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Featured Data & Statistics

Nail-Gun Injuries in Workers Treated in Emergency Departments

Nail-Gun Injuries in Workers Treated in Emergency Departments

Speed, ease of use, and ready availability have made pneumatic nail guns a common work tool in settings such as residential construction and wood-product fabrication. In 2005, approximately 28,000 (98%) of 28,600 workers injured by nail guns were men. Injured workers had a median age of 27 years.

Approximately 4% of nail-gun injuries among workers resulted in fractured bones. Injuries to upper extremities, primarily hands and fingers, accounted for 66% of all worker nail-gun injuries. Lower extremities also were injured frequently, accounting for 24% of worker injuries.

Examples of other nail-gun injuries among workers included:

  • Eye injuries from foreign bodies and corneal abrasions
  • Dental injuries
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Nerve damage from tool use
  • Finger dislocation from reaching and lifting a tool
  • Lacerations
  • Electrical burns
  • Noise-induced hearing difficulty

Among 1,500 workers hospitalized for nail-gun injuries in 2005, wounds included:

  • Embedded nails in the trunk, head, joints, or bones
  • Fractures from nail penetration
  • Infected puncture wounds

Most persons with nail-gun injuries were not hospitalized; 26,900 (94%) workers were treated and released from emergency departments in 2005.

For more information, see:



MMWR. US Department of Health and Human Services: CDC, Atlanta: GA. Nail-Gun Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments --- United States, 2001--2005 April 13, 2007/56(14);329-332.

Page last reviewed: September 12, 2007
Page last updated: September 12, 2007
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Content owner: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Division of News and Electronic Media
URL for this page:


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