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NAIL GUN SAFETY

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  • #103635
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Nail gun safety is a very big concern these days as more and more people are shooting them selves.
    I found this one and thought we should ponder it over
    “”Late last year I posted a story about Eugene Rakow, a carpenter who accidentally shot himself in the heart with a nail gun while building a deck. Fortunately for Rakow and his family, he survived. Several weeks after the story was published I received a letter from Hester Lipscomb, a professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center pointing out how common—and preventable—nail gun injuries are. Her bottom line: Carpenters should use sequential trip triggers.

    We published Lipscomb’s letter and it drew a number of comments pro and con on sequential trip triggers. You can see a few of them below; the rest can be found here. The first comment is from Mike Guertin, a carpenter/contractor in Connecticut who is a longtime contributor to JLC and Tools of the Trade. There is also a letter from Jim Nolan, a 52 year member of the St. Louis Carpenters District Council who in 1999 began working with Lipscomb on a long-term survey of tradesmen who had been injured on the job. Nolan’s letter is posted at the bottom of this page and offers the kind of frank observations that are possible when one is old enough not to care what other people think.

    Mike Guertin
    I became concerned about contact trip triggered nailers over 20 years ago after a series of framing nailer accidents guys on my framing crews had. All the injuries and close-calls could be attributed to user error BUT most would not have occurred if the nailers had sequential trip triggers. I swapped out the contact trip triggers for sequential triggers on nailers one day. It took a few weeks for us to develop a framing rhythm with the sequential triggers but once we got the knack we didn’t really notice any reduction in the pace of framing.

    I believe that all major framing nailer makers ship their tools with gray (sequential) or switchable triggers. Most of the knock-off models that I’ve seen have black (contact trip) triggers. It’s easy to swap out contact trip triggers with sequential triggers on any model. When I’ve contacted major manufacturers about sequential triggers for older tools that came with contact trip triggers, they’ve shipped me free sequential triggers.

    Jeff B
    I have been a carpenter for 35 years and have seen this type of accident a few too many times. Guys get careless after using tools for extended periods of time. I personally don’t like sequential triggers because just when you have everything lined up and ready to shoot…..nothing. Gotta start all over. Frustrating!!! However, it has been part of progress to relearn how to use tools as they are improved. I myself have never been seriously injured by a tool because my dad taught me to respect tools properly. A nail gun should be treated the same as a real gun-with respect. The same goes for any other power tool.

    I don’t believe that you should be able to sue a tool company for your own negligence. At the same time I think that tool companies should continue to look for ways to make their tools safer.

    Terry Pullen
    Based on the position of the nail gun in relation to the guy’s face and chest it doesn’t look like he was thinking about safety when he pulled that trigger. So he probably wasn’t thinking about kickback or contact trip fire and that is entirely his fault. Thankfully he was not more seriously injured.

    To Tools of the Trade: January 10, 2014
    My name is Jim Nolan. I am a 52 year member of St. Louis Carpenters District Council. Denny Patterson, Local 1310 St. Louis, and I, Local 97 were asked to do these surveys for Hester Lipscomb.

    On March 19, 1999, feast of St. Joseph, the patron of workers was the start of the survey on the safety of workers in general. Joseph was a carpenter, probably never used a nail gun. I can only imagine when he was training Jesus to be a carpenter, if there were nail guns, he might have said, “Jesus, be careful of those nail guns, that nail comes out of the end of that before God even knows”.

    There are two new booklets, both free, and they are:
    Nail Gun Safety, A Guide for Construction Contractors; NIOSH website at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh. In the executive summary there are six practical steps and the first one is Use full sequential trigger nail guns.
    Straight Talk About Nail Gun Safety; NIOSH publication number 2013-149 comic book form that is very good

    Better to read and not need, than to need and not read. None of the guys read anything although there are six warnings on the gun.

    In year 2008 I asked 124 apprentices how many had read the six warnings on the nail gun. Only one said he read them.
    In year 2011 I asked 685 apprentices how many had read the six warnings on the nail gun. Only five said they had read them.

    Started talking to carpenters in August of 1999. Twenty four contractors (18 residential & 6 drywall) agreed to send to the union hall the names and telephone numbers of carpenters that were injured, OSHA recordable. Denny & I would call them, talk about a half hour about their injury, how it happened, and quite a list of things. I spoke to 365 and Denny about the same. Fifty two were nail gun injuries that I talked to which was 14% of all injuries.

    On May 24, 2000 I wanted to know more about nail guns. I called Paslode Company in Vernon Hills, Illinois and they referred me to Product Services and speak to Harvey or Alex. Harvey said they would send me brochures and tapes when they got their new ones made up. He also said that on each box of nail guns it tells you that you can have a sequential trigger free of charge. He also said that there would possibly be 85% fewer injuries with the use of sequential trip trigger. What I said was that if you know this why do you make the contact gun. He said, “That’s what the people want” I said, “who are the people, the ones who are getting shot, our carpenters, or the ones who are buying the guns and putting them out on the subfloor?”

    Denny and I have talked to hundreds of carpenter apprentices who were shot with the gun and agreed to talk to us a half hour each approximately.

