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CROSS Safety Report

Issues with lifting large glazing unit

Report ID: 176 Published: 1 April 2016 Region: CROSS-UK

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Inadequate instructions were provided by a glazing pane supplier on how to lift and move their product off of a truck and onto the works.

Key Learning Outcomes

For glazing manufacturers / suppliers:

  • Clear instructions should be provided on the lifting equipment required and the sequence on how to lift glazing units

For construction professionals:

  • If supplier guidance is not sufficient, it is important to raise this with them and seek clarification

  • Raising awareness is the first step in the process of bringing about improvements to industry guidance and practices

Full Report

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The Full Report below has been submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s experience. The text has been edited for clarity and to ensure anonymity and confidentiality by removing any identifiable details. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.


Inadequate instructions were provided by a glazing pane supplier on how to lift and move their product off the flatbed truck and onto the works. This was a large sheet measuring 3m x 2m with a weight of about 270kg. Initial attempts were made to lift it with a six suction lifters 500mm x 750mm in size.

However, the complex operation had to be abandoned due to excessive bow in the top of the sheet. After half a day during which the truck partially blocked the road a much larger 14 suction assembly was obtained and used to lift the unit from a flat position, turn it through 90 degrees, and then lift it into position.

A phone call to the supplier during the aborted lift provided no information and in a later call they were advised to provide adequate guidance on the suction area needed to lift these large panels.

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 designer has the responsibility to consider erection issues from a safety perspective. The construction process always requires items to be delivered to site then lifted into position. In all cases there should be clear instructions on what to lift and how to lift the item.

This should include information on weight, centre of gravity, and a check that the item is strong and stable enough under self-weight (perhaps with wind) when supported at designated lifting points. The case also illustrates how lack of due consideration leads to additional cost and delay.

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