$1.5M — Nail Gun Head Injury
$925K — Failed Safety Mechanism Facial Injury
Since their invention in 1950, nail guns have become the tool of choice for many construction workers. One recent estimate found that the average American home, which is about 2,700 square feet, requires between 50,000 to 70,000 nails, or almost 26 nails per square foot. Rather than manually hammering each nail into place, fastening jobs can be expedited with the use of pneumatic, powder-actuated, combustion-powered, electric, or solenoid nailers.
Even the first nail guns were able to hold up to 600 nails at a time, and fire up to 60 in a minute. In addition to speed and efficiency, most nail guns leave one hand free, allowing builders to better stabilize a nailing surface. In many ways, the widespread availability of professional-grade nail guns has been a blessing for a construction industry increasingly preoccupied with speedy project completion.
Nail Gun Accidents In America
While it may seem obvious, nail guns are extremely dangerous. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 37,000 people visit American emergency rooms every year after nail gun accidents. And while most of us associate nailers with professional worksites, almost 40% of these nail gun accident victims are actually consumers, do-it-yourself carpenters working at home.
The risk of nailer injury is highest among workers, particularly residential carpenters, who specialize in wood frame construction. A 2003 study published in the journal Injury Prevention found that nail guns caused up to 14% of all non-fatal injuries among American carpenters. Another study, reported by the Department of Health & Human Services, estimated that “2 out of 5 residential carpenter apprentices experienced a nail gun injury over a four-year period.” Not the best way to start your career.
Many nailer-related injuries are caused by mistakes on the part of workers and consumers themselves. But some, as evidenced by recent nail gun recalls, are the result of defective or faulty nailers. This fact has left many injured nail gun users wondering if they can hold the manufacturers accountable. The answer, as enshrined in America’s long history of product liability law, is yes.
In many cases, injured workers and consumers are entitled to compensation from negligent nail gun manufacturers.
Preventing Nail Gun Accidents & Injuries
As with all dangerous tools, adequate training is a must for any nail gun user. And while the Occupational Safety & Health Administration “suggests” training employees in the proper use of nailers, training guidelines are not publicly available, and there has never been a mandated preventative education course.
Visit our own “Nail Gun Safety” guide here to learn more.
Beyond adequate training, certain nail guns have been proven safer than others. Sequential trigger nail guns offer a better alternative to the industry-standard contact trip nailers. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, “the risk of a nail gun injury is twice as high when using a multi-shot contact trigger as when using a single-shot sequential trigger nailer.” Contractors and project managers argue that sequential trigger nail guns take too much time, expanding budgets and forcing the ultimate cost of construction sky-high. But placed beside the fact that widespread use of sequential triggers could cut work-place injuries in half, this seems like the wrong place to argue over profit.
Find more information in our FAQ, “What’s The Difference Between Contact & Sequential Trigger?“
The benefits of safe nailers are clear, but our government has been unwilling to restrict contractors’ discretion on this point. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which issues recalls and regulates the use of consumer products, has also failed to act.
Can I Sue After A Nail Gun Accident?
Were you injured in a nail gun accident? The personal injury lawyers at Banville Law are currently offering free consultations to injury victims. Our nail gun accident attorneys have successfully handled cases involving both negligent nail gun manufacturers and negligent sub-contractors. You can find a sample of our recent nail gun lawsuit settlements and verdicts here.
Our lawyers offer their services on a contingency-fee basis: you pay nothing until we win your case. Call 877-752-0980 or complete our online contact form here.
Latest Nailgun Accident Updates
By Laurence Banville
September 29, 2018 – North Carolina Man Sentenced To Prison After Attacking A Man With A Nail Gun
A 53-year-old man from Cary, NC was sentenced to 12 years in prison and 3 years parole after he pleaded guilty to domestic battery and home invasion in connection with an attack that occurred in 2017. Police had been called to a home in Cary on July 2, 2017, at about 1:40 am for a domestic disturbance. When authorities arrived they discovered a man had broken into the home and attacked a male occupant with a nail gun who attempted to fight him off.
August 31, 2018 – Australian Worker Accidentally Shoots Himself With Nail Gun
An Australian construction worker was doing work at a construction site in southeast Queensland. The man was standing on a ladder when he slipped and discharged a nail gun that he had been using. Two large nails were shot into his skull as a result. He was airlifted in stable condition to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and remains in stable condition.
July 31, 2018 – Man Using Nail Gun On Home Repairs Reported In Shooting
In Montgomery County, Ohio, a man was working on repairs in an apartment building in Whitney Young Estates and using a nail gun for some of the work. During that time a report was made regarding a male with an assault rifle. Police were dispatched and the initial report came in that someone was shot in Dayton around 2:45.
