Imagine this: You’ve bought a new piece of equipment for your company that is hazardous and will require safety training for employees. Where do you get the necessary safety info for the equipment?
New research shows you may not be able to count on vendors or manufacturers for the safety information.
Duke University Medical Center researchers found people selling nail guns knew little about them or how to use them safely.
The researchers visited 217 businesses that sold or rented nail guns, including places that sold directly to builders and contractors.
Salespeople gave some sort of misinformation almost 75% of the time, and 59% of the salespeople didn’t provide any suggestions for safe use.
Salespeople in businesses that sold primarily to contractors were more likely to offer safety information, but only half of them did.
One salesperson at 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.”
U.S. emergency rooms treat about 35,000 injuries from nail guns every year. And this may come to a surprise to some in construction: Most of those injured aren’t home users. Only 14,000 are do-it-yourselfers.
The researchers believe salespeople don’t have access to the information they need and aren’t aware of the voluntary industry standard issued in 2003 that calls for sequential triggers — those that require the nose of the nail gun to be pressed against its target first and then the trigger to be pulled. The researchers see this as a symbol of lack of effectiveness of voluntary standards.
The researchers also see an opportunity for OSHA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to join forces to require sequential triggers on nail guns.
What do you think about the researchers’ conclusions? Let us know in the Comments Box below.