Handling and storage of sheet glass

The purpose of this Safety Alert is to highlight the dangers of incorrect handling procedures during the unpacking and storage of sheet glass.


A young worker received serious crush injuries when safety glass sheets he was unpacking fell on top of him.

The glass sheets were stored vertically on a storage rack 750mm off the ground. The worker was removing the wooden storage end caps with a hammer when the incident happened. The glass weighed approximately 1000 kilograms (1 tonne).

The worker received two fractures to his hips and required surgery.

Contributing factors

  • The glass sheets where stored vertically without any restraints during the unpacking
  • The worker was hammering the wooden end cap at the middle of the glass sheeting causing the end cap to lever against the rack, pushing the glass towards the worker
  • The worker was standing on the storage rack and in the only possible path the glass could fall
  • The worker was inexperienced and new to the workforce having only started his employment three months earlier
  • The worker was unsupervised at the time of the incident.

Action required

  • Appropriate racking or storage systems that prevent sheet material from falling should be used
  • Glass sheets and any other sheet material should be secured with restraints before any unpacking takes place
  • Workers shouldn’t work in the fall path of vertically stored sheet material
  • Workers (especially young workers) should be appropriately trained and supervised.

The vertical stacking and storage of sheet material without adequate support or restraint is potentially very dangerous.

Any racking or storage system used should be appropriately designed for the purpose.

Further information

Safety Alert


This Safety Alert contains safety information following inquires made by NT WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of NT WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. NT WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up-to-date and does not accept any liability for the information in this report or as to its use.