5 Must-Know Nail Gun Safety Tips

The invention of nail gun has made life easier for carpenters. This powerful and easily operable tool has increased productivity in construction jobs. Large scale projects which previously took up several months of manual work can now be finished in weeks or even days! The nail guns have revolutionized our construction industry.

But, with benefits always comes a cost.

Nail guns are very powerful devices. A little negligence while using them can lead to injuries that are sometimes even fatal. Tens of thousands of workers are injured every year. Each day, many people visit the emergency room because of nail gun injuries. Such unfortunate accidents can be minimized by following a few nail gun safety tips.

The nail gun injuries are most common on residential sites. Estimates have shown that 2/3rds of the injuries occur during framing or sheathing. Workers are often injured while being careless in roofing, finishing, or exterior siding of houses. Out of all the nail gun injuries, more than half are to the hand and fingers. Leg, thigh, knee, foot and toe injuries are also very common. Some injuries are so serious they can lead to blindness, paralysis, fractures, or even death.

nail gun safety

Causes of Nail gun injuries:

Before going into detail about the nail gun safety tips, you should know about what causes nail gun injuries.

  • To compensate the recoil, most of the new workers push too hard on the tool. Because of this, double firing occurs. It is common with contact nail guns. The unintended firing may hurt the person who is using the gun.
  • While working with contact or single actuation trigger nail guns, unintentional nail discharge may occur. Nail guns with these trigger mechanisms will fire if the trigger is held or squeezed.  The safety contact tip accidentally gets pushed into an object or even a person like your co-worker.
  • When you are holding the lumber you are working on, there is always a risk of nail penetration into hand instead of the work piece.
  • Nails sometimes become projectiles. While working on hard surfaces, there is always a hazard that nails will bounce off the surface and strike another object or a person.
  • Sometimes the tip of the nail doesn’t come in full contact with the work piece. This results in the nail becoming airborne.

Nail Gun Safety Tips:

You can avoid many injuries if you follow some simple nail gun safety tips. These will greatly decrease the chances of unfortunate accidents.

  1. Choice of trigger:

On the basis of triggering mechanisms, nail guns are categorized into four types. These trigger mechanisms differ based on the order in which the controls activate. Triggers can often cause premature nailing if you aren’t an experienced worker. This leads to many injuries. It is advisable that inexperienced people work with full sequential triggers, because it will immensely reduce the chances of unintentional nail discharge or double fires.

  1. Wear proper Safety Equipment:

One of the most important nail gun safety considerations is using the right safety equipment. Do not use a nail gun unless you are wearing safety equipment! Many eye and ear injuries are avoided by using goggles and earplugs or earmuffs. Gloves, helmets or hard hats, and special boots are all recommended when you’re using a nail gun.

  1. Proper Training:

Training is necessary for performing any task safely and effectively. Whether new or experienced, you should learn about the possible risks involved in nailing. Hands-on training with different kinds of nail guns is helpful. You should become educated about how to differentiate between different kinds of nailers and triggers.

  1. Reporting Accidents:

Most people who suffered from nail gun injuries do not report them. If you’re a construction employee, report any accidents on construction sites and encourage your co-workers to do this as well. It will bring other job site risks to contractor’s knowledge. This can help in preventing additional injuries.

  1. Providing medical treatment:

Another nail gun safety tip is seeking medical attention immediately in case of a nail gun injury. Sometimes the real injuries are not visible. There are chances that a nail strip, plastic, or a small piece of cloth remains embedded in the wound. This can lead to infections. Incorrect removal of barbs on nails can also cause secondary injuries. If proper medical guidance and treatment are received in time, such complications can be prevented.


On one hand, nail guns have increased productivity. On the other, the chances of injuries have been increased. Slight carelessness can cause severe and painful injuries. Some of them can be fatal, although most are not. By following nail gun safety tips, the chances of injuries can be reduced greatly!

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