New ASTM Group Works on Safe Handling of Annealed Glass Standard

All interested parties in the glass industry are invited to participate in the development of a proposed new standard guide for the safe handling of annealed glass. The new standard will be developed by a task group within ASTM Committee E34 on Occupational Health and Safety. A small group from industry and OSHA met in Rossford, Ohio, in March to discuss this new activity. The task group plans to have an organizational meeting on Aug. 19, 2008, at 1:30 p.m. in Rossford at the Courtyard Marriott located at 9789 Clark Drive.

The task group plans to focus on practical personal protective equipment for employees as well as standardizing levels of protection for various tasks in handling annealed glass. Recent accidents involving annealed glass have heightened industry and OSHA interest in establishing standards to improve safety and health in the industry, ASTM says.

Annealed glass is glass without internal stresses caused by heat treatment (ie by rapid cooling, or by toughening or heat strengthening). Glass becomes annealed if it is heated above a transition point then allowed to cool slowly, without being quenched. Annealed glass breaks into large, jagged shards that can cause serious injury, and thus annealed glass is considered a hazard in architectural applications. Building codes in many parts of the world restrict the use of annealed glass in areas where there is a high risk of breakage and injury, for example in bathrooms, in door panels, fire exits, and at low heights in schools or domestic houses. Still, annealed glass is the most common glass used for multiple purposes. Most glass used in replacing single pane window glass, picture frame glass, patio table tops, and mirrors is typically all annealed glass.

For a meeting agenda or additional information, contact Kevin Shanahan, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9737; kshanaha@astm.org). In addition to the August meeting in Rossford, Committee E34 meets Oct. 1-2, 2008, at the October Committee Week in Miami Beach, Fla.

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