A spike in serious injuries and deaths in the NSW glass and glazing industry has prompted WorkCover NSW to react. Over a three year period, two workers died and 431 were injured, resulting in more than $7 million in workers compensation claims.
The incidents were due, in part, to a lack of experience and businesses buying direct from unknown overseas manufacturers. In response, WorkCover has launched a targeted safety initiative in conjunction with the glass and glazing industry, and produced a safety video and set of posters which highlight the risks of unloading glass sheets from shipping containers and vehicles.
WorkCover Tamworth District Coordinator, Gary Mason said when an incident occurred injuries were often serious, if not fatal. “There are a number of risks associated with the manufacturing, storage and handling of glass,” Mr Ringland said. “They include the unloading of shipping containers, particularly closed top shipping containers, the loading and unloading of glass sheets from vehicles and the removal of glass sheets from timber packaging.”
He added: “All of these activities that have the potential to result in serious work health and safety incidents. Further contributing to the risk is the bypassing of local glass wholesalers by some businesses to buy direct from overseas manufacturers. This can result in businesses undertaking activities they may have no experience in, such as unloading shipping containers. Our new safety video highlights the risks of working with these materials and outlines what businesses can do to eliminate or minimise the risks of workers being injured.”
The video can be viewed on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or our website and WorkCover encourage all glass and glazing industry businesses to take a few minutes during their next tool box talk to show the video and discuss how they can prevent incidents at their workplace.
The Storing and Handling Glass Video Safety Alert can be viewed or shared here: http://tiny.cc/glassVSA
Further information on the storage and handling of glass is available by calling WorkCover on 13 10 50 or visiting the WorkCover website www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/