OSHA, NIOSH Release Nail Gun Safety Guide

It says injury prevention is possible if contractors take steps such as using full sequential trigger nail guns, establishing nail gun work procedures, and providing workers with personal protective equipment.

OSHA and NIOSH have developed a new guidance document titled "Nail Gun Safety —- A Guide for Construction Contractors" to help construction employers and workers prevent work-related nail gun injuries. The agencies' leaders said in a cover letter signed by both that it was developed in response to a unanimous recommendation by the Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health members who represent employers, labor, and the public.

"Nail gun injuries are responsible for approximately 37,000 emergency room visits annually. In some cases, workers have died from their injuries," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "This document will help construction employers make necessary changes to improve nail gun safety and protect their workers from preventable injuries and death."

"NIOSH is pleased to partner with OSHA in presenting effective, evidence-based guidance for safer nail gun use," added NIOSH Dr. Director John Howard.

Construction workers, particularly those involving residential construction, use nail guns nearly every day. Although this tool is easy to operate and increases productivity, there have been reports of internal and external bodily injuries. These injuries occur as a result of unintended nail discharge; nails that bounce off a hard surface or miss the work piece and become airborne; and disabling the gun's safety features, among other causes. Injury prevention is possible if contractors take steps such as using full sequential trigger nail guns, establishing nail gun work procedures, and providing workers with personal protective equipment, the guide says.

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