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Accident Type: Struck by Nail Image - Fatal Facts No. 2
Weather Conditions: N/A
Type of Company: General Contractors
Size of Work Crew: 17
Union or Non-union: Union
Work site Inspection?: No
Designated Competent Person on Site?: No
Employer Safety and Health Program?: No
Training and Education for Employees?: No
Craft of Deceased Employee(s): Carpenter
Age;Sex 22; Male
Time of the Job: 3:00 p.m.
Time at the Task Unknown


A carpenter apprentice was killed when he was struck in the head by a nail that was fired from a powder actuated tool. The tool operator, while attempting to anchor a plywood form in preparation for pouring a concrete wall, fired the gun causing the nail to pass through the hollow wall. The nail traveled some twenty-seven feet before striking the victim. The tool operator had never received training in the proper use of the tool, and none of the employees in the area were wearing personal protective equipment.


  1. Institute a program for frequent and regular inspections of the job site, materials, and equipment by a competent person(s) (1926.20(b)(2)).
  2. Require employees exposed to the potential hazards associated with flying nails to use appropriate personal protective equipment. (1926.100(a) and 1926.102(a)(1)).
  3. Train employees using powder actuated tools in the safe operation of the particular tool (1926.302(e)(2)).
  4. Train employees operating power actuated tools to avoid firing into easily penetrated materials (1926.302(e)(8)).

NOTE: The case here described was selected as being representative of fatalities caused by improper work practices. No special emphasis or priority is implied nor is the case necessarily a recent occurrence. The legal aspects of the incident have been resolved, and the case is now closed.

The information presented in this document was obtained from sources that we deem reliable; Graphic Products does not guarantee accuracy or completeness. Graphic Products, Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied. Users of this document should consult municipal, state, and federal code and/or verify all information with the appropriate regulatory agency.

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