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Construction Site Health and Safety - Nail Guns

Whilst those casual do-it-yourselfers are likely to be quite content with an ordinary hammer, those with a great deal of nails to put in place such as construction site workers will usually use a nail gun to speed up the process and make it easier. Whilst they may avoid the usual nail-related danger of bashing their finger or thumb with the hammer, there are still numerous risks to health and safety associated with using a nail gun.

The most obvious danger of using a nail gun is firing the nail into a body part, usually a hand or a foot, instead of the material it was supposed to go into. This can not only be extremely painful and could cause conditions such as permanent nerve damage, but may also lead to infection if the wound is not cleaned and treated properly.

Nail guns can also be noisy, both from the equipment itself as it discharges the nail, and from the impact upon the material receiving the nail, particularly if the acoustics of the room make the sound even louder such as a room which has been emptied whilst the work takes place and is now prone to significant echoes. Even if the noise does not seem to be too bad this time, prolonged exposure may cause irreversible damage.

Each time the nail gun discharges it is likely to cause a significant jolt and vibration through the operator's hand. Over a long period of time this vibration may cause damage and associated vibration-related conditions.

Measures such as frequent rest breaks or job rotation, personal protective equipment in the form of gloves and ear protectors, and suitable health and safety training courses to enable workers to perform their duties more safely will all help to minimise these risks to health.

Other health and safety courses which may be of interest include:

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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