IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Optimization of an Operatorless Test Bench to Measure Noise and Vibrations from Nail Guns


Nail guns are used by several trades, particularly in the construction industry. These tools generate high noise and vibration levels and therefore increase the risk of developing occupational hearing loss or hand-arm vibration syndrome.

A research project funded by the IRSST and supported by ASP Construction has developed a test bench to measure nail guns’ noise and vibration levels and propose solutions to improve them. The study measured high levels of noise and vibration but also identified nail guns that are less noisy and vibrate less. However, the test bench was affected by several limitations.

The purpose of this project is to propose an optimized test bench with several improvements, including a simplified method in order to reduce measurement variance, operating costs and the time required for measurement; it will also take the part to be nailed into consideration in the characterization of nail guns, allowing for a two-part measurement (minimum and maximum radius).

An optimized device that substitutes for the operator will make it possible to measure noise and vibrations reliably and repeatably, without an operator. Combined with changes in the part to be nailed, these improvements will eventually allow for an up-to-date classification of all nail gun models available on the market so users can be informed of the dangers each one poses. The optimized test bench will allow us to identify sources of noise and vibrations from nail guns and ultimately to suggest concrete improvements to manufacturers. These developments could lead to changes in current standards.