Safety continues to be an area of focus for the fenestration 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, Fla.

Burk, who leads the association’s Glass Safety Awareness Council, gave a presentation about workplace safety. He emphasized that manufacturers must plan for lacerations and rapid blood loss, which could be fatal.

To demonstrate the approximate amount of blood in a human body, Burk lined up 10 water bottles at the front of the room. He then knocked over a few 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. He said the number is lower than the 4,628 in 2012 but still too high.

Homicides are among those deaths. To make that point, he showed a picture of a 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 said, 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. On 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 leads the manufacturing tolerances group, Jeff Baker of WESTLab leads the thermal working group, and Tracy Rogers of Quanex leads the impact of reflectance group. All three groups had met since October.

The meeting included an extensive discussion about the impact of reflectance, a topic that 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.

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