#97 Nails Can Nail You

A recent study of accidents on jobsites showed that the most common injury among framers and carpenters was caused by nails on the ground, either protruding through the top or side of lumber and consequently penetrating the footwear and resulting in a very serious and painful injury to the foot.

Roofing nails with large head diameter are often fabricated with bright plastic heads so that they are more noticeable on the ground. Because of their large head diameter and relatively short length, however, when these nails fall on the ground, they often end up pointing upwards. Additionally, nails are left protruding out of scraps of lumber and are not cleared away as they should be, providing a dangerous jobsite environment, especially to workers who are wearing tennis shoes or other inadequate footwear.

Another common cause of injuries involves the use of nail guns. Compressed-air nail guns are powerful tools that should always be used carefully and properly. If a nail is driven into lumber on top of another nail, or if the tool is held at too steep an angle, it can ricochet and cause severe injury to many different parts of the body.

Any nail accident that results in a nail penetrating the body should always be treated with medical assistance. Anti-tetanus injections may be required to prevent contracting lockjaw, characterized by the prolonged contraction of body muscles, or other serious complications.

Correct personal protective equipment should always be used when working with, on or around nails.