Nail guns are powerful tools that are easy to use and make the work of constructing something go much faster. In the past decade, these pneumatic devices have become very popular amongst professionals and homeowners.
According to reports made by NIOSH and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission about 37,000 individuals receive unintentional nail gun injuries that are severe enough they have to seek emergency treatment each year.
Accidents happen whether you are using a cordless framing nailer, a 16 gauge finish nailer, an 18 gauge brad nailer, or any other version of nail guns. The only way to reduce your chances of being one of the injured individuals this year is to follow the safety guidelines for these tools.
Safety should be your number one priority when you are using any tool. Safety is just as important when you are working at home as it is when you are working at a commercial construction job. Your life and your livelihood depend on you using your tools safely, every time you use them.
5 Nail Gun Safety Tips
Read the Manuals Carefully
Nail guns are easy to use items and just about anyone can use them. It is still important to take the time and read the manufacturer manuals that come with your tool. Inside those manuals are safety precautions that need to be taken when you are using these devices.
Inside the manuals, you will find guidelines that will protect you, and guidelines that will enable your gun to work better, and longer.
A large number of accidents that occur with nail guns happen because someone tries to use the wrong nails, or use the tool in the wrong way.
NEVER Disable the Safety Features
If you want to be able to fire a large number of nails in rapid succession then buy a device that has a sequential trigger mechanism. Do not disable the safety features or tie the trigger so that your nail gun can fire rapidly.
Treat the Gun as if it is loaded at all times
You should always assume that the nail gun is loaded and ready to fire at all times. The majority of people who get shot by nail guns say that they thought the gun was not loaded. When they thought the gun was not loaded they lowered their guard and were less careful with how they handled the equipment. The result may not just be an injury. The result of this kind of safety negligence can be the loss of a life.
NEVER leave the nail gun Unattended
If you have to walk away from the nail gun then make sure the power supply to the gun is shut off. There are numerous children severely injured by nail guns that they found lying around. Children often want to examine the tools you are using and they do not understand the risks they are taking. If the nail gun is disconnected from the power then a child will not accidentally injure themselves with it.
Adults can also accidentally trip on the gun, or knock the gun over, and be injured. When you put the nail gun down then you take the time to disconnect it from the power source.
Other Nail Gun Safety Rules Include
- Wear safety goggles and heavy-duty gloves when you are trying to unjam a nail gun
- Never point a nail gun at any living thing. Do not point a nail gun at a person or animal even if the nail gun is disconnected from the power source
- Do not let co-workers or anyone else stand behind the object you are shooting a nail into
- Do not carry the nail gun with your finger on the trigger
- Keep your hands and fingers away from the line of fire when using a nail gun. If you are holding a board in place with one hand and nailing with the other make sure the hand holding the gun is not behind where the nail will enter
- Disconnect the tool from the power source before you clean it or do any type of maintenance. Also, be sure the tool is disconnected from the power source before you try to unjam it.
- Use the recommended nails and nail sizes you find in the owner’s manual. Do not try to use nails that are too big or too small according to the manufacturer’s specifications
- Never lay the tool on top of a ladder. Hang the tool by the hook if you have to set it down. If the nail gun were to fall from the top of the ladder it could spontaneously fire and cause a life-threatening accident
Your life and safety are far more important than the few minutes you might save by overlooking safety protocol when using nail guns.