Glaziers play a crucial role in the construction industry, as they are responsible for cutting, grinding, polishing, and drilling glass. They handle sheets of glass in various settings, such as warehouses, during transportation, and at the work site. This involves the use of slings and power lift devices. Glaziers also apply adhesives, sealants, and caulks, as well as use, clean, and maintain different types of equipment. Additionally, they perform administrative tasks like preparing estimates and invoices, supervising assistants, and ensuring compliance with building codes.
While glazing work can be fulfilling, it also presents various health and safety challenges that they must address. Undertaking health and safety training is crucial for protecting oneself and others. Let’s delve into some of the common health and safety issues faced by glaziers and discuss preventive measures they should take.
Beware of the Pitfalls and Stay Safe
The Law of Gravity:
We all know that everything that goes up must come down, so do it on your terms rather than ‘falling’ victim to an accident. Glaziers often work on ladders and scaffolds, which can pose a significant risk. It is important to follow proper health and safety training procedures for working at heights, including implementing a fall protection plan. Working safely on ladders and scaffolds and using appropriate fall protection equipment are essential precautions.
Handle with Care:
The nature of glazier work involves dealing with large, awkward, and heavy sheets of glass. Safe lifting techniques should be applied to minimize the risk of strain or injury. Additionally, wearing protective gloves and footwear can help reduce the chances of cuts and injuries.
Posture and Breaks:
Glaziers may find themselves in uncomfortable positions and standing for extended periods. Taking regular breaks and practicing ergonomic-friendly work habits can alleviate discomfort and prevent fatigue-related accidents.
Slips, Trips, and Falls:
Maintaining a clean and organized work environment is crucial to prevent slips, trips, and falls. Good housekeeping practices, including keeping walkways clear of debris and spills, can significantly reduce these hazards.
The Sky is Falling:
Glaziers must be cautious of falling objects, especially heavy sheets of glass. Wearing appropriate head protection and being aware of potential hazards can help prevent injuries caused by falling or shifting objects.
Cuts Like a Knife:
Sharp edges of glass and the tools used present a risk of cuts. Proper training in handling tools safely and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as cut-resistant gloves, is essential for minimizing these risks.
See No Evil:
When cutting and grinding glass, flying particles can cause serious eye injuries. Wearing proper eye protection, such as safety glasses or goggles, is crucial to prevent these injuries.
Cutting, grinding, drilling, and polishing glass produce dust particles that can be harmful if inhaled. Using appropriate respiratory protection and working in well-ventilated areas can mitigate the risks associated with dust exposure.
Exposure to Other Materials and Chemicals:
Glaziers may also come into contact with other materials, such as wood or metal, when creating framing. Being aware of the hazards associated with these materials and using appropriate PPE and safe work practices is essential.
Proper Tool and Equipment Maintenance:
Regularly inspecting tools and equipment to ensure they are in good working order is crucial for glaziers’ safety. Using ergonomic-friendly tools can help reduce the risk of strain or repetitive motion injuries.
Essential Health and Safety Training
It is essential for glaziers to undergo proper health and safety training to understand and implement these preventive measures effectively. FTI Ontario provides health and safety training specifically tailored for glaziers, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to perform their work safely. Their training programs include some of the following courses:
Working at Heights:
This course focuses on the safe practices and procedures for working at heights, including the proper use of fall protection equipment and systems.
WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System):
Glaziers learn about the identification, handling, and safe use of hazardous materials they may encounter in their work, ensuring compliance with WHMIS regulations.
Elevated Work Platform:
This course provides training on the safe operation and use of elevated work platforms, such as scissor lifts and boom lifts, to perform tasks at elevated heights securely.
Basic Health & Safety Training:
Glaziers receive a comprehensive overview of general safety principles and practices, including hazard recognition, personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, and emergency response procedures.
By prioritizing health and safety, and following the recommended precautions, glaziers can minimize the risk of accidents and injuries, creating a safer working environment for themselves and their colleagues.
Health and Safety Training Matters When You Work as a Glazier
Glaziers play a vital role in ensuring the safety and durability of various structures and equipment. However, the job also comes with its own set of hazards, which is why health and safety training is crucial. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a glazier, it’s essential to seek out a training program that provides comprehensive courses that meet the industry standards. At FTI Ontario, we offer a range of health and safety classes that will prepare you to work safely in any environment. Contact us for more information.