Glass Handling & Safety

by Tyler Lacoma; Updated September 26, 2017

Glass handling can involve certain hazards, especially when glass is installed during construction, requiring it to be transported and handled correctly. Specialists who work with glass installation are known as glaziers, and should always be trained to handle and store glass correctly. There are also several basic rules that should be followed when working with glass on construction sites and in factories.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When working with glass, it is important to wear the necessary protective gear to shield eyes and skin from injury if the glass breaks or shatters on impact. Eye gear is required when doing any sort of cutting or grinding, and is often recommended during installation procedures as well. Gloves and footwear that protect against cuts are also important when moving any type of glass pane.

Safe Lifting

Glass should not be unloaded on a sloping surface because its weight is distributed unevenly between the people unloading it. A smooth and level surface is best. Workers should also be very careful when lifting glass up ladders or installing it in windows. Weight should always be equally distributed throughout the pane of glass to avoid fractures.

Glass Storage

Glass should be stored in a specific type of base known as a 90 degree A-frame. These A-frames have 10 to 15 degree differences between the base and the level ground, but also have sloping back braces so that a 90 degree angle is formed, tilted slightly up to face away from the ground. This allows panes of glass to be placed in the frame with considerably less danger of them accidentally falling over.

Glass in Factories

The same basic safety protocols should be in place in factories where glass is used or frequently moved, including wearing protective gear. Glass should never be put on top of any type of machinery or work bench, where accidents are much more likely to occur and the vibration can break delicate types of glass. Glass light fixtures should be placed behind grates to protect them from accidents.

Cleaning Broken Glass

Broken glass should be guarded immediately by a sign warning of the accident so people avoid the area. Large particles should be removed by using a broom or brush, which should then be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed afterward. Smaller particles should be cleaned up with a disposable cloth or paper towel. The cloth will need to be thrown away afterward, since it will have caught up too many glass particles to be used again.

About the Author

Tyler Lacoma has worked as a writer and editor for several years after graduating from George Fox University with a degree in business management and writing/literature. He works on business and technology topics for clients such as Obsessable, EBSCO,, The TAC Group, Anaxos, Dynamic Page Solutions and others, specializing in ecology, marketing and modern trends.

Photo Credits