Although they help increase productivity on construction job sites, nail guns pose a substantial injury risk for workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nail gun accidents rank as the leading tool-related injury for construction workers.

By taking certain precautions when working with nail guns, workers may help protect against accidents that may cause serious injuries.

Causes of nail gun injuries

According to OSHA, nail gun accidents causing serious occupational injuries occur due to various risk factors. Among these includes unintentional nail discharges resulting from double-fires and bumping the safety contact with the trigger depressed. Nail gun accidents also happen when the nails pass through the work piece or rebound off a hard surface or metal feature. Missing the work piece altogether, using nail guns in awkward spaces or positions, and disabling the tool’s safety features may also contribute to workers suffering nail gun injuries.

Choose the right trigger

When working with a nail gun, OSHA recommends workers use the full sequential trigger. Compared to the other trigger mechanism options, the full sequential trigger helps cut down on the risk of double fires and unintentional nail discharges.

Wear PPE

Should a nail gun accident occur, having the right personal protective equipment may help keep workers safe from injuries. To help protect themselves, it may benefit construction workers to wear high impact safety glasses or goggles, hearing protection, hard hats and safety shoes while working with nail guns.

Develop safe work procedures

For their part, contractors may help increase safety on the job site by developing and implementing nail gun work procedures. For instance, this may include establishing an inspection schedule, providing training to workers who will use these tools on the job, setting up work areas that keep employees out of the line of nail guns in use by co-workers, and making the tool manuals available on the job site