Roofer Nail Gun Safety Research Underway
An everyday roof repair tool, the nail gun, can be dangerous if proper caution is not taken at all times by everyone working on the project.
Making Roof Repair Safer
In an attempt to reduce non-union carpenter pneumatic nail gun injury rates, a research team and its partners, including West Virginia Home Builders Association, Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Programs, Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity, and Mark Fullen, EdD, West Virginia University have instituted a project to prevent nail gun injuries in residential construction.
Safety Strategies Roofing Companies Can Use
The multi-prong project aims to further reduce incidences of residential construction nail gun injuries through a number of strategies, including:
- early training in tool usage
- usage of safer sequential trigger guns
- active surveillance for evaluation of usage among both union and non-union sectors
This new endeavor comes at the heels of previous success in reducing pneumatic nail gun injuries among residential construction union carpenters in southern Illinois and St. Louis over a previous 10-year timeframe.
The Importance of Nail Gun Safety for Roofers
Pneumatic nail guns continue to be a popular tool used in residential wood frame construction, and is now one of the leading causes of acute on-the-job injuries among carpenters in a residential setting. Known injury risks of using pneumatic nail guns include both lack of sufficient training in the tools’ use as well as contact triggers. Puncture wounds of both the hands and fingers are commonplace, but injuries that are life threatening also occur even among the most seasoned roofing contractors.
To increase awareness of the injury hazards of nail guns in general among both end users (residential carpenters) and the general public at large, the research team has developed a Safety Alert and is distributing it with the help of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Virginia Tech’s advisory board for construction, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In addition, collectively, the researchers have secured website development funding. The website will act as a repository for nail gun injuries references and resources for both academia and contractors.