British Glass releases Code of Practice for Glass Forming (I.S.) Machines

After many years of negotiation between industry, regulators and suppliers, British Glass is delighted to announce the publication of its new “Code of Practice for Glass Forming (I.S.) Machines.” This code of practice provides practical guidance for container glass manufacturers on the safe operation, assessment and control of glass forming machines and ancillary equipment; as well as providing information about suitable control measures, safety devices and guidance for operators, change teams and maintenance engineers.

Steve Clayton, Operations Director at Stölzle Flaconnage Ltd, commented on the release saying "The sector has worked hard to collaborate on what is an excellent standard. Its sensible approach provides clear guidance in an area where there is much diversity due to the range of technology and the products being made. The final outcome allows us to develop the safest outcome for our staff whilst ensuring we can meet the strictest production specifications demanded by our customers and service the equipment necessary to do this."

Also commenting on the release John Naughton, Technical Director of Allied Glass Containers Ltd, said "This promises to be a landmark for our sector, setting standards that have been agreed between industry and the regulator which gives a reference point from which we can all ensure that standards are met. Before its formal release, this development has already resulted in significant technical collaboration and improvements in worker safety."

The document has been developed by a working group comprised of all UK manufacturers of container glassware (bottles, jars, etc.), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and manufacturers and suppliers of glass forming equipment. Throughout its development extensive discussions and negotiations have taken place to form an industry-wide position and approach to controlling the inherent hazards associated with this type of forming equipment. Manufacturers have shared extensive accident/injury data which has allowed the British Glass working group to fully investigate all hazards posed, and so establish appropriate guidance and standards.

Developing this code of practice both industry and suppliers have made significant innovative developments in machinery, standards, safety devices and working procedures which have already resulted in a profound reduction in the number of forming machines related injuries.

In support of this code of practice, the working group has also launched a 'Safe Swabbing Guidance Note,' which sets out the minimum, good practice standards for manual lubrication ('swabbing') of glass container moulds. Now adopted and in daily practice, it has resulted in a significant reduction in swabbing-related injuries. It is hoped that the new full code of practice will now help manufacturers reduce such incidents even further.

The glass industry has a long track record of taking a proactive approach to health, safety and sensible risk management. The industry, in partnership with HSE and unions, launched the 'GLASS Charter' initiative in 2001 in order to push forward improvement and demonstrate its combined commitment to health and safety. The charter was the first sector initiative of its kind and now, 11 years on, is setting about refreshing the scheme and setting a new ambitious strategy leading forward to 2020.

This code of practice, together with a second document, Guidance for Managing Working in Elevated Temperatures, will be launched on Thursday, 3 May 2012, at the prestigious Annual Glass Industry Health and Safety Conference an event that brings together all sectors of the glass industry to discuss common issues, and monitor changes in health and safety that will affect their operations.

Please see the British Glass Publications page to obtain an electronic copy of this document.

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