Whilst every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of workers in a glass plant, sometimes even more care is needed when working with glass heated to temperatures over 1,000 degrees centigrade.
This is the case for those who are working within close proximity to the IS machines, which have potential risks such as molten glass and can lead to workers suffering burns, despite wearing full CAT-3 fire protection overalls.
Therefore, the health and safety team at O-I’s Alloa plant decided to implement fireproof underclothing, consisting of a long sleeve t-shirt and trousers, for all machine operators at the hot end of the site.
This is designed to protect against burns from errant pieces of cullet.
At risk operators were the first to try them in order to assess whether the clothing added to their heat stress, before it was rolled out to all hot end operators in a six month trial period.
During the trial, workers found the clothing to be light and breathable and even preferred it to other forms of protective clothing during the summer heatwave.
As well as being a hit with workers, the extra layer has proved to be effective.
The clothing, which has the highest level of fire resistance and offers ARC flash protection, has now been implemented at the Alloa site with plans to roll out the clothing at O-I’s second facility at Harlow.
Commenting on the underwear, Holly Feeney, EHS Officer at British Glass said:
“High temperatures at the hot end make it a challenging and potentially hazardous area to work in.
“The use of PPE which increases comfort and provides additional protection against burns and heat stress is great and will reduce the risk of high-potential incidents occurring.”