Hester Lipscomb

Hester Lipscomb

Dr. Hester Lipscomb is professor of occupational and environmental medicine at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. She is an occupational epidemiologist with training in nursing and health behavior including health and safety problems of construction workers.

For more information, visit http://cfm.mc.duke.edu/faculty/details/0107719


Dennis Patterson and James Nolan


Dennis PattersonJames Nolan








Dennis Patterson and James Nolan are union carpenters affiliated with the Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity. In addition to over 60 combined years of construction experience, they each have more than 10 years of occupational safety research experience. Both Patterson and Nolan are OSHA 500 certified.



This Web site is funded through a cooperative agreement by the Center for Construction Research and Training — formerly known as the Center to Protect Workers' Rights (CPWR).

CPWR, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Since the inception of research initiatives in 1990, CPWR has become an international leader in applied research, training and service to the construction industry.

For more information, visit http://www.cpwr.com/about/about-cpwr.

Why We Care

Hester Lipscomb

More than 10 years ago, Professor Lipscomb wanted to learn more about injuries occurring in the residential carpentry industry. Almost as soon as data collection began, she realized the focus of her research would concentrate almost exclusively on use of a single tool: the nail gun.


Denny Patterson

Research partner Denny Patterson has been a carpenter for a lifetime. Yet when he conducts interviews with other carpenters about nail guns, he can’t help but be surprised to discover what some workers do and don’t know about a tool they use every day.


James Nolan

As much as he might wish otherwise, veteran carpenter Jim Nolan knows that nail guns will always be essential for builders.