The glass, glazing and construction industries are aware of the risks workers face, whether on the fabrication floor or 100 feet above ground. Although companies take measures to protect their employees from construction hazards, the risk of injury or death is always present.

Construction Safety Week (CSW) was introduced in 2014 to promote worker well-being and emphasize the importance of safety in the construction industry. Mental Health Awareness Month, another topic of concern for the glass and glazing industries, coincides with CSW, which runs from May 6 to 10, 2024.

The glass, glazing and construction industries are aware of the risks workers face, whether on the fabrication floor or 100 feet above ground. That is why proper training is vital. Photo: Western Great Lakes Finishing Trades Institute.

Several glass and glazing companies are known not just for the projects they complete but also for their efforts to instill the importance of safe workplace practices. Take Benson Curtainwall, for instance. A year ago, the company received the Gold Safety Award from Highwire, which recognizes a company’s safety performance and safety management systems.

According to Rob Dahl, MiTek’s director of global environmental health and safety (MiTek acquired Benson in 2013), safety has to be embraced from the top down.

“We don’t put anything ahead of safety,” he says. “We spend time getting the right equipment and managing the right programs. We will stop production, if necessary, rather than force people to be in a hurried state to get the work done and take shortcuts.”

Additional glass and glazing companies recently recognized for their safety standards include Şişecam, which received the Distinction Award during the International Safety Awards 2023, and Cardinal IG, which was admitted into the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program with a “Star” designation.

This year, CSW has partnered with OSHA and its National Safety Stand-Down initiative to help prevent falls in construction, which is a leading cause of worker injury. The partnership includes a fall hazard awareness program and the largest industry-wide stand-down event on May 8. CSW officials say companies are encouraged to join the national effort and stand down to raise fall hazard awareness.

Falls are a concern for glaziers who must position themselves near a building’s edge to install lites and brackets. Fortunately, technology companies are designing tools to limit the time glaziers spend in precarious situations. These companies include Raise Robotics, which recently partnered with TSI Corp. to install curtainwall brackets on a façade project in Virginia.

The theme for CSW 2024 is “Value Every Voice.” It explores four components: driving personal ownership, encouraging and welcoming new ideas, embracing every voice and strengthening safety culture. CSW provides related content for companies to plan activities, conversations and demonstrations with their teams.

“Construction Safety Week kicked off 10 years ago with a mission to make the industry safer for all workers,” says Dan Johnson, Mortenson CEO and 2024 CSW chairperson. “Over the years, the theme of this week-long initiative has evolved and strengthened the message that every person in the industry plays an essential role in safety. We encourage everyone participating in CSW to extend their commitment and dedication to safety outside this week and implement higher safety standards throughout the year.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *