Nailing Down Safety: Basic Nail Gun Safety Tips

nail gun

Nail Gun Usage

Nail guns have become a staple tool for residential and commercial construction as well as in manufacturing industries. They’re easy to operate and are way more efficient and effective than using the traditional nail-and-hammer method and has a lower risk of damaging the wood. However, as with all power tools, nail guns can be quite dangerous if mishandled or used without the proper training and gear. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 37,000 emergency visits per year are due to nail-gun related injuries and accidents, with 68% of those injured being workers, while the rest are consumers. So whether you’re in the construction industry or someone who’s using a nail gun for DIY repairs and construction, you should be aware of the possible hazards and injuries:

Common Nail Gun Hazards

Nail guns are powerful and can fire nails at high speed and force, which can easily puncture skin, bone, and organs. As such, these injuries often occur due to the following: (1) Unintended double-fire, (2) Unintentional or mistimed squeezing of the trigger, (3) Nail penetrating the wood, (4) Nail ricocheting after hitting a hard (usually metal) surface), (5) Poor or awkward execution or nailing position, (6) Bypassing of the nail’s safety mechanisms, (7) Missing the work piece (wood or lumber surface). To avoid these hazards, it’s integral for you to take note of these safety tips:

Proper Training and Reading the Manual

nail gun training

If you’re working in the construction industry, it would be best to be trained and certified with the proper and safe use of different types of nail guns. However, if you’re a consumer doing a DIY construction project or repair, it’s best to read the manual, especially if it’s your first time using a nail gun. Even for seasoned workers, it’s best to be familiarised with the tool by either reading the manual as well or undergoing training or observing a demo of the product, especially if you’re not experienced with the model or type of nail gun. At the end of the training or reading of the manual, you should be aware of the proper way to hold the nail gun, its safety features, and how to operate it.

Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Regardless of whether or not you’re a construction worker or a consumer using the nail gun, it’s essential that you use PPEs such as hard hats, high-impact eye protection safety goggles in case of ricocheting nails or projectile wood or metal particles, as well as hearing protection as nail guns can be quite loud, and repetitive or constant exposure to these noises may lead to hearing loss.

Choose the Right Gun Trigger

There are generally four types of trigger: Full sequential trigger, Contact trigger, Single Sequential Trigger, and Single Actuation Trigger. Safety experts, seasoned nail gun operators, and even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend using full sequential trigger nail guns. Unlike the other types mentioned, full sequential triggers are only able to fire a nail when a specific sequence of controls are activated, hence the name. They require a safety tip to be pushed before the trigger can be squeezed to discharge a nail. After discharging the first nail, the full sequence of pushing the safety tip then pulling the trigger is required again to fire the second nail, then so on. As such, nails cannot be “bump fired” This is why the full sequential trigger is also called a “single-shot trigger” or “restrictive trigger”. Brands such as Paslode offer nail guns with these types of triggers, so it’s best to look for a Paslode framing nail and nail gun supplier for your construction project or business in Sydney.


There’s no doubt that nail guns are handy due to their power and efficiency, but they can potentially cause serious injuries. So make sure that you follow these simple safety tips to operate your nail gun safely and effectively.