G3: Industry insiders talk glass
Ann Salzer, safety and health manager, Contract Glaziers Inc.
“Contract Glaziers Inc. is vitally interested in the health and safety of its employees. Protection of employees from injury or occupational disease is a major continuing objective, and we have instituted a thorough safety training procedure for all new and existing employees that is regularly reviewed and updated under legislated requirements. Line management is held accountable for safe operations of all staff (foremen, supervisors, superintendents and workers), and effective systems are put in place that clearly state safety as part of job description. We've instituted clear safety objectives with measurable targets, including toolbox talks and progressive discipline for safety infractions. And, the company also put in place an accident-reporting classification that compares safety performance companywide.
One of the major safety issues we address with employees is fall protection—we go through the scope, application, definitions and training requirements. Additionally, we take a close look at scaffolding, ladders, head protection and hazard communication.”
Frank Levesque, technical manager and trainer, Glass Doctor
“Safety training is part of all training segments at Glass Doctor University. We also offer SMARTECH training videos that can be viewed by employers and employees at their convenience. Other proactive safety classes include a required safety meeting for all franchises and employees the first week of every month to follow [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] compliance.
The two most frequently missed safety practices are the use of safety glasses and safety gloves. These safety items are supplied to all employees as needed. OSHA CFR-1910 safety regulations require all employers to supply safety equipment to all employees that are doing hazardous work. In most cases, safety equipment training and documentation of training is also required before attempting the task at hand. ”
Mike Burk, product sales specialist, Quanex Building Products
“As a supplier of components to the fenestration industry, we have the opportunity to visit many customers that use glass in their manufacturing process. The training programs we see vary from small programs to exceptional safety programs, little or no [Personal Protective Equipment] to complete PPE, individual safety responsibility to active safety committees. In all companies, the best programs exist where safety has become a part of the culture. These are companies where the PPE is used willingly, safety practices are followed, and employees watch out for and warn their coworkers.
Most fabricators have addressed the issue of lacerations and provide the required PPE. However, many have not completely reviewed the practices and procedures for handling large glass lites or large insulating glass units. Crush injuries and deaths result from not knowing the weight of the glass and shifting centers of gravity as glass is loaded or unloaded. Injuries can also result from incorrect or faulty handling equipment and attempts to stop falling glass and crates. Companies must establish guidelines for lifting glass by specifying size and weight limits and the minimum number handlers required for large lites. They must determine when lifting equipment is required and insure that the equipment is properly maintained. Manufacturers must provide handling training, as well as clear and unobstructed glass handling and storage areas. ”