Handling Glass – Health and Safety Concerns
Health and safety around glass is the most important thing to know before beginning to handle glass. If these precautions are not considered, then handling glass can become unsafe and dangerous. Glass is a material that is notoriously difficult to handle due to being heavy, hard to hold, and easily breakable. The inflexibility of the material means that despite being stronger than plastic it can shatter from a small drop.
Health and Safety
Lots of factors go into keeping safe around glass. Because of this, you should first remember why health and safety is so important.
- Prevent injury
- Waste less time
- Avoid unnecessary costs
- Cause less wastage
Correct PPE is the best way to prevent injury if all other safety measures have been followed. The PPE required will often consist of a hard hat, hi-vis, long sleeves and trousers, safety gloves, safety glasses, safety boots, etc. Depending on the job you may need to wear additional PPE to guarantee safety.
The correct PPE should always be worn as it prevents injuries that can easily be sustained on even simple jobs. Wearing PPE keeps both you and others safe as you becoming injured can cause other things to go wrong.
It is not always safe to manually shift glass. Sometimes it is necessary to rely on professional tools to transport your glass safely. These handy tools can look like transport dollies, carrying straps, and carts.
When using equipment such as our Self-Locking Transport Dolly you can easily slide your glazing into the opening. With the two wheels now added to your glass you can simply roll it safely around site. Our carrying straps allow the user to quickly wrap them around their glazing for fast set-up and transportation.
Shifting objects, especially large and heavy ones, can often reduce your balance and view of the area. By identifying any obstacles such as debris on the floor that could be a trip hazard. Other obstacles may include narrow doorways or doors that aren’t readily open for you to carry the glass through.
When handling glass you should be sure to use all the right PPE as well as the right tools. Glass tools for the job can include transportation tools, lifting tools, specialist tools, etc. On top of preventing damage to your glass, these tools can prevent personal injury.
Tools Prevent Injury
Through the use of tools, you can create a barrier between yourself and the cause of injury. One of our most commonly used tools is our range of glass vacuum cups which provide a sturdy handle to the normally smooth and flat glass surface. They allow you to lift and carry glazing in a way you would normally struggle to without the assistance of the cups.
Another tool that increases the safety of a job is the Woods N4000 Deglazing Tool. This handy device attaches to the glass the user wishes to remove and provides leverage for safe removal. The attached 760mm pry bar means the user can hold the weight of the glass with ease. With a 57kg capacity, heavy glass can be deglazed safely.
Prevent Damaged Glass During Transport and Install
By handling your glass correctly, you prevent most damages that can happen during transport and installation. This mean always choosing tools that provide you with excellent hold and control of the glass. It also means that you should always apply the correct hold to the glazing. Proper holding and handling techniques can prevent the majority of breakages.
To hold your glass correctly you first need to pick it up correctly. You should first find a safe and secure grip and level yourself with the load. You should lift the glass with your legs rather than you back. This prevents injury from strain on the spine and shoulders. We go into further detail on the correct position you should lift loads in this recent blog.
As handling glass can mean your view of your surroundings can be affected you need to remain vigilant. When holding any load, it can block your view of what is on the ground and in front of you. This is why before moving a load any distance you should trace your desired journey to identify any obstacles. When shifting your load take your time and stay alert of any developing obstacles. This can include pedestrians, plant machinery, and debris.
GGR Glass have a team of experts available to help provide you with any advice you may need for safe glass handling. With over 25 years of experience and professional lifting equipment available you’ll be able to find what you need with GGR. To speak to a team member, click here.