Construction workers have some of the most dangerous jobs in West Virginia. Operating heavy machinery, working at major heights or right next to car traffic, and laboring under the hot sun are just a few of the safety risks that construction workers face on a daily basis. A recent report points to a very common construction tool as a potential hazard: the nail gun.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nail guns cause about 37,000 emergency room visits every year. In fact, nail gun-related workplace injuries result in more construction workers being hospitalized than any other tool-related accident.
OSHA and the CDC have pointed to one study that says, over a four-year period, as many as two of every five residential carpentry apprentices have suffered nail gun injuries.
And, not only are the nail gun operators at risk, but so are others around them. About 12 percent of people injured by nail guns are bystanders, according to OSHA.
OSHA recommends using nail guns that have sequential triggers, reading the owner’s manual, and wearing gloves, ear protection and safety glasses in order to prevent a nail gun injury.
Those who suffer nail gun injuries or injuries related to other types of construction equipment in West Virginia should consider seeking legal guidance. Workers’ compensation benefits are likely available for such injuries, but in some construction injury cases it may also be wise to hold another party accountable.
Source: UPI.com, “OSHA: Nail guns dangerous, send 37,000 to hospital ER,” July 17, 2013