and Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). Provides information to prevent worker injuries from nail guns as well as nail gun research and training articles.
Outreach Training Program. OSHA.
- Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards Student Handouts (PDF*). Provides a hazard alert handout on nail gun safety.
Toolbox Talk: Hammer Home Nail Gun Safety. Nation's Building News, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Provides quick tips for using nail guns safely.
Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)
- 1926 Subpart E, Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment.
- 1926 Subpart I, Tools - Hand and Power.
- 1926.302, Power-operated hand tools.
Letters of Interpretation
- 1926 Subpart I, Tools - Hand and Power
- Use of quick-disconnect on pneumatic power tools; �1926.302(b)(1). (November 14, 2003).
- Search all available Letters of Interpretation for 1926.302, Power-operated hand tools.
Nailing Down the Need for Nail Gun Safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nail-Gun Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments --- United States, 2001--2005. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 56(14);329-332, (April 13, 2007).
Woodworking. OSHA eTool. Contains a section on handheld nail/stapling guns.
Construction - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Provides a link to personal protective equipment publication, fact sheet, and quickcard.