The harrowing moments after a Georgia constructor worker shot himself in the thigh with a nail gun were caught on video as he first attempted to pull the nail out himself with pliers before paramedics arrive.
Derek Hinkley, who was helping to build a wooden play pirate ship, was using a 3-inch penny nail, which has grooves that make it difficult to extract.
“As I kneeled and grabbed it to make a routine move, it [the nail gun] brushed my leg and fired,” Hinkley told Newsflare of the Sept. 27 accident. “I immediately couldn’t believe what just happened. I think my first words were ‘No! No! No!’”
He said he asked his friend Chris, who witnessed the accident, to hand him the pliers to see if he could wiggle it free. On the video, Hinkley can be seen pulling at the nail with a look of agony on his face, but quickly relenting after it wouldn’t budge.
Once paramedics arrived, Hinkley was given pain medication and taken to the hospital, where the nail was safely removed. He also filmed himself in the hospital, describing the experience of being on pain medication as feeling like he was dying, and just as scary as the accident itself.
He was released later that same day and told Newsflare that he then returned to help Chris finish the wooden ship.
Nail guns are responsible for an estimated 37,000 emergency room visits each year, with 68 percent of cases involving construction workers and 32 percent involving consumers. Severe accidents have even lead to death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The health agency has identified seven risk factors that can lead to nail gun injury, including unintended nail discharge from double fire, unintended nail discharge from knowing the safety contact when the trigger squeezed, nail penetration through lumber workpiece, nail ricochet, missing the work piece, awkward position nailing, and bypassing safety mechanisms.
The CDC advises using sequential trigger nail guns, providing trading, establishing nail gun procedures, providing personal protective equipment, encouraging reporting and discussion of injuries, and providing first aid and medical treatment in an effort to prevent nail gun injuries from occurring.