The popularity of do-it-yourself home repair seems to be responsible for a doubling of emergency room visits due to nail gun injuries since 2001.
Here’s an impassioned plea for gun control. Of nail guns, that is. Because accidents involving nail guns have gone through the renovated roof. In 2005, almost 15,000 people were treated in US emergency rooms for nail gun injuries. That’s twice the number in 2001 and three times the injuries back in 1991, according to data released in the April 13th issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, put out by the CDC.
The rising popularity of do it yourselfing seems to be behind the unfortunate trend. Most injuries are puncture wounds to the hands, followed by hits to the forearms, legs and feet. Six percent of the wounded wind up being hospitalized. Although better safety instruction would no doubt help, the report’s authors suggest a systems approach to the problem—they’d like nail guns to be impossible to fire until the nose was depressed, which would presumably happen only when the gun was flush up against whatever needed nailing. By the way, 96 percent of the injured were males, which could mean that they’re doing most of the work, or that women read the instructions.