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Nail gun use to be scrutinised

26 January 2005

Nail gun use to be scrutinised

The Department of Labour will review safety issues involving the use of all brands of nail guns, following the death last year of a Queenstown builder.

The Department’s occupational safety and health service has completed its investigation into the death of Robert Otto on 1 November 2004, at a Queenstown construction site. He was struck by a nail from a powder-powered handheld fastening tool (nail gun). A work colleague was attempting to drive a nail through a section of steel when the nail deflected off the steel and hit Mr Otto in the head.

OSH service manager for Southland John Pannett said no prosecution would be taken in relation to Mr Otto’s death. The Department would instead coordinate a project to review general safety issues involving the use of all similar nail guns currently in common use in New Zealand.

Mr Pannett said the project would start next month and would review the training currently provided to nail gun users, and update training material to include more specific instructions relating to use with steel.

People using powder-powered fastening tools must hold an appropriate certificate of competence, while trainee operators must be under the direct supervision of someone holding a certificate.

The review will also look at: Whether 25 years was suitable duration for a certificate of competence and to consider reducing this time period Clarifying the danger zones that were required to be observed by people working in the vicinity, and The ongoing suitability of the use of nail guns on construction sites OSH’s report into Mr Otto’s death has been forwarded to the police for a coroner’s inquest.


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