Nail gun safety

Nail guns are used in connection with virtually every kind of carpentry
including framing, roofing, flooring and finishing. Some nail guns are powered
by electricity or gas, but most use compressed air. These pneumatic nail guns
vary in their application and power, but all are commonly triggered by one of
two different mechanisms: contact and sequential triggers. These mechanisms may
look the same but they can pose significantly different degrees of risk to

Studies have shown that risk of injury from use of nail guns is higher if you
have not been trained in their proper use. Because training is not required for
operating a nail gun, it may be challenging to find a class. Contact your
community college or hardware retailer to find out about training. Training by
an experienced user can be helpful. Regardless, observe the safety tips listed

Safety tips

  • Nail guns injuries don't have to happen. Consider these precautions:

  • Use only a nail gun with a sequential trigger mechanism.

  • Never aim or fire a nail gun towards or anyone near you.

  • Do not press the trigger unless the nose of the gun - the contact element - is pressed firmly against the work material.

  • Don't ever hold your finger near the trigger when carrying the nail gun, even though the trigger is the tool's center of gravity.

  • Clear jams or adjust the nail gun only when it is disconnected from the air supply.

  • Avoid nailing into knots or metal, since nails are more likely to ricochet. Dense materials such as laminated beams are also difficult to nail.

  • Don't remove or bypass safety devices, triggers or contact springs.

  • If a nail gun is not working correctly, tag it and take it out of service. Defective tools are dangerous.

More info - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)