Personnel selling nail guns know little about the dangerous tools
Buyer beware may be the best approach when it comes to purchasing a nail gun. Duke University Medical Center researchers found that personnel selling these dangerous tools know little about them or how to use them safely, despite a number of effective safety measures available.
The researchers visited 217 businesses that sell or rent nail guns, and posed as new users interested in purchasing the tools for a home project, such as framing a deck or fence. Sales personnel were given a chance to volunteer safety information about the tools, and if they didn't, the researchers asked a general question about the safety of the tools. If the salespeople still did not offer accurate safety information, the researchers asked specific questions about nail guns, the risks involved with using them, and the different trigger types available.
The team received some source of misinformation at almost 75 percent of the businesses they visited, even though 62 percent of the salespeople had previously used a nail gun. And, 59 percent of the salespeople they encountered failed to provide any suggestions for safe use.
"It's alarming that a consumer, whether it's a contractor buying for their working population or a home user buying for their own use, doesn't get better information -- particularly given the devastating nature of some of these injuries and the risk of 'stand-by' exposures to other workers or family members," said Hester Lipscomb, PhD, professor in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Duke University and lead author of the study.
The businesses, which included both home improvement big-box stores and places that sell directly to builders or contractors, like lumberyards, were located in four areas of the U.S. -- North Carolina, West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania, Missouri, southern Illinois, and Texas.
Salespeople in outlets that sold primarily to contractors were more likely to offer safety information, but only half of them did. In general, some salespeople provided helpful, correct information, but they were the exception.
During the team's assessment, researchers were often assured that the tools were safe to use, even in the context of a salesperson relaying a story about somebody else that got hurt. For example, one person explained the tools were safe but then indicated you could shoot a nail through your hand.
"We were all surprised at being reassured that the tools were safe while also being told about people who had been injured," Lipscomb said. "We were also surprised by the attitude of being very much accepting of injury."
One salesperson in a lumberyard told one of the researchers to "get a buddy and the operator's manual and four or five beers and you're good to go."
"This cavalier attitude about the use of a potentially lethal tool is irresponsible and very disturbing," Lipscomb said.
More than 35,000 injuries from nail guns are treated in U.S. emergency departments every year and about 14,000 are among consumers. Lipscomb's research, published in 2007, showed a surge in nail gun injury rates as use of the tools became more widespread among consumers. Since then, Lipscomb's team has focused its research on safety awareness related to the sequential trigger, which cuts the risk of acute injury in half when used instead of the more common contact trip trigger.
"Since there is not a requirement for the safer trigger, the point of sale becomes a very vital source of information about the tools and their triggers," Lipscomb explained.
Lipscomb and her colleagues believe the problem is that sales personnel do not have access to the information that they need and are not aware of the voluntary industry standard issued in 2003 that called for nail guns to be shipped with the safer sequential trigger. They believe this demonstrates the lack of effectiveness from such voluntary standards.
"Unfortunately, neither the Consumer Product Safety Commission nor the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have requirements that address the acute injury risk associated with use of these tools," Lipscomb said. She sees an opportunity for these two government agencies to join forces to require an existing engineering solution to protect both workers and consumers doing do-it-yourself projects.
More information: The research is published online in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
Provided by Duke University
- Safer Triggers and Training Decrease Nail Gun Injuries Aug 14, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Gun safety not part of many parents' conversations with kids Nov 09, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Home improvement warning -- Ladder-related injuries increasing in the US May 08, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- National study finds table saw-related injuries have remained consistently high Jan 13, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Protection or Peril? Gun Possession of Questionable Value in an Assault Sep 30, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
People eating at fast food restaurants largely underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large ones, according to a paper published today in BMJ.
Health 9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), helps confirm with o ...
Health 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The Senate has overwhelmingly rejected an amendment allowing states to require labeling of genetically modified foods.
Health 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
(AP)—McDonald's once again faced criticism that it's a purveyor of junk food that markets to children at its annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
Health 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Can economic incentives such as gift cards, T-shirts, and time off from work motivate members of the public to increase their donations of blood?
Health 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
10 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 0 |
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
15 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (10) | 1 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Little is known about why asthma develops, how it constricts the airway or why response to treatments varies between patients. Now, a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University Medical Center ...
14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Ethnic background plays a surprisingly large role in how diabetes develops on a cellular level, according to two new studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |