Solution Summary: Glass Panel Cart
A glass panel cart is an engineering control that can reduce risks of cuts and musculoskeletal disorders from manually handling glass panels. These carts typically have plywood bases and rubber grips mounted horizontally on the upright supports with rings for hold-down straps to secure glass panels during transport.
Transporting glass and solar panels between locations on a worksite can be a strenuous task, especially because of the fragile nature of the material. A glass panel cart such as the Groves Glass Cart (figure 1), make transporting glass panels easier because it uses a heavy duty powder coated frame that has a 72 inches load height and 4,000 pounds capacity. This cart includes 8-inch casters each rated at 1,000 pounds each.
Figure 1. Glass panel cart with rubber supporting grips (Source: https://www.grovesglassandstone.com/product/glass-cart-3/)
The dimensions of the Groves Glass Cart measures 84x36x87 inches and weights 477 pounds.
Heavy lifting and carrying and stooped postures can cause low back disorders, such as muscle strain or a disc herniation (“slipped disc”), which is bulging of disc material possibly pressing on the spinal cord or nerves that go into the leg.
Stressful hand and wrist activity can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as muscle strains; tendonitis, which is inflammation of elbow and wrist tendons; or carpal tunnel syndrome, which is compression of a wrist nerve, resulting in finger numbness and loss of hand strength.
Potential handling of glass panels can cause cuts of fingers, hands, wrists, or forearms.
How Risks are Reduced:
A glass panel cart may help to reduce worker heavy lifting, carrying, and stooped postures by providing workers with a frame that provides gripping support to easily transport panels.
A glass panel cart reduces the amount of stress placed on the hand and wrist by reducing the manual handling of fragile panels which may also require constant grip adjustments.
A glass panel cart reduces the amount of manual handling required when transporting these panels.
Safety and health experts believe a glass panel cart minimizes heavy lifting and carrying and therefore can reduce the incidence of MSDs. There have not been independent published studies measuring the effect of a glass panel cart on the incidence of MSDs. However, studies have shown an association between manual materials handling and low back pain. (Kuiper et al. 1999; van der Molen et al. 2005). The glass panel cart reduces the amount of manual materials handling and therefore may reduce the incidence of low back pain.
Additionally, studies have shown there is strong evidence that low-back disorders are associated with work-related lifting and forceful movements (Bernard 1997). A glass panel cart reduces the heavy lifting as well as the need for forceful movements. Therefore, its use may decrease the incidence of low-back disorders.
It is recommended users follow all manufacturer guidelines before using this equipment to ensure worker safety and compliance with applicable local, state or federal regulations. Per the Grove Inc. safety warning, hold-down straps must be used at all times when using the Glass Cart GLC-3672.
Jean Christophe Le, MPH – CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training
To obtain information, visit Glass Cart GLC-3672 or contact 1-800-991-2120