Safety continues to be an area of focus for the glass industry. Mike Burk with Intigral stressed this point last week during the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) 2015 Winter Conference, which concluded Friday in Fort Lauderdale.

Burk, who leads the association’s Glass Safety Awareness Council, gave a presentation about workplace safety. He drove home the importance of companies having a plan for dealing with lacerations and rapid blood loss, which could be fatal.

To demonstrate the approximate amount of blood in a human body, Burk used the example of 10 bottles of water. He lined up the bottles at the front of the room and flipped a few down to represent blood loss. “Four bottles is usually fatal,” he said.

Burk noted the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4,405 deaths in manufacturing in 2013, pointing out that that number is lower than the 4,628 in 2012 but still too high.

Homicides are among those deaths. In making that point, he showed a picture of piece of glass shaped like a knife, with sealant on it for a handle. He said the weapon was found in a manufacturer’s insulating glass department.

“To me, that’s one of the scariest pictures I’ve ever seen,” he says, cautioning that employers need to be aware that workplace violence is a real threat, even in environments where everyone appears to be getting along well.

Another important topic for the industry, the impact of solar reflectance, was also discussed earlier in the week. Wednesday, the technical services committee reviewed the workings of the Tolerances for IG Cavity Width task group.

Dan Braun of Architectural Testing said the task group was divided into three subgroups: Robert Grommesh of Cardinal is leading the manufacturing tolerances group, Jeff Baker of WESTLab is leading the thermal working group, and Tracy Rogers of Quanex is leading the impact of reflectance group. All three groups had met since October.

The meeting included an extensive discussion about impact of reflectance, a topic about which IGMA executive director Margaret Webb said “is not going away.” The subject made its way into the news last year with a few cases of vinyl siding and car parts warping due to concentrated reflectance off low-E windows.

The committee will continue to gather information and decide how it will address the matter, whether through a white paper or another messaging form for customers and consumers. Webb said the association may have to collaborate with other building products industries, as windows are not the only factor at play in these incidents.

Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for continued coverage on the IGMA conference.