Transporting glass is a difficult task requiring a lot of concentration and skill. Improper packaging and moving can be expensive and dangerous. Additional costs must be considered, including replacing broken items and materials, wasted labour hours on cleanup, and lead times for replacement materials to be delivered. Not taking proper measures when transporting glass can cost companies thousands of pounds.
You also need to consider the safety of your employees or colleagues when transporting glass. Sharp or shattered glass is a clear health and safety violation; lifting heavy panes can result in injuries if not done correctly.
We’ve put together a guide on the best ways to transport glass from packaging to on-site handling to prevent costly damages and keep ourselves safe.
Racking Glass Sheets
Storing glass requires considerable attention. The ideal way to store glass sheets is at a 3-5 degree angle of lean from the vertical. If the angle is too small, the sheets will be unstable and can potentially be pulled over. Too great an angle, and you can experience bowing. Racks typically use a 5-degree lean, which allows 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 warehouses, glass is most commonly moved with lift trucks and overhead travelling cranes. Wheeled trolleys with three wheels are also favoured because of their weight distribution abilities. However, HSE has reported that the trolleys with three wheels cause accidents as they are less stable than trolleys with 4 or 6 wheels. If you use a trolley with three wheels, it’s essential to load glass sheets evenly. You must only operate these trolleys if you are fully trained and feel confident to do so.
Packing Glass Panes
Cover each pane with thin foam packing sheets if you’re packing glass panes ready for transportation. This will protect them from scratches and chips. Smaller panes of glass are typically transported in a cardboard ‘sandwich’, which offers protection against breaking. We also recommend transporting them upright where possible. This may limit your transport options; however, it will ensure safety. Be sure to brace the glass and make sure it’s secured.
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 can 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.
Preven 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, you must know how to store, transport properly, and handle glass. Use the guidance in this post to stay safe by preventing breakages and accidents.
For more information on how to safely transport glass and the tools that are available, contact 4 Cladding Services. Their friendly and knowledgeable team are on hand to help with any questions.