June 29, 2018 – Man Injured By Nail From Nail Gun That Went Through A Wall
In Australia, a lawsuit was filed after a man was injured by a nail from a nail gun that went through a common wall in a home that was being renovated and punctured another worker’s left temple. The plaintiff suffered spinal cord damage, impaired balance, severe migraines and more as a result of the injury. The plaintiff did receive workers compensation for his injuries.
May 24, 2018 – Nail Gun Accident Victim Thanks Those Who Saved His Life
Several survivors of traumatic injuries gathered together to thank the medical professionals in Houston who worked to save their lives. One of the people who gathered to thank members of the Harris Health System was a man who came very close to death when he was 21-years-old. This survivor had a nail embedded in his brain after failing to wear a helmet while working with a nail gun on a home improvement project. The gentleman was able to thank doctors, nurses, and paramedics that saved him, and he is happy to have recovered from such a traumatic event.
April 10, 2018 – Australian Man Accidentally Shot In Chest With Nail Gun
On March 19, a 36-year-old man in Freemans Reach Australia was assisting a friend who was doing a home project when he was accidentally shot in the chest with a nail gun. A CareFlight specialist doctor and paramedic team treated the man who was hit with a nail right below the sternum. He has to be airlifted to Westmead Hospital and he is in stable condition.
March 16, 2018 – Burglar In Pennsylvania Steals Nail Gun
On February 24, in Norristown, PA police were notified and responded to a physical altercation that resulted from a previous burglary. Police discovered a man bleeding from the mouth who was with his girlfriend and a second man was present and injured who had stolen a nail gun from the first man. Police viewed security footage of the alleged burglar going into the home of the victim and leaving with the nailgun. He was taken into custody for theft.
February 8, 2018 – New Jersey Man Injured In Nail Gun Accident
An unnamed New Jersey man was working in a home at Columbine Road on Tuesday, January 16th. The man was using a nail gun to secure baseboard trim when one of the nails ricocheted off the board and hit him in the eye. The injury was reported at 2:15 pm and he was taken to a University Hospital in Newark via a NorthSTAR medivac helicopter. The man’s condition has not been made available.
September 27, 2017- New Zealand Man Lucky To Be Alive After Skull Nail Gun Accident
A New Zealand man believed to be in his 60s, is extremely lucky to be alive after he accidentally shot himself in the head with a nail gun. The man shot a 90mm nail into his head while he was working on a bench at his home. A rescue person stated that he was nailing a piece of wood and the gun somehow misfired and shot through the wood and straight into his head. The nail was described as having been fully embedded in his skull. Despite this shot to the head, the man was still able to call for help. He was first treated by an ambulance crew and then airlifted to a Wellington Hospital by a rescue helicopter.
August 17, 2017- Man Accidentally Shoots A Nail Through His Chest
A man from Wisconsin suffered an almost fatal nail gun accident after he shot a nail through his chest and into his heart. As if that was not bad enough, he proceeded to drive himself to the ER. He had to have open heart surgery to remove the 31/2-inch nail. The accident happened as the man was holding the nail gun on the other side of a piece of lumber while aiming for a spot he was not able to reach. To make matters worse, he dropped the nail gun and it fired toward him. Doctors later told the man that the nail pierced his heart right next to a major artery. Needless to say, he is lucky to be alive with no permanent damage.
July 28, 2017- Nail Gun Accident Causes Confusion At A Construction Site
An ambulance responded to a call about gunshot wounds at a house construction site in Ridge Meadows. The call led to a few police cars converging on the area thinking it was a gun related incident. However, police later confirmed that the gunshot wounds were actually nail gun injuries from a nail gun used for framing houses. The ambulance took the man away with unknown injuries.
June 8, 2017- 12-Year-Old Boy Sustains A Head Injury From Nail Gun Injury
A 12-year-old boy suffered an injury above the eye after his father accidentally shot him in the head with a nail gun. Firefighters responded to a call of a boy with a head injury from a three-inch nail. The boy was on the roof of a house when firefighters responded to the call and was brought down to paramedics waiting for him. According to the boy’s mother, the accident happened while the boy was holding a board that needed to be nailed when the nail went through the board and struck him above his eye, close to the bridge of his nose.
May 26, 2017- New Jersey Carpenter Awarded $2M For Injuries To His Eye
A 37-year-old New Jersey man was awarded $2 million dollars by an Essex County New Jersey jury for his claim that a serious eye injury occurred when a nail gun misfired. The nail gun injury happened when the gun misfired on a residential framing job. He was left “industrially blind” in one eye. He underwent surgery for a lacerated cornea and he now experiences extremely blurry vision and impaired depth perception. The worker blamed the construction company for this accident because they did not instruct employees to wear safety goggles when working with tools on the site.
