In late September, California builders dodged a regulatory bullet when the state's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) scrapped a proposed rule change that would have sharply limited the use of pneumatic nailers and staplers on the job site.

The ruling came in response to a series of events that began in 2003, when a California builder ran afoul of state regulators after a worker accidentally fired a nail into his leg soon after returning from a break. The builder was charged with violating several work rules, including one with no apparent bearing on the worker's injury: a...

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