The dangers that nail guns pose

While many construction workers, roofers and homeowners in California rely on nail guns to assist them with their work, these tools can cause serious injuries that could prove fatal. In fact, statistics reveal that approximately 37,000 people are admitted to the emergency room annually because of a nail gun injury. These injuries commonly happen when residential siding and roofing work is being performed, and especially while a home is being framed and sheathed.

The majority of these injuries are to the fingers and hands, with about a quarter of hand injuries affecting the victim’s bones, nerves, joints or tendons. A small amount of people suffer injuries to their head, trunk and neck, while others have been left with broken bones, blindness or spinal cord damage from a nail gun accident. The most hazardous nail gun to use is the coil and stick type because it utilizes the biggest nails. These tools are typically used for framing and attaching siding, shingles and wood to a structure and require training to use correctly.

It is important to realize that this powerful tool can unintentionally discharge if it is not handled correctly after it fires a nail. A misfire, or accidental nail gun discharge, can also happen if someone steps on or bumps into the nail gun tip. Moreover, the chance for an accidental discharge increases when a handler keeps the nailer in the trigger position.

Construction workers hurt on the job may wish to consider filing for workers’ compensation benefits to help them with their medical expenses and income losses. An attorney who has experience with these matters can be of assistance throughout the filing process as well as in subsequent hearings should the claim be disputed or denied.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Nail Gun Safety”, accessed on March 1, 2015

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