CA Contractor Cited $225K After Nail Gun Injury

Originally published by: EHS TodayOctober 30, 2018

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Editor’s Note: Establishing a culture of safety is imperative for members of the framing industry to “work safely; go home safely.” Created with this mission in mind, NFC’s FrameSAFE program includes easy-to-use training on nail gun safety, including a series of Toolbox Talks on power-operated hand tool safety.

Circle M. Contractors is facing two willful-serious violations after a carpenter at a residential construction site was seriously injured following an accident with a nail gun.

Cal/OSHA issued the citations totaling $225,500 in penalties for the company's failure to train workers on nail guns and ensure safe operations of the equipment.

“Employers must effectively train workers to safely operate dangerous tools such as nail guns,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum in a statement. “The employer knew these tools are hazardous and did not take the necessary measures to protect their workers from injury.”

On April 17, a worker was using an air pressure-powered nail gun to frame wood at a construction site in Lake Forest. He was carrying the nail gun in his right hand with his finger on the trigger when a nail was unintentionally discharged into his left arm, according to the Cal/OSHA report.

Agency investigators discovered that Circle M Contractors workers did not receive hands-on training for operating nailing tools safely and that the Rancho Santa Margarita-based employer did not ensure workers carry nail guns only by the handle and not with their finger on the trigger.

The company has a history of nail gun incidents. A review of Circle M's injury log showed 34 instances of nail gun injuries suffered by employees since 2016. 

In 2015, Cal/OSHA investigated after a Circle M Contractors worker installing hanger brackets slipped and discharged a nail into his knee. The agency cited the employer for failing to ensure workers carry nail guns only by the handle.

It was one of three investigations of Circle M Contractors that year following accidents in San Diego and Irvine. One worker fell 9 ft. while setting roof trusses and another worker fell from the second floor while removing guardrails.