Nail Gun Safety

Nail guns are powerful and pose safety risks For construction safety standards, nail guns are classified as pneumatic power tools

NOTE:  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nail gun injuries are responsible for an estimated 37,000 emergency room visits each year.

Seven major risk factors that can lead to nail gun injury

  • Unintended nail discharge from double fire.
  • Unintended nail discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed.
  • Nail penetration through lumber work piece.
  • Nail ricochet after striking a hard surface or metal feature.
  • Missing the work piece.
  • Awkward position nailing.
  • Bypassing safety mechanisms.

Practical Steps You Can Take to Prevent Injury

  • All pneumatic driven nail guns, provided with automatic fastener feed, must have a safety device on the muzzle to prevent the tool from ejecting fasteners, unless the muzzle is in contact with the work surface.
  • Provide training
  • Disconnect from power source when un-jamming the gun
  • Always wear proper PPE
  • Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries and close calls
  • Require others in the range of the gun to wear safety glasses

Presenter Tips

  • Pre-read the Tool Box Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Tool Box Talk relevant to your jobsite.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion. Funding and support for this project has been provided by the State of Washington, Department of Labor & Industries.

Questions for discussion:

  • What do you think about using sequential triggers?
  • What is the danger of not disconnecting the tool before working on it?