As a contractor, it’s imperative to make sure you are properly using your workshop tools. Power tool misuse is one of the leading causes for injury and accidents. One of the most commonly used power tools used in the contracting business is also the most dangerous – the nail gun. The nail gun has been both a gift and a curse in the contracting world.
Nail Gun Safety
It saves time but can also be mishandled. That is why nail gun safety has become a necessary component of regular business operation. Both the Occupational Safety and Health Act and ACT General Duty Clause require that contracting owners provide a safe environment for their employees.
In addition to being powerful and efficient, nail guns are also responsible for over 37,000 emergency room visits annually. Some have even lead to death. Two thirds of all accidents occur in framing and sheathing work with the remainder spread across various industries such as roofing and siding. A study on apprentice carpenters showed that 2 out of 5 were injured using a nail gun during their first 4 years of training. Of these 1 out of 5 got reinjured again and 1 out of 10 were hurt 3 times or more. Fifty percent of all injuries affect fingers and hands which involve structural damage to tendons, joints, nerves, and bones.
Follow these Guidelines
These guidelines can be utilized by residential home builders, construction contractors, subcontractors, and supervisors. They aim to minimize incidents of injury and misuse and are as follows:
1) Use full sequential trigger nail guns
2) Provide training
3) Establish nail gun work procedures
4) Provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
5) Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries and close calls
6) Provide first aid and medical treatment
By following these recommendations and mandatory safety and health standards, you can prevent accidents and mishaps from occurring within your organization. Check back Friday for a more in depth look into these safety precautions and the implications they have on insurance rates.