The glass industry has been identified as one of 10 priority industries that require continued action by WorkCover to reduce the risk of fatalities and serious injury.There has been almost one fatality every year since 2007 in the glazing industry.A significant proportion of injuries resulting in permanent disability have also been recorded; in just one year 60 permanent disability claims were lodged. Other common injuries suffered include lacerations, contusions and damage to soft tissue. It is estimated that incidents such as these, in addition to the human toll, have cost the industry more than $76 million.
Acting General Manager of Workcover’s Work Health and Safety Division Peter Dunphy said the goal of the new Glass and Glazing project was to raise awareness in the industry and help small businesses to reduce workplace injuries.
“WorkCover NSW is working closely with industry and other state and community organisations to ensure that all workers in the glass and glazing industry are assisted and supported and businesses in regional areas are also supported,” Mr Dunphy said.
Glass and glazing businesses will receive, as part of the initiative, comprehensive information and support from WorkCover on work health and safety compliance as well as advice and recommended solutions to specific safety risks in the glass industry. Businesses will also have access to small business initiatives, advisory visits, regional workshops and WorkCover’s rebate programs.
More information on the Glass and Glazing project, and safety information on the Storage and Handling of Glass Sheets, is available by calling 13 10 50 or visiting the WorkCover website www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/
As a part of this initiative posters on safe handling of glass have been developed, a copy of these posters can be downloaded here.