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Construction Site Health and Safety - Nail Guns

Whilst those casual do-it-yourselfers are likely to be quite content with an ordinary hammer, those with a great deal of nails to put in place such as construction site workers will usually use a nail gun to speed up the process and make it easier. Whilst they may avoid the usual nail-related danger of bashing their finger or thumb with the hammer, there are still numerous risks to health and safety associated with using a nail gun.

The most obvious danger of using a nail gun is firing the nail into a body part, usually a hand or a foot, instead of the material it was supposed to go into. This can not only be extremely painful and could cause conditions such as permanent nerve damage, but may also lead to infection if the wound is not cleaned and treated properly.

Nail guns can also be noisy, both from the equipment itself as it discharges the nail, and from the impact upon the material receiving the nail, particularly if the acoustics of the room make the sound even louder such as a room which has been emptied whilst the work takes place and is now prone to significant echoes. Even if the noise does not seem to be too bad this time, prolonged exposure may cause irreversible damage.

Each time the nail gun discharges it is likely to cause a significant jolt and vibration through the operator's hand. Over a long period of time this vibration may cause damage and associated vibration-related conditions.

Measures such as frequent rest breaks or job rotation, personal protective equipment in the form of gloves and ear protectors, and suitable health and safety training courses to enable workers to perform their duties more safely will all help to minimise these risks to health.

Relevant Links:

  • NEBOSH Construction Certificate

  • Construction Site Managers SMSTS Courses
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