Many construction workers work with nail guns regularly. They serve as effective tools to quickly frame a structure or perform other carpentry tasks. For many Connecticut workers and employers, the use of nail guns is routine, but it should be noted that nail guns can lead to serious construction worker injuries and even death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 68% of the 37,000 emergency room visits stemming from nail gun use every year are attributable to construction workers’ use of the tool. There are a number of ways these accidents may occur.

A nail gun may double fire, particularly if the operator is working in an awkward position. The unintended nail, which is often released quickly, can injure a worker. In general, nailing in awkward positions, such as nailing above shoulder height or in tight quarters, increases the risk of injury. If the tip of the nail gun fires without making full contact with the intended target, the discharged nail may become airborne and cause injury.

A blow-out nail placed near a knot in the wood may pass through a piece of lumber and become airborne or hit a worker’s hand. Nails that hit a hard surface, such as metal, may ricochet and lead to a serious construction worker accident.

There are a multitude of ways that a worker can suffer injuries by using a seemingly simple tool. If you or a loved one has been injured by a nail gun in your line of work, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Discussing your rights with an attorney may prove beneficial.

Source: OSHA, “Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors,” accessed Sept. 6, 2015