Title:
Safety gear
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Protective devices and methods suitable for users of pneumatic tools are contemplated for providing covering sufficient to stop or impede a nail's momentum for protection of more commonly injured areas of the body. Protective devices and methods are provided to protect areas of the body such as: a hand, including thumb and index finger of the hand not holding the nailer; a wrist; a knee; a foot; and/or an ankle. Protective covering can be made of any material that is sufficient to stop or impede the nail's momentum. The material may be flexible or stiff. The material may not significantly impede normal joint articulation or significantly interfere with normal work functions. Material can be stiff and the protective device be composed of smaller elements joined so as to allow normal articulation.



Inventors:
Dick, Roderick (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/902361
Publication Date:
04/17/2008
Filing Date:
09/20/2007
Assignee:
Makita U.S.A., Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41H1/02
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Primary Examiner:
MUROMOTO JR, ROBERT H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Roylance, Abrams, Berdo (Bethesda, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A safety device comprising: at least one covering sufficient to stop or impede momentum of a nail from a pneumatic nailer; means for securely placing said at least one covering on a body part; and means for configuring said at least one covering to facilitate articulated movement of said body part.

2. The safety device of claim 1, wherein said body part is a human hand; said at least one covering comprises a plurality of integral parts configured to cover at least a portion of a surface of a thumb and index finger of said hand; said means for securely placing comprises at least one strap; and said integral part are attached to each other by means of at least one pivot.

3. The safety device of claim 1, wherein said body part is a human wrist; and said means for securely placing comprises at least one strap.

4. The safety device of claim 1, wherein said body part is a human ankle; said at least one covering comprises a plurality of through holes; said means for securely placing comprises a lace threaded through said through holes.

5. The safety device of claim 1, wherein said body part is a human knee; said at least one covering comprises a plurality of integral parts configured to cover at least a portion of said knee; said means for securely placing comprises a sleeve; and said integral parts are fixedly attached to each and to said sleeve.

Description:

This application claims benefit under 35 U.S.C. ยง 119(e) from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. Nos. 60/845,778 filed on Sep. 20, 2006, the entire contents of which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention is in the field of safety devices for power tool users. In particular, the present invention provides safety gear to be worn by user of pneumatic devices, such as nailers, for protection against nail misfiring.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional power tools, including pneumatic nail guns are designed to drive nails at very high velocity for fastening, for example, lumber pieces.

Various safety devices are available on the market for reducing risk of injury of power tool operators. However, none of these devices are geared specifically toward uses associated with pneumatic nail guns.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a method and an apparatus to address at least the drawbacks noted above by providing protective devices suitable for users of pneumatic tools which provides covering sufficient to stop or impede the nail's momentum for prevention of the most commonly injured areas of the body.

According to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a protective device is provided to protect the hand. In an exemplary implementation the protected areas include thumb and index finger of the hand not holding the nailer.

According to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a protective device is provided to protect at least one wrist of the user of a nailer.

According to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a protective device is provided to protect at least one knee of the user of a nailer.

According to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a protective device is provided to protect at least one foot of the user of a nailer.

According to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a protective device is provided to protect at least one ankle of the user of a nailer.

In an exemplary implementation, a protective covering is made of any material that is sufficient to stop or impede the nail's momentum. The material may be flexible or stiff. The material may not significantly impede normal joint articulation or significantly interfere with normal work functions.

In an exemplary implementation, material is stiff and the protective device is composed of smaller elements joined so as to allow normal articulation.

In an exemplary implementation, any of the above noted devices can incorporate elements providing additional function, other than the protective function, thereby extending the utility of the devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGS. 1A and 1B: illustrate a hand guard in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 2A and 2B: illustrate wrist guards in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

FIGS. 3A and 3B: illustrate ankle guards in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 3C: illustrates a detail of an exemplary implementation of an accessory which provides additional functionality for an ankle guard of FIG. 3B.

FIG. 4: illustrate knee guards in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Throughout the drawings, the same drawing reference numerals will be understood to refer to the same elements, features, and structures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Certain exemplary embodiments of the present invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

The matters defined in the description such as a detailed construction and elements are provided to assist in a comprehensive understanding of the embodiments of the invention and are merely exemplary. Accordingly, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that various changes and modifications of the embodiments described herein can be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Also, descriptions of well-known functions and constructions are omitted for clarity and conciseness.

Referring to FIGS. 1A and 1B, a hand guard 10 in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention provides protection for thumb and index finger of the hand not holding the nailer. Hand guard 10 comprises an articulated metal or composite protection which includes upper portion 20, lower portions 30 and 35 for covering the thumb and lower portions 40 and 45 covering the index finger. The surfaces of the lower portion 20 upper and lower portions 30, 35, 40 and 45 can be rounded to facilitate deflection of nails. Pivot joints 50 may be provided for attaching surfaces 20, 30, 35, 40 and 45 to each other as shown, and to facilitate articulation. Surfaces 20, 30, 35, 40 and 45 may be integrated in a glove 60, or held in place on the hand by other means such as an elastic strap 70.

Referring to FIGS. 2A and 2B, wrist guards 200 in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention comprise a protective surface 210 which can be held in place on the wrist by means of a strap 220 or by means of a sleeve 240. In an exemplary implementation, wrist guard 200 has a wrist covering which may incorporate a brace to alleviate or prevent carpotunnel syndrome.

Referring to FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate ankle guards in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention. In an exemplary implementation, ankle guard 300 includes protective covering 310 which is held in place on the ankle by means of a strap (which can be a rigid strap attached to covering 310 by means of a pivot 317) and laces 330. Ankle guard 300 may also include a step which provides extra utility for tasks such as supporting a piece of lumber being nailed.

Ankle guard 350 includes a covering 350 which is held in place on the ankle by means of a sleeve 360 and laces 380. In an exemplary implementation, ankle guard 350 (and/or 300) can also be implemented to provide an extra feature of ankle support. Retractable step 370 can be integrated fixedly or detachably in ankle guard 350 by means of fasteners 390. As shown in FIG. 3C, step 370 may include articulated arm 372 attached by means of a pivot to bracket 374. Bracket 374 includes holes 378 for accommodating fasteners 390.

Referring to FIG. 4, knee guards 400 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention includes cover 410 which may be held in place on the knee by means of a sleeve 420. As will be appreciated by skilled artisans, knee guard 400 may also incorporate structure that provides knee support. In an exemplary implementation, cover 400 may have architecture to hold several fastener collations 412.

As will be appreciated by skilled artisans, according to exemplary embodiments of the present invention, the protective covering may be made of any material that is sufficient to stop or impede the nail's momentum. The material may be flexible or stiff, but must not impede normal joint articulation or interfere with normal functions. In the event the material is stiff, the unit may be composed of smaller elements joined in some fashion so as to allow normal articulation.

Other embodiments of the present invention include a foot covering which could incorporate a small flat table so contractors can rest boards on a stable surface prior to cutting (it is a common practice in the West to brace boards on a boot prior to cutting).

Although several embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiments.