As a lifelong construction worker, you’ve used many different makes and models of nail guns over the years. While some work better than others, you can’t deny that “bump” guns make the work go a lot faster—but they also cause thousands of construction worker injuries every year.

Construction Nail Gun Injuries Often Caused by Contact Trip Triggers

Many newer nail gun models have sequential triggers. These guns can only fire once the nose of the gun is depressed against the work surface, since the trigger cannot be pulled before the nose is depressed.

However, older nail gun models are equipped with contact trip trigger mechanisms. These guns allow nails to fire any time, and also allow the trigger to be held down to allow “bump” or “bounce” nailing multiple times against a surface. Injuries are over twice as likely to occur with guns that have a contact trip trigger.

Here are a few factors that contribute to “bump” nail gun problem:

  • Tip sensitivity. While the tip of the gun must be depressed to fire, the tip of the muzzle only needs to make contact for a second before firing—and the tip cannot tell if the object is a board, a body part, or a coworker. In addition, guns in “bump” mode can accidentally discharge nails if the tip comes into contact with an object during recoil.
  • No visual difference. Another problem is that contact and sequential triggers look identical. Too often, workers do not realize they are using a gun with a contact trip trigger until it unexpectedly fires twice in a row.
  • Lack of training. Many workers have been injured by “bump” guns simply because they were not properly trained in their use.

While it will take some time to convince employers to phase out their use of contact trip trigger guns, construction companies must take responsibility for the injuries caused by these unnecessarily dangerous tools. If they cannot provide their workers with safe tools, employers should at least provide comprehensive training programs to prevent unnecessary nail gun injuries.

Were you injured in a nail gun misfire accident? Leave a comment below to tell others your story, or click the link on this page to read through our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer
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