Three Nail Gun Safety Precautions Worth Taking

Nail guns are wonderful tools. They can also be extremely dangerous when used improperly. I have seen firsthand what can happen when someone doesn’t take the right safety precautions with a nail gun. Years ago I was working in a position that required me to travel often to different job sites. One day I was working at a location that had just hired a new maintenance man. He was working outside of the building with a nail gun. It was his first time using one and he was working alone. While I was there, he ended up shooting himself multiple times in the foot with the nail gun. The nails went right through his foot and into the concrete below. He couldn’t move and had to scream for help. I was the first person to respond to his screaming and call for medical assistance. Thankfully, he was treated successfully for his wounds and subsequently recovered. It turned out that his accident could have been avoided if he had just followed basic safety procedures. Here’s a quick look at some of the safety precautions he should have taken:

Transport the Nail Gun Properly

It is imperative that when someone transports a nail gun from one area to another that he or she takes certain safety precautions. The maintenance man in my story didn’t do that. For starters, he should have made sure that the nail gun was disconnected from its power source. Second, he shouldn’t have held the nail gun close to or against his body. And third, he should have made sure that the nail gun’s safety was on and that his fingers were nowhere near the nail gun’s trigger mechanism. He failed to do all three.

Before Using the Nail Gun Read the Manual

Another way to avoid nail gun injuries is to thoroughly read the manual that came with the nail gun. If the nail gun did not come with a manual, I’d suggest that its owner seek to obtain one through the nail gun’s manufacturer. If a manual is not readily available, I’d recommend at least seeking out a person experienced in using that particular nail gun and asking for a few lessons on its use. The man in my story had never used a nail gun before and didn’t seek guidance from a manual or a co-worker.

Wear Proper Safety Equipment During Nail Gun Use

The use of safety equipment and the wearing of proper clothing will also go a long way in reducing the risk of sustaining a nail gun injury. For example, the maintenance man who nailed himself to the concrete was wearing sneakers at the time of his nail gun accident. As such, the nails were able to easily penetrate his footwear. If he had been wearing steel toed work boots, the nails might not have gone through his foot so easily.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys completing home improvement projects with her family and has traveled extensively.

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