Nail Gun Injuries: June 2021 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: What can I do to reduce the potential for nail gun injuries in the workplace?

Answer: According to OSHA “Nail gun injuries are common – one study found that 2 out of 5 residential carpenter apprentices experienced a nail gun injury over a four-year period”. The most common injuries are puncture wounds to the hands and fingers but there can be more serious injuries and deaths that could occur using nail guns.  The following basic steps can help reduce the potential for these injuries:

  1. Consider restricting inexperienced employees to full-sequential trigger nail guns when starting out. Full-sequential firing is considered the safest option, also called single-shot firing; full-sequential is ideal for applications such as framing and carpentry, where precision is more important than fastening speed.  Full-sequential firing is slower than bump firing.  Best Practice: color-code the nail guns so that the type of trigger can be readily identified by workers and supervisors.
  2. The safety on the nail gun relies on two basic controls:  a finger trigger and a contact safety tip located on the nose of the gun.
  3. Require proper PPE for your employees such as, safety shoes high Impact eye protection, safety glasses or goggles marked ANSI Z87.1 and hearing protection
  4. Employers should ensure that their policies and practices encourage reporting of nail gun injuries. Reporting ensures that employees get medical attention and it also helps contractors to identify unrecognized job site risks that could lead to additional injuries if not addressed.
  5. Both new and experienced workers can benefit from safety training to learn about the causes of nail gun injuries and specific steps to reduce them. Be sure that training is provided in a manner that employees can understand.

Additional nail gun safety tips:

  • Follow all manufacturer’s safe operating instructions when using a nail gun, handling & storage.
  • Ensure proper training on nail guns is conducted.
  • Ensure the tool meets all applicable OSHA guarding standards.
  • They can generate noise up to 120 dBA, hearing protection is required.
  • Keep your fingers away from the trigger when not driving nails. Do not press the trigger unless you are intending to fire.
  • Do not point the nail gun at anyone, even if it is disconnected from the air supply or supposedly empty.
  • Keep hands clear of the discharge area while firing and make sure the nail gun is pointed away from your body.
  • Place the muzzle of the nail gun firmly against the work piece when firing.
  • Inspect the power source, the nails, the trigger, and safety contact before use.
  • Always conduct prior inspections of the nail gun.  Make sure the nose guard is in working order and check the air pressure before hooking it up.
  • Do not carry the nail gun by the hose or the cord or with a finger on the trigger.
  • Disconnect the tool from the air supply before clearing blockages, adjusting, handing the nail gun to another worker or leaving it unattended.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Ohio BWC: Distance Learning in June 2021

Click here to view the flyer.

BWC is hosting a number of occupational safety and health webinars and virtual classes in June including:

              Weekly Webinars –presented live with BWC discount program & continuing education credits

  • OSHA Knocks on the Door (June 8)
  • Trenching Safety Stand Down (June 15)
  • A PERRP-spective on the Fire Chief’s Role in Compliance (June 21)
  • The fight beyond the fire: Battling carcinogens before, during and after the fireground (June 23)

Virtual classes –

  • Ergonomic Risk Factors: Understanding and  Identifying (June 1)
  • Electrical Safety in the Workplace through Insight and Implementation of NFPA 70E (June 2-3)
  • Emergency Preparedness Planning Half-day Workshop (June 8)
  • Thermal Stress (June 9)
  • Safety Series Workshop Module 4: Walking Working Surfaces and Emergency Action Plan Basics (June 17)
  • Effective Safety Teams Half-day Workshop (June 22)
  • Job Safety Analysis (June 24)
  • Safety for the Non-Safety Professional (June 29-30)

Online E-Courses

  • Bloodborne Pathogens, Developing a Safety Culture, OSHA Recordkeeping 101 and others

Additional information on all June distance learning, including registration, is found in the attached flyer.

For more information or assistance when registering, contact the staff member listed or

Certified Respirators: May 2021 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: How do you know if your respirators, including those intended for use in healthcare settings, are certified by the CDC/NIOSH?

Answer: NIOSH-approved respirators have an approval label on or within the packaging of the respirator (i.e. on the box itself and/or within the users’ instructions). Additionally, an abbreviated approval is on the filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) itself. You can verify the approval number on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL) or the NIOSH Trusted-Source page to determine if the respirator has been approved by NIOSH. NIOSH-approved FFRs will always have one the following designations: N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, P95, P99, P100.

Signs that a respirator may be counterfeit:

  • No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
  • No approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband
  • No NIOSH markings
  • NIOSH spelled incorrectly
  • Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)
  • Claims for the of approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)
  • Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Fall Protection Equipment: April 2021 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question:  When do I take my fall protection equipment out of service?

Answer: Fall protection and fall rescue equipment shall be taken out of service when:

  • Involved in a fall or impacted
    • An inspection reveals that it may no longer serve the required function,
    • The equipment shows signs of damage or wear
    • The required inspection interval has been exceeded, or
    • The equipment is past the manufacturers service life

All fall protection and fall rescue equipment that has been inspected and determined to be damaged and no longer adequate for service shall be tagged “DO NOT USE” or destroyed to prevent use.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Sanitizer Storage: March 2021 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: I have a lot of alcohol-based hand sanitizer on hand, due to the pandemic. Is there anything special about storage or placement of dispensers that I should know?

Answer: Yes, alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is greater than 20% alcohol falls under a Class 1B flammable liquid according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Here are some requirements to consider:

  • Individual dispensers located in a hallway must be 0.5 gallons or less (no gallon jugs).
  • Dispensers must be installed at least 1 inch away from electrical receptacles and light switches and must be separated from another dispenser by at least 4 feet horizontally.
  • Dispensers must not be installed above carpeted floors, unless the area is sprinklered.
  • Automatic dispensers (touch free) are required to be tested each time they are refilled, can only activate when the object is within 4 inches of the dispenser and will only dispense the amount required as determined by the United States FDA.
  • The Ohio Fire Code requires the storage of more than 10 gallons in a flammable liquid cabinet or flammable liquid storage room. The NFPA 30 code dictates storage considerations starting at 5 gallons. No storage is permitted in basements.

If you have specific questions about safe storage and handling, consult the Safety Data Sheet for the product or call your local Authority Having Jurisdiction for fire code enforcement. 

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

BBP Trainers: February 2021 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: Does 1910.1030(g)(2)(viii) require that the person conducting bloodborne pathogens training be a health care professional?

Answer: No. The Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030, does not specify a particular job classification for qualified trainers. 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2)(viii) does however require that the trainer be: knowledgeable in the subject matter covered by the elements contained in the training program. . . In OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens compliance directive (OSHA Instruction CPL 02-02-069), we state: [p]ossible trainers include a variety of healthcare professionals such as infection control practitioners, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, occupational health professionals, physician’s assistants, and emergency medical technicians. Non-healthcare professionals, such as but not limited to, industrial hygienists, epidemiologists, or professional trainers, may conduct the training provided they are knowledgeable in the subject matter covered by the elements contained in the training program as it relates to the workplace. One way, but not the only way, knowledge can be demonstrated is the fact that the person received specialized training.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.