Hospital emergency room visits due to nail-gun injuries among do-it-yourself carpenters tripled between 1991 and 2005 in the United States, a new analysis shows. Nails driven into hands or fingers accounted for two-thirds of the wounds.
Between 2001 and 2005, U.S. emergency rooms treated roughly 37,000 people annually for pneumatic nail-gun injuries. Nearly 15,000 of these were weekend carpenters, a yearly figure far outpacing the 4,200 such do-it-yourselfers in 1991.
While people employed as carpenters account for a majority of injuries each year, their mishap rate has held steady since such data on workers' injuries were first collected in 1998, says Hester Lipscomb, an occupational epidemiologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.