Buyer beware: personnel selling nail guns know little about dangerous tools.
BACKGROUND: Nail gun use is ubiquitous in wood frame construction. Accessibility and decreasing costs have extended associated occupational hazards to consumers. Compelling evidence documents decreased injury risk among trained users and those with tools with sequential triggers. To prevent inadvertent discharge of nails, this safer trigger requires the nose be depressed before the trigger is pulled to fire. The sequential trigger is not required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) nor are there any guidelines for training. METHODS: We collected data from personnel at 217 points of sale/rental of framing nail guns in four areas of the country. RESULTS: Sales personnel had little understanding of risks associated with use of framing nail guns. Individuals who had used the tool and those working in construction outlets were more likely to be knowledgeable; even so, less than half understood differences in trigger/actuation systems. CONCLUSIONS: Consumers, including contractors purchasing for workers, cannot count on receiving accurate information from sales personnel regarding risks associated with use of these tools. The attitudes and limited knowledge of some sales personnel regarding these potentially deadly tools likely contributes to a culture accepting of injury. The findings demonstrate how influences on the culture of construction are not limited to workers, employers, or the places construction gets done.
Lipscomb, HJ; Nolan, J; Patterson, D; Fullen, M; Takacs, BC; Pompeii, LA
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