Installing windows, doors and other glass items in homes and stores across the United States is more dangerous than a lot of people realize. Glass is just so widely-used today that we tend not to think of the inherent risks. For those who work as glazing contractors and glass manufacturers, though, the risk cannot be denied.
Consider, for instance, that the workplace illness and injury incident rate in the private industry sector as a whole is 2.9 incidents for every 100 full-time equivalent workers, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the construction industry, long thought of as one of the most dangerous industries in the world, the incident rate is 3.2.
When you look at glass workers, it’s far higher, well above the average. For example, the incident rate for glazing contractors comes in at a full 3.7 incidents per 100 full-time equivalent workers. The rate for glass manufacturing is even higher, clocking in at 3.9.
What are some dangers? They seem fairly clear. One industry expert noted the sheer weight of glass, which is an issue during installation, and the fragility of the material. When it breaks, there is a clear laceration risk. These injuries could put workers in the hospital or even prove fatal.
How can companies get these numbers down? They need to focus on communication, training, a safety-oriented culture, the right safety equipment and having a workforce that buys into that mentality right down to the last worker.
Do you work in the glass industry? The risks are quite real, and you need to know all of your legal options if you suffer an injury at work.