Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Joint NIOSH/OSHA Publication on Nail Gun Safety

Nail gunImage via Wikipedia
The National Institue of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have a new publication called "Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors."  This publication was created as a resource to prevent injuries in the construction industry, including residential construction.  While nail guns may boost productivity, nail guns are responsible for tens of thousands of painful injuries each year.  One study found that 2 out of 5 residential carpenter apprentices experienced a nail gun injury over a four-year period.  When these injuries occur they are often not reported or given any medical treatment.  The risk of injury is twice as high when using a multi-shot contact trigger versus using a single-shot sequential trigger nailer.  Many years ago, Linda Archipolo of Massapequa made the news on Long Island, when she was working in a Burger King at the Sunrise Mall.  A three-inch nail, shot with a nail gun, accidentally went through two walls and landed in Ms. Archipolo's skull.  Luckily, she survived.  This new publication is intended for residential home builders and construction contractors, subcontractors, supervisors and workers to prevent these kinds of injuries.

The guidance was developed in response to a unanimous recommendation by employer, labor and public members of OSHA’s Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH), asking OSHA to develop awareness and materials about nail gun risks.  OSHA and NIOSH worked together to make sure the guidance reflects the most current information available. The publication highlights what is known about nail gun injuries, describes the common causes of nail gun injuries and provides six practical steps that contractors can take to prevent these injuries. The guidance includes actual workplace cases along with a short section on other types of nail gun hazards and sources of additional information.
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