Today is the day after the New Zealand All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 24 years. Most years we have been positioned as the top team in the world in every aspect except winning this trophy, so to finally win is a huge monkey off our backs. For many this win was as much a relief as a reason for celebration, and for me its both.

Back to the blog on reasons why the glass and window industries are such a great place to work : 

What makes the glass and window industries special?
Health and Safety

Glass is a heavy flat panel product which is fragile, and when broken creates sharp edges and shapes with the ability to injure. The glass and window industries all require significant manhandling of glass, so our staff are in physical contact with the product during processing and installation.

The industry knows it has health and safety challenges. The Window Association of New Zealand is completing a document for its members on glass handling, and Viridian Australia just released a safety handling manual on DVD. At the recent annual awards ceremony for the AGGA/AWA the opening address challenged the attendees to help make the industry safer stating that the industry has had too many injuries. We all know we need to do health and safety better. What was good enough in the past is no longer good enough.

No safety, know pain
Know safety, no pain

The Glass Racking Company supplies a range of products to address health and safety needs within glass and window factories. Even in my home city, with over 8500 earthquakes in the last year including the most violent earthquake ever recorded anywhere on the planet, our success rate of selling safety solutions is low. We get asked for solutions. We design and quote a lot of solutions. But the number of customers who actually proceed to installing a solution where the primary outcome will be a safer work environment, whether from us or sourced elsewhere, is for me, surprisingly low.

Where we do get health and safety improvements is where they are built into solutions. Where the primary benefit of a product is for example a time saving, and the secondary benefit is health and safety. This helps the industry move forward with health and safety, but is it enough?

Health and Safety is a hobby-horse for me. I cringe when I read reports of staff from the glass and window industries being injured. I particularly dislike reading reports where the equipment used or staff training were to blame for the incident. These incidents are unnecessary and we are all responsible. I wish I could do more.

However, this series of blogs is about what makes the glass and window industries an interesting place to work, and despite my frustrations with health and safety, it is something that interests me.