Six Steps to Nail Gun Safety

Nail gun injuries can be horrific and debilitating. As per an OSHA study, two out of five carpenter apprentices experience this injury in four years. Most of them are unreported, and injured workers rarely ask for medical treatment following these accidents.

Proper nail gun safety can prevent injuries and liabilities that can otherwise lead to costly lawsuits. By investing in Illinois contractor’s insurance, you can recover from damages faster and protect your reputation.

Common Causes of Nail Gun Injuries

Some of the common risk factors that can result in a nail gun injury include the following:

  • Awkward nail positioning.
  • Ricocheting nail after it is driven into a hard surface.
  • Unintentional nail discharge from the nail gun.
  • Missing the workpiece.
  • Ignoring safety mechanisms.
  • Unintentional nail discharge because of a double strike.

6 Steps to Nail Gun Safety

A nail gun can be a lethal weapon in untrained and inexperienced hands. Here are six steps to nail gun safety that can prevent painful accidents:

1. Invest in Single-Shot Nail Guns

Make sure you use nail guns equipped with a safety trigger, particularly those with single-shot sequential triggers. The safety contact tip has to be pressed into the workpiece, and the trigger needs to be squeezed to discharge a nail. Since these cannot bump-fire nails, accidents are reduced significantly. Single-shot nail guns are considered to be safer than multi-shot ones. The latter can fire off nails at the slightest bump.

2. Train Your Workers

Even ‘safe’ nail guns can be dangerous in untrained hands. Before handing any worker these tools, train them to use them. Explain how the triggers work, how to hold lumber in place, fire out nails without causing injuries, etc. Ensure these training sessions are supervised, and new workers know where you keep the manual.

3. Establish Nail Gun Protocols

Established nail gun protocols can keep workers safe and hold them accountable in case of an accident. These should include the following to ensure nail gun safety:

  • Check the power source and the nail gun before operating it.
  • Make sure your hands don’t touch the nailing point. They should be 12 inches away, at least.
  • Do NOT disable safety features.
  • Disconnect the compressed air when setting the nail gun down, passing it to a co-worker, or climbing a ladder.
  • Don’t use the nail gun with your non-dominant hand.

4. Prove Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Ensure that workers wear thick protective gear that can block nails if a nail gun is discharged accidentally. These include thick safety shoes, hard hats, hearing protection, and goggles that can block high-speed projectiles.

5. Encourage Workers to Report Close Calls and Injuries

Encourage workers to report close misses and injuries that result from improper nail gun use. Official reports can help you pinpoint potential hazards that could lead to future accidents.

6. Provide Immediate Medical Treatment

Make sure nail gun injuries are tended to immediately. Even minor ones should receive medical treatment as soon as possible. These accidents lead to long-lasting damage if injuries are not treated on time.

Contact SIA Insurance Group for Illinois Contractor’s Insurance

Even well-designed nail guns can cause injuries in the wrong hands. Protect your construction business from costly lawsuits and maintain its reputation by investing in Illinois contractor’s insurance from SIA Insurance Group. We have more than four decades of experience providing risk management solutions to various industries. Get in touch with us today!

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