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Nail gun injuries in residential carpentry: lessons from active injury surveillance.

Authors
Lipscomb-HJ; Dement-JM; Nolan-J; Patterson-D; Li-L
Source
Inj Prev 2003 Mar; 9(1):20-24
NIOSHTIC No.
20025989
Abstract
Objective: To describe circumstances surrounding injuries involving nail guns among carpenters, calculate injury rates, identify high risk groups and preventive measures. Methods and setting: Active injury surveillance was used to identify causes of injury among a large cohort of union residential and drywall carpenters. Injured carpenters were interviewed by experienced journeymen; enumeration of workers and hourworked were provided by the union. The combined data allowed definition of a cohort of carpenters, their hours worked, detailed information on the circumstances surrounding injuries, and identification of preventive measures from the perspectives of the injured worker and an experienced investigator. Results: Nail guns were involved in 14% of injuries investigated. Ninety percent of these injuries were the result of the carpenter being struck, most commonly by a nail puncturing a hand or fingers. The injury rate among apprentices was 3.7 per 200 000 hours worked (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.7 to 4.9) compared with a rate of 1.2 among journeymen (95% CI 0.80 to 1.7). While not always the sole contributing factor, a sequential trigger would have likely prevented 65% of the injuries from tools with contact trip triggers. Conclusions: Training, engineering, and policy changes in the workplace and manufacturing arena are all appropriate targets for prevention of these injuries. Use of sequential triggers would likely decrease acute injury rates markedly. Over 70% of injuries among residential carpenters were associated with through nailing tasks (such as nailing studs or blocks, trusses or joists) or toe nailing (angled, corner nailing) as opposed to flat nailing used for sheathing activities; this provides some indication that contact trip tools could be used solely for flat nailing.
Keywords
Construction-workers; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction; Power-tools; Tools; Surveillance-programs; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Accident-statistics; Accident-rates; Accidents; Accident-prevention; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries
Contact
Dr. Hester J Lipscomb, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Box 3834, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710
Publication Date
20030301
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
hester.lipscomb@duke.edu
Funding Amount
755348
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2003
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-003809
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
1353-8047
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Source Name
Injury Prevention
State
NC
Performing Organization
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
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