In March 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of nearly 50,000 Hitachi Koki coil nailers because the nail guns were discharging nails from the side and creating a hazard to workers and others. When the nail guns would misfire, the nails would eject out the side of the gun and fall to unsuspecting people below. In all, the CPSC received 15 reports of injuries from these faulty guns. Hitachi offered a fix to any consumers who contacted the company in response to the recall.

Nail Gun Injuries Are Prominent

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 37,000 emergency room visits due to nail guns every year, and 68 percent of those injuries are attributed to construction workers. A construction injury is never a good thing, but a nail gun injury can be unexpected and extremely painful. Construction workers and companies need to work together on safety practices that will reduce, and possibly eliminate, nail gun injuries.

The Causes Of Injuries

The CDC lists accidental side discharge of nails as one of the primary reasons for a construction injury due to a nail gun, which shows the importance of the Hitachi recall. Other reasons for injuries include, accidentally discharging the gun when the safety was supposed to be on, a nail bouncing off a hard surface and striking someone, a nail going through its wooden target, and not paying attention to safety practices.

The Solution To Stopping Injuries

When manufacturers such as Hitachi put out product recalls, it is important that workers and companies heed those recalls immediately. If a nail gun you are using has been recalled due to equipment safety issues, then you should stop using that gun immediately and follow the recall instructions. If you continue to use a nail gun that has been recalled, then you are an accident waiting to happen.

Another part of the solution is for workers to abide by the company safety practices and for the company to make sure that those practices are comprehensive enough to prevent injury. Workers should have ways to report defective nail guns, and they should also have regular training on nail gun safety. When the companies and workers take safety practices seriously, then it becomes easier to reduce injuries.

Work To Prevent Construction Injuries

Too many companies hand a nail gun to a worker who has never used one and expect that worker to create safe working conditions. Companies need to have comprehensive training programs in place to make sure that every
worker who uses a nail gun knows all of the safety practices, and understands the best ways to use the nail gun effectively.

Workers can improve safety by being vigilant on work sites and reporting any instances of potential problems. Nail guns should be regularly maintained and workers should be allowed to question whether or not a nail gun is safe to use. The more that can be done to focus on nail gun safety, the more injuries that can be eliminated and lives that can be saved.