Cal/OSHA cites contractor for willful violations of nail gun safety regulations

Cal/OSHA has issued citations to Circle M Contractors Inc. for willful violations of nail gun safety regulations after a carpenter was seriously injured at a residential construction site, an incident that led investigators to find 34 similar injuries since 2016, regulators announced Tuesday.

An investigation into an April 17 incident found that the Rancho Santa Margarita-based house-framing contractor failed to train and instruct employees on the proper use of pressure-powered nailing tools after a carpenter was using an air pressure-powered nail gun to frame wood at a construction site in Lake Forest, California, according to a statement.

The worker was carrying the nail gun in his right hand with his finger on the trigger when a nail was unintentionally discharged into his left arm. Cal/OSHA’s investigation found that Circle M Contractors employees did not receive hands-on training for operating nailing tools safely and that the company did not ensure workers carry nail guns only by the handle and not with their finger on the trigger, according to a statement.

Cal/OSHA issued two willful-serious accident-related citations with a total of $225,500 in proposed penalties for Circle M Contractors’ failure to train workers on nail guns and failure to ensure safe operation of these tools. Cal/OSHA’s review of the employer’s injury log showed 34 instances of nail gun injuries suffered by employees since 2016, according to a statement.

“Employers must effectively train workers to safely operate dangerous tools such as nail guns,” Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum said in the statement. “The employer knew these tools are hazardous and did not take the necessary measures to protect their workers from injury.”

The officials with the company could not immediately be reached for comment.