One of the most common tools used in the construction industry is the nail gun. These powerful handheld tools increase productivity and can drive nails through wood and metal in a fraction of a second. There are several different types of nail guns, including pneumatic, electric, gas and hybrid power as well as nail guns for specific projects. Many professional contractors or carpenters use the pneumatic variety but injuries can happen regardless of the type of gun due to both design defects and negligent operation of this common construction tool.
Nail Gun Injuries
According to the Center for Disease Control, nail guns are responsible for 37,000 visits to the emergency room every year for injures requiring medical attention. With the power to shoot a nail through wood or even steel, these tools have no difficulty driving a nail through human flesh and bone. Nail guns are common in construction projects and two-thirds of all nail gun injuries come from framing or sheathing work regularly performed by carpenters and roofers. The types of injuries can vary from minor punctures to severe, even fatal, injuries.
- Over 50% of nail gun injuries are to the hands or fingers. Over 25% of these cause structural damage to the tendons, joints, nerves or bones.
- The second highest area of nail injuries is in the lower extremities of the body including the thigh, knee or foot.
- Serious nail gun injuries have resulted in paralysis, bone fractures, brain damage and even death.
- In a study of carpenter apprentices, 2 out of 5 had at least one nail gun injury in their first four years of training.
Causes Of Nail Gun Accidents
There are several reasons that nail gun accidents occur, many of them preventable. There are specific safety standards that should be adhered to by employers that are set by OSHA and proper training on the use of nail guns is recommended. Some of the most common causes of nail gun accidents are:
- Double fire. Contact nail triggers are prone to double firing, especially with employees new to handling these types of nail guns. The second nail that is accidentally released can cause injury.
- Hitting the safety contact. In both contact and single action triggers, if the user holds down the trigger and the safety contact is bumped, the gun can fire one or several nails. This is extremely dangerous, as the nail gun may not be pointed at a surface when it happens.
- Blowout. A nail “blow-out” happens when the nail hits a knot in the wood and flies off in another direction, often airborne.
- Misses. Sometimes the nail can miss the work piece all together and become airborne, landing in the next convenient object.
There are many issues that need to be considered in a nail gun injury when deciding liability. If you have been injured on the job by a nail gun, you need an attorney that understands the construction industry and all the laws pertaining to work injuries and defective products. Our team of experienced construction injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can advise you on your best route to receiving the most compensation for your injuries. We would be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your legal options under workers compensation, negligence law or product liability.
Information and statistics on nail gun accidents: