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Old 09-12-2008, 12:19 AM   #1
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I posted this thread some time ago on ridgid's site and thought you guys might need to see this. All is fine now with no permanent damage except for a small scar.

While doing volunteer work, I was holding a board while someone else nails it with a pneumatic framing nailer. The gun misfired and shot 2 nails at the same time. One nail went into the wood but unfortunantly the other nail went into my arm. The doctors doubt I have any permanent damage and while I still have my grip strength, my forearm feels very tired. When I was being treated, they asked me to wiggle my fingers and the nail wiggled back and forth. I'll try to post the xray pics later but it never came close to the bone. I guess being fat has its advantages. I got lucky as this was only my arm as I wasn't wearing safety glasses.


Just an update. Been talking very closely to the folks at hitachi and the reason why the accident happened is that round nailheads were used instead of clipped nailheads. They're making sure they properly label their tools so this doesn't happen again.
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:26 AM   #2
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Near misses like that reinforce why we need to be ever vigilant. That being said, if the manufactuer learns from you obvious misfortune, maybe it helps prevent a death next time. Every day is a learning experience, as much for others as for us.
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:22 AM   #3
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I'm glad to hear you're not seriously injured.

It's not just the manufacturers. The only nail guns I own are cordless Pasolodes which are damn near impossible to misfire. Every time I borrow someones pneumatic nail gun though, they have the trigger set to fire on the slightest touch. It's actually hard sometimes not to have it fire two or three nails. When you look at most framing jobs you see the double nails all the time. The last big job I was on someone got a nail through their cheek the same way you did. The gun fired two nails, one went flying across the room and hit the guy in the face. I know exactly how it happened because I had used the guys gun a few days prior. The trigger was so sensitive it was almost impossible not to fire two nails.

You shouldn't be allowed to use a nail gun until you've done framing with a hammer. Some of these guys put ten nails in one end of a 2x4 stud. You won't be doing that when you've banging nails by hand. When I was doing carpentry it was always three nails in each end, two on one side towards the outside, one in the other side in the middle.

Last edited by Marlin; 09-12-2008 at 06:24 AM..
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:33 PM   #4
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Glad you are ok. Cant tell you how many times I have shot my hands and feet with 12d nails and 1-1/2 staples. Nailguns are not a toy! They can kill!
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:41 PM   #5
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I shot a 16d nail into my finger once. It went through a stud first. I had gloves on and I just ripped my finger loose. It had gone in and out about a half inch apart, just missing the bone. I just band-aided it and went back to work.

Not nearly as bad as once when I was doing a doghouse. I had a wall of the large doghouse built with 16d nails sticking through and it slipped. I wound up with one going down to the bone just above my knee. Again, I just ripped it out and continued working. A couple of days later I had those telltale signs of blood poisoning and had to visit the MD.

I was working in a factory once and this Indian guy was working with a not-too-bright guy who was running the nailer. The Indian was holding up a 2 x 4 and the other guy blasted out two of his teeth. He went to the dentist and was back to work that afternoon.
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Old 09-13-2008, 01:32 AM   #6
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I was pushing at an industrial job a few hours north of here. Two of my guys were running uni-strut for support. They were on level 3 of the structure and the fab table was on level 2. They needed to cut the strut but instead of climbing down the 10 feet down the ladder they decided to cut the uni-strut "on-site" One guy was holding it on the ends and the other was cutting the middle to get 2 pieces out of 3'. They decided to use a grinder with a "zip-disc". The guy holding the strut was pulling up while the grinder operator was pushing down. 3/4 of the way through the grinder "jumped" and contacted the "holders" arm. It cut into the bone of his forearm about 3/16" and cauterized the wound as it did so. To this day he has a groove.
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:28 AM   #7
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The worst I've seen (well I didn't actually see it) was with a screw gun, not a nail gun. Someone was working alone on a Saturday putting Sheetrock up on a ceiling. He was using one of the screw guns with the strip of screws and put one through his hand and the stud. He then dropped the screw gun. He was stuck up on a latter with his hand screwed to the ceiling for about an hour before someone came along. He wound up being fine, no perminant damage to his hand.
Just goes to show that any tool can be dangerous.
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