Working Safely With Nail Guns

Nail guns can significantly increase the speed at which a job gets done due to their ease of use and lightning fast operation. But the same qualities that make the tool useful can also make it easier to incur injury as a misfire or misplaced nail can suddenly penetrate the hand or other body parts. Nail guns are responsible for an estimated 37,000 emergency room visits annually - with almost 70% involving injuries in the workplace. With that in mind, here are some strategies from OSHA to prevent injuries from nail guns:

  • Ask for a nail gun with a sequential trigger mechanism
  • Never shoot towards yourself of a co-worker
  • Do not press the trigger unless the nose of the gun (contact element) is firmly pressed against the work material.
  • Never walk around with your finger on the trigger
  • Never clean or clear jams or adult a nail gun when it is connected to the air supply
  • Avoid nailing into knots and metal where nails are more likely to ricochet. Dense materials, like laminated beams, are also difficult to nail.
  • Never remove or bypass safety devices triggers, or contact springs
  • Never use a defective tool. If a tool is malfunctioning, it needs to be tagged and taken out of service.