Perhaps no invention has spared carpenters as much time and exertion as the nail gun. Driving a nail with a hammer is hard, repetitive work and it can take a number of hard blows before the nail is in place. But with a nail gun, a carpenter needs only to pull a trigger, and the nail is driven home in an instant.
It is also quite possible that nail guns are, on the whole, far safer to use than the traditional hammer. After all, it is all too easy to strike your own fingers or even your head when swinging a hammer.
However, using a nail gun is not without its hazards. In fact, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, nail gun injuries result in around 37,000 emergency room visits annually and are one of the most common injuries suffered by residential carpenters. Most nail gun injuries are puncture wounds to the fingers and hands, but more serious or even fatal injuries are possible.
There are many risks inherent to nail gun use. For example, it is possible for nail guns with automatic triggers to accidentally discharge nails. Also, operators are at a greater risk when working too fast or lack the proper training.
There are many things employers can do to promote nail gun safety, which include establishing safe work procedures and providing training. But most importantly, any worker who suffers a nail gun injury, however minor in appearance, should be provided with medical care immediately.
If you were injured by a nail gun while on the job, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and time lost from work. To better ensure you get a proper level of compensation, you may wish to have an attorney go over the details of your claim.