Nail-Gun Injuries on the Rise Among Construction Workers11/23/13
SATURDAY, Nov. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Nail-gun injuries
are on the rise, and young, male construction workers are at
greatest risk, according to a new study from Australia.
Researchers looked at 87 cases of nail-gun injuries that
occurred in Australia between January 2007 and July 2012. Of those
injuries, nearly 96 percent happened at work.
Fifty-eight percent of the patients required surgery, 32 percent
were treated solely in the emergency room and 10 percent were
transferred to a private facility. Among the patients who underwent
surgery, 14 percent had tendon, joint or neurovascular damage, and
20 percent had foreign material in the wound.
Nail-gun injuries result in a significant loss of productivity,
as well as having a significant financial cost, according to the
authors of the study, which was published online Nov. 8 in the
Emergency Medicine Australasia.
An analysis of data from the state of Queensland showed that
there were 81 workers' compensation claims for nail-gun injuries on
average each year during the past five years. Each case led to an
average of 15 days off work, according to a journal news
Nail-gun injuries can cause immediate damage to soft tissues,
tendons and bones, and can result in infections and septic
arthritis, the researchers said. The non-dominant hand often is
involved in such injuries.
"While nail-gun injuries involving the skull, chest and abdomen have been reported, the vast majority of injuries occur to the upper and lower limbs," wrote Dr. James Ling and colleagues from Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers
nail-gun safety tips.
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