The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have teamed up to create a new guidance to further help prevent work accidents in Atlanta and elsewhere. The new guidance, "Nail Gun Safety - A Guide for Construction Contractors," can be used by employers in the construction industry to help prevent work-related injuries caused by nail guns.
"Nail gun injuries are responsible for approximately 37,000 emergency room visits annually. In some cases, workers have died from their injuries," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
Our Atlanta workers compensation lawyers hope that this new guidance will help employers make some much needed changes to help to ensure the safety of all employees. Nail gun-related injuries are preventable. Employers are asked to take all of the proper safety precautions to keep workers safe on the job. Accidents can happen when we let our guard down. It's important for employers to stay one step ahead of the game and to remove all potential hazards before they're able to harm workers.
Many construction workers, especially those working within residential construction, use nail guns daily. These tools are vital on many work sites. While they're extremely easy to use and speed up productivity on every site, we have seen numerous reports of both internal and external bodily injuries from these devices.
Common causes of nail gun-related injuries:
-Unintended nail discharge.
-Ricocheting nails that bounce off hard surfaces.
-Missing work pieces altogether and being shot into the air.
-Disabling a nail gun's safety feature.
A recent study concluded that roughly two out of five residential carpenter apprentices have experienced at least one nail gun-related injury in the last four years. Many times, when these types of accidents happen, they are not reported or given the proper medical treatment.
Research has concluded that the risk of an injury from a multi-shot contact trigger is twice as high as when a worker is using a single-shot sequential trigger nailer.
All supervisors, builders, subcontractors and construction contractors are urged to review the new guidance to help reduce the risks of these types of accidents.
Consider these six practical steps that can help all contractors to avoid a nail gun-related accident:
-Be sure to use full sequential trigger nail guns.
-Make sure all workers are provided with the proper training.
-Make sure that all work sites and work crews understand nail gun procedures.
-Make sure all workers have personal protective equipment (PPE).
-Set up a system to ensure injuries, accidents and close calls are reported.
-Be sure that all injuries are treated with first aid care or medical treatment.
Since the Occupational Safety and Health Act was enacted in 1970, employers have been held responsible for making sure that all work sites are healthful and safe for employees. Some of the most routine and simple activities can turn deadly if simple safety steps are not taken.