Every day, thousands of construction workers head off to their jobs, building our residential and commercial structures on relatively dangerous job sites. Although roof and wall collapse injuries are certainly common, a hidden danger may lurk on those sites: nail guns. Construction accidents caused by nail guns are recognized as one of the most common in the industry, with a whopping 40 percent of workers saying that they experienced a nail gun injury within the past four years.
These injuries often go without treatment because workers believe they are too minor to address. However, a construction worker can suffer serious injury because of even a modest nail gun incident, causing him or her to lose the ability to work — and therefore, the ability to make money. Construction workers do not deserve to have their livelihood stolen because of irresponsible nail gun policies or training by their supervisors.
Luckily, industry experts are taking action in an effort to limit the number of nail gun injuries and near misses on construction job sites. Contractors, superintendents and foremen are being encouraged to improve the quality and quantity of their nail gun training so that workers are prepared when they head out into the field. Further, establishing a clear set of nail gun procedures has been deemed a vital step in improving the safety and welfare of our nation’s construction workers. Other steps include using special types of safer nail guns, providing better personal protective equipment and encouraging the quick reporting of injuries related to nail guns. As a last resort, construction industry leaders are urged to improve the quality of first aid treatment related to nail gun injuries.
Unlike a scaffolding fall or forklift accident, a nail gun incident may only cause a minor injury. However, given the right conditions, even the most modest nail gun incident can lead to infection and other issues that could ultimately cause a worker to lose the use of his or her hands. Construction workers should know that they have legal rights that protect them from unsafe work conditions and provide them with remuneration if they are injured on the job.