Transporting glass can be a tricky process – and doing it correctly is absolutely crucial. Improper packaging or incorrectly moving glass can be expensive. There’s the cost of replacing broken items and materials. Labour hours will be wasted cleaning away breakage, and the time spent waiting on new materials adds up. When transporting glass panes, not taking proper measures can cost companies hundreds, even thousands of pounds.
And it’s not just the “safety” of the glass you need to worry about. Protecting yourself and others is crucial. Sharp or shattered glass is an obvious health risk, and lifting heavy panes can result in injuries if not done correctly.
So how do we prevent these costly brakes and keep ourselves safe? This guide will look at the options for transporting glass from packaging to handling on site.
Racking Glass Sheets
Its crucial to pay attention when storing glass, as doing so incorrectly can lead to many breakages. A 3-5 degree angle of lean from the vertical is the ideal way to store glass sheets. The sheets will be unstable and potentially pulled over my draughts if the angle is too small. If the angle is too great, you may experience bowing. Racks tend to use a 5 degree lean, allowing for a loaded mechanical grab to approach from 3 degrees. Racks should include mesh barriers around the sides to prevent the glass from falling when handling them.
In warehousing, glass is most commonly moved with lift trucks and overhead travelling cranes. Wheeled trolleys with 2 wheels in the middle and one at either end are also used. However, HSE reports they continue to cause accidents as they are less stable than trolleys with 4 or 6 wheels on each end. Therefore, if using these trolleys, it is essential to load glass sheets evenly. Only operate these trolleys if you are fully trained to do so safely.
Packing Glass Panes
Cover glass panes with thin foam packing sheets to protect them from scratches when transporting them. Small panes of glass are typically transported in a cardboard “sandwich”, offering some protection against breaking. They are also best transported upright, which may limit your transport options. However, be sure to brace the glass. It won’t be very safe if it topples over or is thrown around the back of a van.
Glass Vacuum Lifting Tools
Vacuum lifting tools are a great way to move large, heavier glass panels. They protect against injury from the panes manually. As per CE directives, you will need to further secure the panes with safety straps when using single circuit lifters. However, dual circuit glass lifters don’t require extra support as the additional circuit provides it. When using vacuum lifters, ensure you are using them appropriately. The glass should be within the product’s weight capacity and meet the specified dimensions. You will be able to meet all your needs with just a few lifters. VIAVAC’s Glass Boy series, for instance, offers three core products (GB-L, GB-X, and GB-H) that accommodate glass panes between 250Kg and 1800Kg.
Prevent Injury And Expenses
In any construction career, you are likely to work with glass sheets. Or, at the very least, work around others that are. Therefore, it is vital that you know how to properly store, transport, and handle glass. Use the guidance in this post to stay safe by preventing breakages and accidents.