Handouts, Planning Tools & Training Programs

Nail Gun Safety

Just a few minutes can prevent an injury

Nail guns are an essential tool on many job sites, but each year serious injuries happen. Most nail gun injuries are puncture wounds to hands and fingers, however, more serious injuries have been fatal. It’s not just the nail gun users who are at risk. Workers and people nearby have also been injured by nails being misfired.

Research shows that it only takes a few minutes to prevent these injuries by using a safer sequential trigger option. The OSHA-NIOSH: Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors includes recommendations for the safe use of nail guns.

Fast Facts and Statistics
  • Workers using contact trip or “bump nailers” have double the rate of serious injury compared to workers using sequential trigger guns. (What’s the difference between contact trip and sequential triggers? See the Understanding the Risk for more information.)
  • Accidental firings are most common following recoil of tools with contact trip triggers.
  • Serious, even fatal, injuries are happening to workers, even when using nail guns as designed.
  • Researchers found that 44% of apprentice carpenters in one program were injured by nail guns before they finished their training.
  • Another study found 12% of nail gun injuries happen to workers not even using a nail gun.
  • Researchers found no evidence showing the SAT (sequential trigger) increased the risk of developing trigger finger or any other work-related musculoskeletal disorder. (Revisiting Pneumatic Nail Gun Trigger Recommendations)
  • A study measuring productivity found that most variability in speed when using different types of nailers had to do with the nail gun’s user rather than the type of trigger used. Learn about the potential return on investment from using the safer sequential trigger at www.safecalc.org (load the Nail Gun – Annual example).
  • The person selling you a nail gun may know little about their dangers according to a study by Duke University researchers — see Duke Medicine press release.

Nail Gun Safety

Understanding the Risk
– How nail guns work
– How they injure
– How to prevent injury

– Training materials
– Research & related materials

Frequently Asked Questions