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California worker safety and nail gun hazards

Although nail guns are both easy to use and help increase job productivity, they pose special hazards to workers due to the velocity of the nail's discharge from the gun. Workers should thus be aware of the risks involved with nail guns and to take steps in order to minimize their risks of injury.

Workers in the construction industry have the highest risk of nail gun injuries. According to a 2006 study, two out of every five apprentice carpenters reported that they were injured by a nail gun at least once during their four year training period. One out of five reported at least two injuries, while one out of 10 reported incurring three or more injuries from nail guns. Annually, 37,000 people go to the emergency room for nail gun injury treatment.

Many nail gun injuries result from accidental discharges of the nail gun, either through unintended double firing or through accidentally hitting the safety mechanism with the trigger. In other cases, workers may be injured when a nail pierces him or her through a board or when the nail backfires from striking a knot in the board. The most common types of injuries involve injuries to the hands and fingers, closely followed by injuries to the legs, thighs, feet and toes. Less commonly, workers may suffer severe injuries to their heads, necks, spinal cords and internal organs.

The construction industry can be hazardous to those who make it their occupation. Those who are injured in construction site accidents should file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation coverage is mandated in order to provide benefits to workers who have been injured on the job. In order to obtain guidance during the process, many who are injured find it helpful to seek the assistance of a workers' compensation attorney.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Nail Gun Safety", accessed on March 1, 2015

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