What Causes Nail Gun Accidents?
Every year in the U.S., nearly 37,000 people are hospitalized for nail gun injuries. Here’s how most nail gun accidents happen:
- Unintended nail discharge – Some nail guns can double fire, injuring a user who isn’t prepared for the second nail.
- Knocking safety contact with squeezed trigger – If the nail gun’s trigger is squeezed in preparation for making contact with the intended surface and is then accidentally knocked in another direction, the device will indadvertedly fire into whatever is nearby.
- Nail penetration – Even a properly-placed nail can penetrate through a piece of lumber into a person’s hand or leg.
- Nail ricochet – When firing into metal or other hard surface, nails can ricochet and hit workers or bystanders.
- Missing target – A poorly aimed nail can miss the target completely and hit the user or nearby worker.
- Awkward nailing position – Nailing above the shoulder or while using a ladder can place the user’s body in the line of fire, increasing the chances they will be struck by a misplaced nail.
- Bypassing safety features – Disengaging the safety contact tip is the riskiest way to use a nail gun. As contact with a surface is not required to fire the gun, it can easily discharge without warning and hit a worker or bystander.
Types of Nail Gun Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common type of nail gun injury occurs in the upper extremities, specifically the hands and fingers. Other types of injuries include:
- Nails embedded in the body
- Fractures caused by nail penetration
- Infected wounds
- Eye injury
- Tooth damage
- Sprains / strains
- Musculoskeletal injury
- Nerve damage from use of the tool
- Finger dislocation
- Electrical burns
- Hearing difficulty (caused by noise from the nail gun)
Hitachi Coil Nailer Recall
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced in March 2010 the recall of about 65,000 coil nailers made by Hitachi Koki Co. Ltd. (50,000 in the U.S. and 15,000 in Canada). The recall was issued after some of the devices were found to have a faulty feeder that could allow nails to be ejected sideways, posing a serious injury hazard to the user or bystanders.
CPSC has received at least 37 reports of nails being ejected sideways, which caused at least 15 injuries. Injuries were primarily located around the eye, with 5 reports of partial blindness.
How to Avoid Nail Gun Accidents
The CDC advises taking the following steps to prevent nail gun injuries:
- Use full sequential trigger nail guns
- Provide training
- Establish nail gun work procedures
- Provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries and close calls
- Provide first aid and medical treatment
Additional Resources & Information from the CDC
- Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Contractors
- Straight Talk About Nail Gun Safety
- Construction Safety
- Nail Gun Safety
I’ve Been Injured in a Nail Gun Accident. What Are My Options?
Depending on how and why your injury occurred, various options may be available for you to pursue compensation. If you were on the job when the injury occurred, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. If the accident was the result of negligence on the part of an employer or foreman, then a lawsuit could be filed against these parties. If your injury was caused by a defective nail gun, the manufacturer could be held liable, regardless of whether the injury occurred to a worker or consumer.
Do I Have a Nail Gun Injury Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in nail gun accident lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured in a nail gun accident, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.