OSHA issues new guidance document to help prevent nail gun injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently teamed up with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to develop a new guide titled "Nail Gun Safety – A Guide for Construction Contractors," which aims to help employers and workers on construction sites prevent work-related nail gun injuries.

"Nail gun injuries are responsible for approximately 37,000 emergency room visits annually. In some cases, workers have died from their injuries," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "This document will help construction employers make necessary changes to improve nail gun safety and protect their workers from preventable injuries and death."

Although it is a relatively easy tool to operate that is known to increase productivity on construction sites, there has been no shortage of internal and external bodily injury reports related to nail guns. Most are the result of unintended firing of the nail gun, nails that bounce off, rather than penetrate, a surface, and the disabling of the gun's safety features.

In the guidelines, safety products are highlighted, including safety shoes, hard hats, hearing protection, and high impact eye protection such as safety glasses or goggles.

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