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It seems that Des Moines Personal Injury Lawyer Steve Lombardi and I have started a little series on nail gun injuries.  He had a post about nail gun injuries yesterday morning.  I saw that post and made my own nail gun post yesterday afternoon, and now Steve has a follow-up nail gun post this morning. 

Yesterday, I posted about the dangers of nail guns and the number of injuries that they have caused.  Today, I’m telling you why many of those injuries are the result of a defective design in many nail guns. 

There are generally two types of nail guns: contact and sequential (or guns that can be adjusted from one to the other).  With contact guns, the trigger has to be pulled and the muzzle of the gun has to be in contact with the target before the nail fires.  With sequential guns, the sequence of the trigger pull and muzzle contact matters.  In sequential guns, the gun will only fire if the muzzle first contacts the target and then the trigger is pulled.  If manufacturers would use the safer alternative design of a sequencing gun, injuries would decrease dramatically.  The Centers for Disease Control estimates that between 65 and 69 percent of all nail gun injuries involving contact guns would have been prevented if the gun had been a sequential gun.   

Sequential guns are safer for several reasons.  First, they prevent the “hold down the trigger” injuries.  Many nail gun injuries occur when a worker is holding the trigger down and inadvertently hits someone or something with the muzzle.  When that contact is made, the gun fires off, often causing injury.  Second, they prevent the storage injury.  It’s not uncommon for a gun to be hung while not in use and the trigger (which is near the gun’s center of gravity) to be accidentally engaged while hung.  Again, in such a situation, when something comes in contact with the muzzle, the gun will fire.  Yesterday’s post had a video telling the story of a worker who was killed by a contact gun in just such a situation.  Had the gun being used been a sequencing gun, the worker would still be alive, and his children would still have a father.

To see a video telling the story of another victim who would not have been hurt had he been using a sequencing gun instead of a contact gun, watch the story below.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the prospect of increased education to help prevent these injuries. 


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