IGMA WINTER CONFERENCE: Plant Safety and Product Transparency
In the beginning of February, Katy Devlin, the editor-in-chief of Glass Magazine, took part in the 2019 IGMA Winter Conference, where the members of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance gathered in Austin, Texas.
Leading discussion topics were the critical topic of glass plant safety, the demand for product transparency declarations, and the proposed merger between the IGMA and AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association). The original article was published by Glass Magazine and written by Katy Devlin, the editor-in-chief of Glass Magazine. A similar story has been written based on Devlin's original article on the interactive Insulating Glass Fabricators Workshop. The workshop was organised in order to get a thorough hands-on education in the complete insulating glass fabrication, non-destructive insulating glass gas fill testing and forensic investigation process.
Don’t get caught in/between
One of the most common causes of injury in the factory environment is workers getting caught in or caught between, according to glass industry safety leader Mike Burk, the North American representative for Sparklike Oy and member of IGMA’s Glass Safety Awareness Council. Workers can get caught in objects like machinery or equipment, or caught between pallets, glass sheets, and other objects on the factory floor.
Mr. Mike Burk,
Sparklike North American Technical Representative
"In the glass plant, one key caught in/between risk is glass stored on racks, " Burk says. "Workers will attempt to handle more than one sheet of glass at a time, or they might attempt to tilt several panes of glass forward on a rack" , he says. During the conference, Burk shared a video of one such incident of glass plant workers becoming pinned under an estimated 8,000 pounds of glass that they were tilting from a storage rack. (View the video. Warning, graphic content.)
“Every person matters and every incident is preventable,” Burk says. “We need to be promoting a safety culture.”
Burk delivers a safety presentation during each IGMA conference, providing updates on recent incidents and offering key tips to help companies improve safety at their own facilities. In addition to discussing caught in/between incidents, he also talked about the dangers of do-it-yourself fixes on the factory floor.
During the conference, members also continued work on a range of technical and certification activities, and discussed the challenges of fabricating and handling oversized glass products.
Windows PCR set to expire
In September 2015, after years of work, a joint industry association task group published the Window PCR — the product category rules that can be used to determine the life cycle analysis of windows. The PCR, developed by the Glass Association of North America (now part of the National Glass Association), AAMA, the IGMA and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, covers single windows, skylights, curtain wall and storefront, for residential, commercial and institutional buildings.
The Windows PCR, however, is set to expire. During the conference, members discussed next steps, including whether the association should invest in the development of a new PCR for windows. The associations need to decide whether or not the move forward.
The group also discussed the growing call for product transparency declarations in general. California, for example, passed AB 262, known as the Buy Clean California Act. AB 262 will ask bidders on public works projects in California to submit an EPD, or environmental product declaration, for specified flat glass products beginning Jan. 1, 2019. (Read more about AB 262's potential industry impact.)
Several industry officials at the conference speculated that the requirements for transparency will expand beyond California and beyond just flat glass products. This is going to have a strong impact on the way you do business. And it’s not just California. Other states are considering as well.
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