The advent of the modern nail gun has revolutionized the construction industry. No longer are construction workers required to manually hammer nails into structures. Instead, they can use a nail gun. Nail guns are powered handheld tools that automatically drive nails into structures. If you work in the construction industry, though, there are a few things you should know when using a nail gun.
Nail Guns Can Cause Injury
When improperly used, nail guns can cause injury. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) claims that over 37,000 people are treated for nail gun-related injuries in hospital emergency rooms each year. Of those 37,000 people, over two-thirds consist of workers.
Construction workers typically have the highest risk of injury simply because they use nail guns more frequently than workers in other industries. You can still use a nail gun when performing construction work, but you should take safety precautions to minimize your risk of injury.
Choose a Sequential-Trigger Nail Gun
Some types of nail guns are less likely to cause injury than others. Most nail guns use one of two types of firing mechanisms: sequential trigger or bump trigger. Sequential-trigger nails are generally safer than their bump-trigger counterparts. Bump-trigger nail guns fire on contact. If you accidentally press a bump-trigger nail gun against your body, it will fire. Sequential-trigger nail guns, on the other hand, require you to pull the trigger, making them safer to use.
Wear Eye Protection
Don't underestimate the importance of eye protection when using a nail gun. Because they are powered, nail guns can create projectiles consisting of wooden splinters. Without eye protection, these projectiles can shoot into your eyes where they cause eye injury. Fortunately, there are goggles and safety glasses available that can protect your eyes from projectiles.
Along with goggles or safety glasses, you should wear gloves when using a nail gun. Most nail gun-related injuries involve the hands. If your hand is in the wrong place at the wrong time, a nail may strike it. Wearing gloves can minimize the risk of hand injuries by offering an additional layer of protection.
Make Full Contact Before Firing
Always make full contact with the structure before firing a nail gun. According to OSHA, injury can occur if the tip of a nail gun doesn't make full contact with the structure. If the tip of the nail gun isn't flush with the structure's surface, the nail may shoot into the air upon firing.