When a business sells a product that can be dangerous when used under normal conditions, the business has a responsibility to warn consumers of the dangers or they can face a product liability lawsuit if someone is injured by the product. Many manufacturers take this responsibility very seriously and provide detailed instructions with their products.
However, a recent study indicates that retailers who sell nail guns often fail to give adequate safety information to people who purchase nail guns. The study conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that they received misinformation about nail gun safety at 75 percent of the nail gun retailers they visited.
The misinformation the study is most concerned about is on the topic of the type of triggers nail guns use. A sequential trigger on nail guns cuts the risk of an accident and injury in half when it is used instead of contact triggers, which are more commonly used. Many salespeople did offer accurate safety information about the types of triggers available.
The researchers believe that many salespeople do not have access to the safety information they need to properly advise consumers. They found that many sales personnel were simply not aware of a voluntary industry standard that requires nail guns to be shipped with a sequential trigger.
Considering how serious nail gun injuries can be and with construction season resuming in New York, these findings are very disturbing. According to the study, more than 35,000 Americans go to the emergency room each year due to a nail gun injury. About 40 percent of these injuries happen to consumers, and about 60 percent happen to contractors.
Source: Occupational Health and Safety, “Nail Gun Sellers Rarely Offer Safety Tips,” 4/18/2011