Nail Gun Accidents
New Jersey Nail Gun Accident Lawyers
The introduction of the nail gun transformed the housing construction industry. Reducing the time it takes to shingle a roof or build a frame to a fraction of what it was with a manual hammer, the nail gun quickly became one of the most useful tools on the site. Along with the benefits, however, came serious injuries and even fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nail gun accidents result in 37,000 emergency room visits every year making them the second-most dangerous piece of construction equipment. Second only to ladders, nail guns are a serious safety risk in an industry that is already plagued by workplace injuries and wrongful death.
Approximately 68 percent of nail gun accident victims are construction workers. Puncture wounds to the hands and fingers are the most common result of nail gun accidents, but nail guns can also cause more serious injuries and even death. Nail guns with a bump or automatic trigger—known as a “contact trip trigger”—can release extra nails unexpectedly. OSHA research has shown that multi-shot contact trigger nail guns cause more than twice as many injuries as single-shot sequential trigger nail guns. Workers can also suffer nail gun-related injuries if they are working too fast, have not been trained well enough, or are keeping the trigger squeezed when not nailing.
The most common ways nail gun accidents happen are:
• Unintended nail discharge from double fire.
• Unintended nail discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed.
• Nail penetration through lumber. .
• Nail ricochet from striking a hard surface or metal feature.
• Missing work piece.
• Awkward position nailing.
• Bypassing safety mechanisms.
According to OSHA, there are certain steps employers and workers can take to make nail guns safer to use:
• Provide proper training
• Use full sequential trigger nail guns
• Provide personal protective equipment
Contractors and supervisors should develop a comprehensive set of rules and procedures to make nail gun work as safe as possible. Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries and close calls. Many nail gun injuries go unreported. It is important for employers to put policies and practices in place that encourage reporting of injuries. This helps ensure that injured workers receive medical attention and helps contractors address safety risks that could lead to additional injuries if unaddressed.
It is vital that nail guns always be used only as designed and that all operators are properly trained in how to use them. If you are injured by a nail gun on a construction site, you may need to file for worker’s compensation. Contact an attorney at the law office of O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble for a free no obligation consultation. You can simply contact us online or call 1-908-928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817.