How to Use Nail Gun Safely


Nail gun are great equipment, easy to use, and increase efficiency for nailing tasks. However, they are accountable for an assessed 37,000 crisis room visits yearly. Major injuries have led to deaths of construction workers. These injuries are popular in housing construction. Most injuries occur in framing, sheathing work, roofing as well as exterior siding and completion.

Most of reported injuries are on the hand and fingers which involve damage to bones, tendons, etc. other parts injured include leg, toes, thigh, foot and knee. Severe nail gun injuries to the spinal cord, head, neck, eye, internal organs, and bones have resulted in paralysis, blindness, brain injury, bone breakages, and death.

Which are the safety tips that helps prevent these injuries and death?

1. Selecting the right trigger

The right trigger type will lessen the danger of accidental firing of the gun. Sequential triggers require the gun to be depressed prior to firing the harmless trigger mechanism is full sequential trigger since it reduces the danger of accidental nail release as well as binary firing which can cause injuries to co-workers if they bump onto them. This tool is appropriate for anyone who is working on non-professional setting.

 trigger nail gun


If you are using more than one type of trigger, ensure you come up with a code to help you and or your co-worker to differentiate between the types of triggers you have.

2. Wear appropriate protective equipment

OSHA obliged employers to offer personal protective equipment to their employees freely. Hard hats, eye protection of high quality and hearing protection (earmuffs or earplugs). In addition, workers should wear safety shoes to protect their toes from nail injuries.

3. Offer training

Knowledge is power. Training is the best tool to minimize injuries and create safety awareness. It helps educate new workers as well as remind the experts of the hazards posed by improper usage of nailer. When leading training it is significant to keep it easy to understand, engaging, and brief. The best process of conducting effective teaching is to breakdown the topic into sub topics.

Topics for training include:

Training with the real nailers. This offers each employee a chance to handle the nailer and to get response on topics such as:

  • Loading the nails on the nail gun magazine.
  • Operating air compressor.
  • Firing the nail gun.
  • Holding lumber during placement work.
  • Handling difficult spot such as toe-nailing and work on ladders.

Safety training for nail guns topics

  • How framing nailer works and differences in nailer triggers.
  • Major causes of injuries.
  • Guidelines provided in the tool manuals.
  • Maintenance
  • Risk related with usage of nail gun.
  • Inspection of nailer and what to do in case of malfunctions.

4. Creating procedures for framing nailer work

The common nail guns do’s and don’ts are best written policy showing that your company has proper procedures in place. These include:


  • Manual must be available all the time.
  • Manufacturer’s tools labels and instruction are understood and followed.
  • Inspect tools and power basis before operating to ensure they are in proper working shape. Malfunctioned nail guns should be taken out of services immediately.
  • Workers should ensure they are not in line of fire with nail gun being operated by co-worker.
  • Check for knots, straps, knots, hangers that could cause recoil or ricochet.
  • Use a hammer or placement nailer when nailing metal joinery or irregular lumber.
  • Always keep hands 12 inches from the nailing point. Use clamps brace if possible instead of bare hands.
  • Shoot nail guns far from your body or co-workers always.
  • Detach the compressed air when: Leaving a nailer unattended, climbing along the ladder or stairs, Passing the nailer to your partner, and Executing maintenance on other nail gun.
  • Identify the risks of difficult position and offer extra time and precautions. For instance, use a hammer if you cannot reach the work while clamping the nailer with dominant hand, while working at a tight space or for work at face or head height.


  • Don’t disable or bypass framing nailer safety features. Tampering involves removing the spring from safety-contact tip or taping/tying the trigger so it does not requisite to be pressed.
  • Keep the fingers off the trigger when holding or carrying the nailer.
  • Don not drag the nail gun by the hose or lower it from above.
  • Do not use the nail gun with non-dominant hand.

5. Provide first aid and medical treatment

In case of nailers injuries, you should seek medical attention immediately even in the minimum noticed injuries. Materials e.g. nail strip glue / plastic or clothing can get rooted in the injury and lead to infection. Hooks on the nail can cause minor injury if the nail is removed incorrectly.

6. Store the framing nailer properly

If stored inappropriate, nail gun can harm you or those who are dear to you. Leaving the nailer in unattended places can cause injury to children or non-worker who is known to pick them. It is therefore important to store the nailer out of reach of children and keep it powered down.

Nail guns is a very easy and efficient tool that makes work easier. However, it presents a number of hazards and risks hence have to be used carefully and with precision in order to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by the nailer. The users need to follow strict safety etiquettes to lower the danger of injury caused by this tool.