They’re powerful, easy to operate and allow workers to perform tasks taster. They’re also a leading cause of injury among residential carpenters. Of the 37,000 emergency room visits each year related to nail gun injuries, 60% are occupationally-related.

While puncture wounds to the hands and fingers are the most common, nail guns are also responsible for more serious injuries – and even fatalities.

All nail guns have the potential to cause serious injury. Using a nail gun with a bump or automatic trigger (also known as contact trip trigger) can result in unintended nail discharge. Other risks include lack of training, working fast and keeping the trigger squeezed when not nailing. Using a nail gun with a single shot or full sequential trigger reduces the risk of injury.

What can you do to help prevent nail gun injuries?

Employers can take several steps to prevent nail gun injuries, including:

  • Use full sequential trigger nail guns
  • Provide training
  • Establish nail gun work procedures
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries and close calls

To learn more, refer to Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors .

If a nail gun injury occurs, workers should seek medical attention immediately, even for hand injuries that appear to be minimal. Employers should be prepared to provide first aid and medical treatment immediately.


Here are some National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Resources for you:

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