Unpacking glass and heavy materials

Safety Alert | 01/02/2017

This safety alert reminds people who unpack glass and heavy materials not to rely on the packaging to support the contents.


In December 2016, a glazier suffered fatal crush injuries while using an overhead crane to move packaged sheets of glass. Failure of the packaging was a contributing factor to this incident.

An increasing number of products are being received from overseas, where the methods and quality of packaging may vary considerably.

Action required

  • Never assume the packaging will support the contents.
  • Don’t rely on steel strapping to support a load.
  • Use appropriate restraints when removing packaging, or where there is a risk of the load shifting.
  • Ensure the work area is appropriate to perform the work – it should be a sufficient size without obstacles, allowing workers to move freely.
  • Ensure no-one is working under a suspended load, or wherever there is a risk should a load fail.
  • Keep suspended loads as close to the ground as possible.

Further information

See glass and glazing for more information on hazards and tips to stay safe, plus a video on storing and handling glass sheets.

The Guide for unpacking shipping containers has detailed information about hazards and control measures when unpacking shipping containers.

Related Content

Contact Us

13 10 50