You would think that discussing nails is not a very important subject. However, by one industry estimate, about 20% of all minor injuries on the job are a result of punctures, scrapes, and cuts resulting from nails that were not properly removed from lumber and other debris. We all recognize what can happen if a nail is not properly set before driving it, yet we often forget about how dangerous a nail is once it becomes a part of scrap lumber or job debris.
– Be sure your hammer is in good condition.
– Always hit the nail squarely, especially on the first blow.
– Always hit with the blow’s 90 degrees to the nail head.
– Make sure the back swing is unobstructed; claws can hurt.
– Be consistent—“groove” your swing.
– Concentrate on the head of the nail.
– Always pull or bend nails when stripping.
– Use the right pulling device for the job.
– If needed, use a block of wood as a fulcrum. It will make the job much easier.
– Keep scrap materials in neat piles and out of walkways.
– Carefully discard used nails.
Additional Discussion Notes:
Remember: Nails can become “snake fangs” if used improperly. Always treat nails with the respect due them. Otherwise you may end up with puncture wounds, scrapes, cuts or potentially the loss of your eyesight. Driving and pulling nails is often common sense; use it.