The art and trade of glass cutting, polishing, installing, and tradesmen called “Glaziers do removal”. Ever since glass have been used in homes and commercial establishments, glazing (which is the term used to describe the activities of a glazier) became a common architectural process. Nowadays, the duties of glaziers extend up to handling and transporting glass, as well as applying adhesives, caulks, and sealants upon installation. However, as with all professions, glaziers also face certain health hazards and risks which can be avoided with corresponding safety and preventive measures. So, if you’re a glazier, or aspiring to be one, here are the basic occupational hazards and ways you can avoid them:
Occupational Hazards and Preventive Measures
Cuts and Lacerations. These are undoubtedly the most common occupational hazard when handling glass and glass cutting materials. Sharp edges of glass, broken glass and glass cutting tools can easily cut, lacerate, or puncture one’s skin. Glass could break and shatter, sending shards of sharp glass flying. As such, it’s important to always wear gloves and as part of a glazier’s personal protective equipment set. Protective cut-resistant gloves would help keep your hands safe from these types of injuries. It would also be best to wear thick long sleeves or, better yet, use cut-resistant sleeves, wristlets and shirts, as well as denim or other thick-textile pants and protective footwear.
Eye Injuries. Eye injuries can be caused by projectiles produced when cutting and grinding glass. It’s also possible for sharp shards of glass to injure your eye, among other body parts, if they break or shatter. Eye injuries can be quite serious, and may even cause permanent blindness. As such, it’s important for glaziers to always wear protective goggles to keep their eyes safe when handling glass that includes during fabrication, transporting, installation, and removal. Poorly-maintained or low-quality glass cutting tools can also contribute to more projectiles and “chips” due to their abrasiveness; it’s important to invest in better equipment such as diamond cutting tools which are sharper and don’t dull as easily, and be meticulous when choosing diamond tool suppliers.
Slips, Trips, and Falls. While not exclusive to the practice of glazing, slips, trips, and falls still remain as one of the most common injuries in the workplace. For glaziers, these can be quite dangerous and costly, especially when transporting pieces of glass. As such, it’s important to be mindful of one’s surroundings when transporting glass, and good housekeeping procedures around the glass fabrication workshop can help one avoid these types of injuries by removing clutter and cleaning up any spills. It’s also necessary to use the proper tools when transporting glass such as suction cup glass lifters and grip gloves.
Respiratory Issues. Fine silica dust and other tiny particles from glass cutting and grinding, as well as smoke and fumes from any machinery used can cause issues such as asthma, silicosis, and other serious respiratory complications. So always ensure that you and other glaziers wear mouth masks as well as provide good ventilation. Other workshops use water pray to control the dust when manufacturing, as well as proper vacuuming and cleaning of the work area, to prevent dust from accumulating.
Glazing can be quite an enjoyable and lucrative trade, but it truly isn’t without its risk. Luckily, these risks can easily be avoided by proper tool handling, mindfulness, use of protective clothing and gear, and using good quality and well-maintained tools. It would also be a good idea to invest in first aid kits and boxes in your workshop or even your vehicle, just in case of cuts and other issues when handling glass.