    Folks, we have had over 5000 apprentice carpenters in St. Louis District Council shot since Denny and I have been doing this survey. I believe we can save 85% of the injuries using the sequential trigger opposed to contact. I also think there should be many more journeymen on jobs to help show young apprentices tricks of the trade every day. Being honest I never saw a blog until the other day. I like what these carpenters are saying. You may as well say what you think because once they drop you down six feet, unless you have a good smart phone that’s all she wrote.
    Jim Nolan
    All this dribble comes from here,,
    http://www.toolsofthetrade.net/jobsite-safety/an-ongoing-debate-on-nail-gun-safety_o.aspx
    Man I’ve shot myself a lot in m life and have always blamed myself for being stupid at the time

    Do you guys use all that safety stuff on the gun?

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #103648
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    I haven’t used them enough to even thing about it. This is surly food for thought. I wonder, if it is such a big deal to have sequential triggers, why don’t we? Seems like a simple enough fix.

    #103652
    Calidecks64
    Pro
    Anaheim Hills, Cali

    I’ve shot myself a few times as well, and of course it’s my fault. I’ve been using nail guns consistently since they became popular in the 80’s and 90’s I’ve shot a 16 through one Side of my arm and out the other. Pulled it out and kept going. Felt like an gnarly bruise for a few days.

    #103661
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    I have nailed 1 finger to a piece of wood and I have nailed 2 fingers to a piece of wood . That was with 15 and 16 gauge guns . Even with all the safety features they can still bite you .I know guys who tie the triggers back that is crazy .They are dangerous enough without messing with them .

    #103668
    Rob
    Pro
    Birmingham, Alabama

    We have sequential triggers on all our guns.
    I hate them… but I use them everyday.
    We have had no accidents.

    #103675
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    A lot of my guns still have the bump trigger on them – I have 2 newer framers and one roofer that have the sequential trigger. Luckily I have only shot myself – in the side of my foot. The nose on one of my framers was stuck and I didn’t know it – it was sitting by my foot, reached down to grab it, my finger brushed the trigger and bam! It hurt but didnt bleed too bad.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #103676
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I have had a few fingers hit, nothing serious. there was another Carpenter in town that took one to the kidney a couple of years ago. His partner was coming down a ladder with his finger on the trigger and he was below. He stood up ans his partner was about to the bottom of the ladder and as they met he pressed the safety in with his back and took a 3″ nail to the kidney. they rushed him to the hospital and a few weeks later he was OK.

    #103688
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    all of my guns are sequential fire but two of them can bounce fire, my ridgid framing gun and hitachi 16 gauge..

    all of the hitachi framing and siding guns at work can bounce fire.

    ive had a few close calls where fish hooked nails just barely pierce the skin.. last year we had a new guy shoot a spike right through his thumb.. its all about paying attention to what your doing really.

    one thing that really irks me is trim guys that pin the saftey back on pinners that can bounce fire. i know a couple guys that do it to paslode 18 gauge guns

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #103694
    svensshutters
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    If people are tying back safeties and get hurt because they are rushing though, it’s no one else’s fault but theirs.

    #103752
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    One of my carpenters working on his own project stuck a 23 ga pin an inch into his leg that he had to have surgically cut out. Glad it was not on my time.

    #103759

    Great topic. You have to respect these tools like any other tool. Paying attention is always foremost. How many injuries come from dropping a nailer?

    #103767
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    I still remember my first time using a framing nailer with the bump fire, I couldn’t get it to consistently fire one nail and it got away from me a few times and really freaked me out once I had a nail zing across the room from a multiple fire on the bump mode. I never use the bump mode now still, although I’m not framing enough that I need to be the quickest guy in town at it, maybe if I was I would get better with it but I’ll probably never find out.

    #103780
    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    I’ve had that bump fire rapid fire get away on me as well. Scared the heck out of me. On big nailers, I pay way more attention and I think it’s easier to keep fingers out of the way. With my little guns, the 18g and 23g I find I have to constantly remind myself to get my fingers out of the way.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #103813
    Calidecks64
    Pro
    Anaheim Hills, Cali

    I do cut the springs off so they fire with less pressure. You really can’t get out of this business without shooting yourself at least once, unless your really lucky. I’ve cut myself twice with my skilsaw and once with my tablesaw. None of them needed medical attention accept for some of my bandaging.

    #103814
    Calidecks64
    Pro
    Anaheim Hills, Cali

    I do need to emphasize that’s in a 30 year career span.

    #103818
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Great topic. You have to respect these tools like any other tool. Paying attention is always foremost. How many injuries come from dropping a nailer?

    I have dropped a nail gun a lot and it has never discharged a nail.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #103822
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Here is a shot of my partner at the time and he was always safe with the framing gun!

    Attachments:

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #103842
    Calidecks64
    Pro
    Anaheim Hills, Cali

    I can’t say I’ve ever seem a nailgun discharge on its own.

    #103876
    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    Great topic. You have to respect these tools like any other tool. Paying attention is always foremost. How many injuries come from dropping a nailer?

    I saw a guy get hit in the shoulder by a roofing gun that slid off a roof. I have never seen a nail gun fire from being dropped – I am sure that in the perfect scenario it could happen but I don’t think it is very likely.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #103905

    I know the injury happened – a guy took one in the testicle. This was a number of years ago but supposedly his partner dropped a gun and it discharged.

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