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CROSS Safety Report

Inadequate storage of glazing panels

Report ID: 532 Published: 1 April 2016 Region: CROSS-UK

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Overview

A reporter raises concerns about how glazing panels are being stored on sites. They have witnessed scenarios where panels are not being individually tied back to storage frames or to a secure place.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals:

  • Construction materials including glazing panels should be stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations

For all built environment professionals:

  • If you notice a potential safety issue such as construction materials being stored inadequately on site during the course of your work, report the issue to the main contractor

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A reporter has been undertaking facade inspections for insurers across several buildings in the UK and the same issue keeps appearing on every site; glazing is not individually tied back to storage frames or to a secure place when being stored (Figure 1). Some of the panels seen have been 3m by 5m.

Image
Figure 1: stacked glazing panels on site

When a panel is moved from temporary storage to be installed, a suction force can be induced onto the panel behind, which could cause the panels to fall onto workers. This is not something that the managers on site take seriously as the storage of the panels appears to be done in a safe way. However, there are hidden dangers.

Expert Panel Comments

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Expert Panels comment on the reports we receive. They use their experience to help you understand what can be learned from the reports. If you would like to know more, please visit the CROSS-UK Expert Panels page.

The provision of safe storage is the responsibility of the relevant sub-contractor and the principal contractor. A simple lack of care can lead to devastating consequences which have included death from toppling panels. Heavy glazing units, mirrors, and cement based sheets that have toppled have led to fatalities.

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