Nail Gun Accidents
Nail gun accidents can occur at home or on the job. Nail gun operators or bystanders may be injured or killed when a nail gun malfunctions or is used improperly. Nail guns are a common tool, and may seem relatively safe compared to tools such as power saws, but in reality they can be very powerful and shoot a sharp projectile 38 special ammo (the nail) at great velocities.
Nail guns do more than reduce the time and effort required to use a hammer to pound nails into wood. They are also used to fire nails into concrete and steel, something that cannot be done with a simple hand tool. Most nail guns use compressed air to project the nail, but some use explosive cartridges, just like firing a bullet from a firearm.
Nail gun injuries
The majority of injuries caused by nail guns are to hand. Nail gun operators miss their intended target and hit the hand that is holding it instead. Nail guns injuries to the hand are typically minor, but can become serious. Copper wire, sometimes used to hold nails together for loading, can be injected into the hand along with the nail, causing serious infection and further injuries. Injuries caused by nail guns include:
- Head and brain injury
- Eye injury
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Nails imbedded in bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Serious infection
Improper warning and improper use
Nail gun operators who are not aware of the dangers and proper safety procedures of using a nail gun can cause serious injuries or death to themselves or bystanders. Nail gun manufacturers have a responsibility to include proper warnings and instruction for use with their nail guns. Employers have a responsibility to properly train workers to use the tools.
Some nail guns are so powerful that they can actually shoot a nail through a wall and strike an unaware bystander in another room, several feet away from the wall, causing injury and even death. Nails that hit the wrong material, such as a nail that is fired into wood but hits another nail instead, can ricochet and fire into the nail gun users or a bystander.