Nail Gun Accidents

Tennessee Construction Injury Law: Nail Gun Accidents

nail gun accidents concept - nail gun air nailer tool and helmet for construction on a wood background.

For those working on construction sites, seeing or even using a nail gun while on the job is not uncommon. Tools like this are incredibly conducive to productivity by enabling workers to lay nails much quicker than it would normally take to do so manually. Nail guns are high-powered, yet easy to operate and are used to assist in all different kinds of construction, from residential remodeling to commercial development. Nonetheless, the construction injury attorneys at InjuryTN understand the inherent danger these tools pose, making up nearly 40,000 emergency room visits annually, and, in some of these cases, even resulting in fatality.

Nail Gun Accidents Analysis

Studies conducted on residential carpenters’ apprentices and the injuries they sustained have shown that 40% were injured by a nail gun throughout the course of the study. 20% of the workers who were injured had sustained these injuries twice, and 10% were hurt more than2 times by nail guns. This study suggests that the most prevalent bodily injuries caused by nail guns included harm to worker’s hands, fingers, legs, thighs, knees, feet, and toes. However, less common were reports of injuries to the neck, head, wrist, and forearms. The most serious of these injuries included nail gun injuries sustained to the eyes, neck, head, internal organs, bones, and spinal cord. Moreover, some of the more serious accidents ended in bone breaks or fractures, paralysis, blindness, brain damage, and, in some cases, even fatality.

In the U.S. alone, nail gun accidents made up almost 5% of all workers’ compensation claims, and approximately 25% involved loss of wages. Those who have treated injured nail gun accident patients commonly observe that such injuries are not unlike injuries that could be sustained from a shotgun wound. As reported by the CDC, nail guns have the capability to fire 3-in. nails at speeds exceeding 100mph, meaning these projectiles are launched faster than 150 feet per second. These high speeds, coupled with the nail’s commonly unfortunately located point of entry, can make nail guns incredibly dangerous – and even lethal.

Liability in construction accidents can be imposed upon the general contractor, the property owner, subcontractors, and even the manufacturer of the nail gun itself, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. Our experienced team of legal professionals is ready to answer any questions you may have about the numerous options you have in pursuing restitution for your injuries.

Consult with a Construction Accident Specialist

In the event that you have been involved in a construction site accident with a nail gun, you should seek legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected and that you are fairly compensated.

Types of Nail Guns

Both power-actuated and pneumatic nail guns are widely used across construction sites throughout the U.S. Pneumatic guns, also known as “air guns,” employ the use of air pressure to generate a force powerful enough to drive a nail into a solid surface like wood, metal, or concrete. Explosive nail guns are commonly referred to as “gas nail guns” due to their use of combustible fuel, like petroleum or butane, which is stored in a battery pack. These nailers are usually cordless and serve the same purpose as their counterpart.

Nail guns used in construction can have numerous different types of triggers, and anyone who will be around or using a nail gun needs to be adequately trained on how to handle the particular type of nail gun they will be using while on the job. While some nail guns will bear switches which provide their operator with the choice of one of multiple trigger options, including Contact Triggers, Full Sequential Triggers, Single Actuation Triggers, and Single Sequential Triggers.

The full sequential trigger is widely regarded as the safest type of trigger one can use on a nail gun, as it only fires nails when its specific controls are activated in a certain order. While other trigger types may be operated safely, it is always necessary for contractors to thoroughly review the nail gun’s user manual as well as any labels which can be found on the tool for more detailed instruction.

Major Risk Factors in Nail Gun Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently put out a publication providing contractors and subcontractors with an outline of best practices for nail gun safety, which establishes seven major risk factors that may lead to a nail gun injury, including:

  1. Accidental nail discharge from double fire
    • frequently occurs when using contact triggers
  2. Unintended discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed
    • frequently occurs when using contact and single actuation triggers
  3. Penetration of a nail through lumber work piece
    • can occur with any type of trigger
  4. Nail ricochet after striking a hard surface or metal feature
    • can occur with any type of trigger
  5. Missing the work piece
    • can occur with any type of trigger
  6. Awkward position nailing
    • frequently occurs in contact and single actuation triggers
  7. Failing to properly use standard safety mechanisms.
    • can occur on any trigger type

Preventing Nail Gun Accidents

There are two primary aspects of nail gun injury prevention which companies should focus on when recruiting workers for a job: provide workers with full sequential triggers on nail guns and ensure those who will be using the tool are adequately trained in its safe use. Even those with experience using these tools should be provided with hands-on guidance on how to use the specific nail guns which will be used on-site.

All employers should additionally ensure that user manuals are kept close and made available to anyone who needs it. They should also make sure that all tools and equipment have been thoroughly examined to ensure working condition prior to each use. When a job requires workers to use a nail gun in an awkward position or from great heights, employers need to allot excess time for the completion of the project.

Lastly, workers should always be provided with personal protection equipment (PPE) suitable for the job they are working, including items like eye protection, hearing protection, and hard hats.

Experienced Construction Accident Injury Attorneys

Construction workers who have sustained an injury from a nail gun while working on a job site should seek immediate legal counsel to find out more about how to protect their rights. Contact the accomplished Middle Tennessee personal injury attorneys at InjuryTN today to start building your case and acquire the compensation you deserve. Call our office or fill out an online form to schedule your first free case evaluation with a knowledgeable and compassionate personal injury lawyer. All injury cases are taken on a contingency basis, meaning no fees or costs will be incurred until we win your case!

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