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Health & Safety for VEKA Installers – Hazards to be aware of

January 3, 2023

Health & safety is paramount for all VEKA installers

Whether fitting doors on a single property, or windows across a high-rise office block, the risk of injury is always there. Installers need to be fully aware of all the hazards involved when fitting windows and doors, not just for their own safety, but for that of others, too.

Health and safety training minimises the risks associated with a job that often involves climbing ladders, carrying heavy parts and working with glass; alongside using a variety of tools and chemicals.

Maintaining high safety standards will always be a VEKA priority, and one we fully expect all our installers to adhere to as part of a commitment that sees us provide high-quality products, exceptional customer service, and a growing customer base.
Some hazards are obvious, while others not so much. It’s therefore imperative a thorough risk assessment be carried before each and every job to identify potential hazards, and ensure the relevant precautions are taken.
Here are a few to keep your eye out for:

Common hazards

  1. Falling objects. Being struck by a falling object is nobody’s idea of fun. Unfortunately, it’s an occupational hazard all installers face. Preventative measures can be tricky. You’re not always going to be able to spot that little piece of rubble that may become dislodged; hence why hard hats and safety goggles are so important. If you’re working high off the ground, you need to make sure netting, sheeting and boarding is in place to protect any passers-by. All equipment should also be reviewed beforehand. In the case of ladders, check they are the right length before positioning them securely.
  2. Heavy lifting. Transporting heavy objects is more often than not part of the job when it comes to installing doors and windows. That means a potential back injury, and months off work, is only one awkward lift away. You’ve heard it before; but never attempt to lift by bending forward, instead adopt a stable position, bend from the hips and knees as you squat down to the load (keeping it close to your body) before straightening your legs to lift. Never raise heavy objects above shoulder level, and always try and plan out your lifts beforehand. Where is it going? Will there be somebody to help? Could a piece of equipment be used instead?
  3. Handling materials, tools and chemicals. Handling broken glass will often see installers exposed to sharp edges. Minor cuts may only be viewed as a nuisance, but serious injury is only ever a slip away. Wearing the appropriate PPE will mitigate many of the dangers associated with glass, while also offering protection from sharp tools and hazardous chemicals. First aid training, something all our installers are given, is another vital layer of health and safety.
  4. Slips, trips and falls. Injuries from trips and slips account for a disproportionately high number of injuries on work sites. Trailing cables, obstacles, uneven floors, wet or slippery surfaces; you will have no doubt experienced most, if not all, of these while working on jobs. These are accidents waiting to happen, but also accidents that are easily avoidable. Concentration on site is key, but carrying out a risk assessment beforehand, noting all potential obstacles, will also help. Always ensure suitable lighting is used on site as well, for the public’s benefit, as well as your own.
  5. Working near electrical power sources. It goes without saying that all window and door installers should know how to use electrical equipment safely. But you also need to be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially if conditions are wet. Sockets should never be overloaded, and appliances must always be turned off and unplugged before adjustments are made. If you think a piece of equipment may be faulty, stop using it immediately.
  6. Time management. Rushing can result in carelessness, and carelessness can lead to accidents. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to finish a job in good time, but that shouldn’t distract from potential hazards. Working at speed increases the chances of human error, misuse of equipment, and damage to property. Good time management is therefore key to ensuring work is carried out effectively, efficiently and safely.

Conclusion

VEKA only works with fabricators and installers who value safety as highly as we do.
That’s why if you wish to use the highly-regarded and highly-recognised VEKA branding on your workwear, vans and/or website, you must demonstrate a willingness to meet the strictest health and safety standards. It’s a source of great pride to us, that we only work with the best. It’s how our partnership with ‘Which? Trusted Trader’ came to be, and why they back all our members with their widely recognised stamp of approval.