SATURDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Store employees in
businesses that sell nail guns don't seem to know much about them
or how to use them safely, researchers warn.
This lack of knowledge about these potentially dangerous tools
is cause for concern, the team from Duke University Medical Center
said. They noted that more than 35,000 nail gun-related injuries
are treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments each year.
For the new study, the researchers visited 217 businesses that
sell or rent nail guns and posed as consumers who wanted the tools
for a home project, such as framing a deck or fence. The businesses
were located in North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania,
Missouri, Illinois and Texas.
The sales staff were given an opportunity to volunteer safety
information about the tools. If they didn't do so, the researchers
asked a general question about the safety of the nail guns. If
accurate safety information was still not provided, the researchers
then asked specific questions about the nail guns and the risks
The investigators received some form of misinformation about the
safety of nail guns at 75 percent of the businesses, even though 62
percent of the salespeople had previously used a nail gun. About 59
percent of the salespeople failed to offer any safety advice.
The study was released online in advance of publication in an
upcoming print issue of the
American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
"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," lead author Hester Lipscomb, a professor in the occupational and environmental medicine division, said in a Duke news release.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers
nail gun safety tips.