The April 13 issue of the Sacramento Bee had a great article on the rapid rise of nail gun injuries. Nail gun injuries have been on the rise for two primary reasons. First, the industry refuses to adhere to a safe design. There are two types of nail guns: contact and sequential. Contact nail guns fire when the trigger is pressed and the muzzle comes in contact with the target. The safer type is the sequential nail gun. To fire, these guns require that the nose muzzle be in contact with the target before the trigger is pressed. This safety feature makes it far less likely that a user will experience accidental discharge. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 65 to 69% of the injuries with contact guns would have been prevented if the gun being used was a sequential gun. Unfortunately, there is a belief in the industry that sequential guns are slower than contact guns. As a result, manufacturers continue to make contact guns despite the clear safety concerns.
Additionally, consumer nail gun injuries are rising due to the increase in weekend warriors. Nail guns used to be a specialty tool used by experienced carpenters, but now any consumer can go to their local hardware store and choose from any number of nail guns. These users, having no experience or training, are often a hazard to themselves and to those around them.
For more information on nail gun safety, check out:
- Safety Issues Magazine: Use Nail Guns Safely
- Nation’s Building News safety checklist
- The Texas Dept of Insurance Nail Gun Fact Sheet
- The Centers for Disease Control Nail Gun Statistics
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