When used improperly, pneumatic nails guns can cause severe injuries in a number of ways. When the gun shoots nails all of the way through a material, it could puncture a worker behind the nailing surface, OSHA warns. Additionally, the gun can blow fragments off of the nailing surface or fire a nail through electrical wires.
A combination of safe work practices and appropriate personal protective equipment can help mitigate these risks. OSHA recommends:
- Follow all manufacturer’s instructions when using a nail gun.
- Ensure the tool meets all applicable OSHA guarding standards.
- Wear safety glasses that provide a side shield.
- Never attempt to modify or circumvent a safety feature.
- Keep your fingers away from the trigger when not driving nails.
- Consider using a sequential gun that requires both the trigger and the nose of the gun to be depressed before firing.
- Disconnect the gun before performing maintenance, moving to another work area or clearing jams.
- Always position yourself and your free hand out of the line of fire, and watch out for co-workers behind the nailing surface. Never point a nail gun at someone.