April 24, 2017- Homebuilder Shoots Himself In The Head With Nail Gun
An experienced homebuilder is a lucky to be alive after a nail from a nail gun ricocheted and went right into his head. The man was framing a closet with his friend when things went very wrong. While using a pneumatic nail gun above his head, the homebuilder assumes he hit a nail that was already in the wood when the gun kicked back into his face and ended up driving the next nail two inches deep into his skull. He was not even aware that he had a nail in his eye until he got to the hospital. He was rushed to surgery and doctors surgically removed the nail from the front of his skull.
March 23, 2017- Builder Accidentally Shoots Himself In The Crotch With Hydraulic Nail Gun
A builder was extremely lucky after he accidentally shot himself in the crotch while using a hydraulic nail gun. He is lucky to be alive after he mistimed firing the gun which resulted in a three and a half inch-long nail piercing his groin. The nail was inches away from a major artery and also very close to his penis. The 22-year-old worker was rushed to the hospital and required minor surgery to remove the nail. The nail was embedded nearly three inches into his body.
November 30, 2016- Student Involved In A Nail Gun Accident
A student who was using a nail gun in an art class injured his finger while using the gun. Emergency responders were called to Missouri Western Sate University after reports came in about an accident involving a student and a nail gun. The incident is being treated as an accident and there was no further information about the severity of the student’s injury.
October 28, 2016- Yale Study Finds Victims Can Survive Severe Penetration Wounds To The Head
A Yale study revealed that victims of severe penetration wounds such as gunshots have a 42 percent chance of survival. In addition to gunshot wounds, researchers also looked at data from other penetrating head wounds, like nail gun accidents and stabbings.The study looked at over 400 patients at two trauma centers, one urban and one rural.
September 27, 2016- Builder Impales His Foot On A Nail
A builder was recently taken to hospital after he impaled his foot on a nail while he was working on a house roof. A fire station crew was sent to the scene of the accident where the crew manager reported that they found the builder on a flat roof. The builder had set off a nail gun which had gone through his foot and into a piece of wood. The crew had to figure out a way to get the builder off the roof and ended up requesting the use of an aerial ladder platform.
August 31, 2016- Man Shot Several Times With Nail Gun In Harwich
In Harwich, a man was shot several times with a nail gun. The man was shot in the head and at least once in the arm. He was transported to Barnstable Municipal Airport by rescuers and flown to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. It is believed the man was using the nail gun himself and it is not thought of as an accident but foul play is not suspected either. An investigation is underway by the police.
June 30, 2016- Man Charged With First Degree Assault For Nail Gun Shooting
A Creswell man has been charged with first-degree assault after he was accused of firing nine nails into a Eugene woman’s head. The man alleges that he did this because the woman asked him to kill her, but the incident ended as a botched homicide-suicide attempt. The man used a compressed-air nail gun to shoot three-inch nails into the woman’s back. The woman’s condition is not known.
May 31, 2016- UK Firm Fined After A Worker Nail Gun Eye Accident Occurred
In England, a Northampton firm has been fined after their employee was injured when he was hit in the eye by a shard of metal. The shard of metal came from his colleague who was using a nail gun to fasten a piece of timber to a steel lintel. The eye-protection the worker was wearing was not appropriate for use with nail guns.
April 27, 2016- New Zealand Man Rescued By Helicopter After Firing Nail Gun Into His Hand
In Auckland, New Zealand, a man had to be rescued by a helicopter after he fired a nail gun into his hand. The accident took place when the man was loading his nail gun and the gun fired into his hand. He was flown to a hospital and according to authorities, he had minor injuries and was in a stable condition.
March 29, 2016- Man Accidentally Shoots Himself In Chest With Nail Gun
In Simsbury, a construction worker accidentally shot himself in the chest with a nail gun and was taken to the hospital. According to the police, the man was conscious after the accident took place and was taken to St. Francis Hospital to treat his injuries. The incident is being investigated by OSHA.
February 26, 2016- Highway Worker Accused Of Firing Nail Gun At Coworker
A Putnam County, New York, highway worker was recently arrested for allegedly shooting a nail gun at his coworker. Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident, however, the nail gun shooter is facing charges of menacing and reckless endangerment. What led to this nail gun shooting was an argument the two men got into over a ladder at a construction site.One of the 3-inch nails fired almost hit the coworker in the head.
January 28, 2016- Chicago Man Shoots Two Nails Into His Knee
On January 27th, a Chicago man accidentally shot two nails into his knee and narrowly missed his bones. This unfortunate accident took place on the man’s second day of carpentry. He was taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital where he underwent 11 hours of surgery and the nails were removed. He is considered very fortunate because he narrowly missed a life-threatening injury.