Each year, many workers are injured by discharged nails when working with nail guns.

We recommend the following to reduce the risk of injuries such as the one above:

  • replace bump fire nail guns with sequential (only) firing nail guns wherever possible. In sequential mode, the contact tip must first be held against a workpiece and the trigger must be pressed before a nail is discharged. If the trigger is pressed first and the contact tip is bumped or held against the workpiece, the gun will not fire
  • do not use bump fire nail guns (including those that have a switchable trigger mechanism) if workers are required to climb ladders or other elevated areas with a loaded nail gun
  • do not use bump fire nail guns in areas where other workers are in close proximity to the operator
  • do not use bump fire nail guns in restricted spaces
  • regularly inspect and maintain nail guns and associated equipment to ensure they are in good working order and safe to use
  • follow manufacturer specifications and operating instructions for each nail gun. Do not assume all nail guns are the same
  • only use fasteners recommended by the manufacturer
  • ensure workers are trained in the safe use and operation of nail guns
  • ensure inexperienced operators (eg apprentices and trainees) are supervised by a competent person when using nail guns. In some instances, using a nail gun in bump fire mode will prevent the operator from sustaining musculoskeletal injuries from repetitive strain. When assessed as necessary, ensure:
  • the work is done on a specially laid out work area (eg use jigs to hold the workpieces as it will reduce the need for the operator’s hands and legs to be near the job while nailing is being done)
  • the worker is not likely to be bumped or come into contact with other workers when performing the task.

WorkSafe Victoria would like to acknowledge SafeWork SA for allowing the reproduction of their material for this Health and Safety Solution.