In Wisconsin, a glazier’s work injury can occur in a single work accident or it can build up from a glass glazier’s job duties over time. We have had glaziers with herniated discs in the neck or cervical spine as well as the lumbar or low back. Degenerative disc disease is work related if caused by job duties over time. Glaziers install glass windows, skylights, and walls in buildings. Typical neck or low back injuries for glaziers include falls from ladders and scaffolding but mostly from job duties over time. As in many other construction trades, the work is physically demanding. Glaziers spend most of the day standing, bending, or over extending themselves, and they often must lift and maneuver heavy, cumbersome materials, such as large glass plates.
Glaziers remove old or broken glass before installing replacement glass in windows. They may cut glass to the specified size and shape in blueprints. Glaziers make or install sashes or moldings for glass installation and fasten the glass into sashes or frames with clips, moldings, or other types of fasteners, finally adding weather seal or putty around pane edges to seal joints.
A glazier may work with specialized items like tempered and laminated glass for securing doors and windows. For residential, glaziers install or replace windows, mirrors, shower doors, and bathtub enclosures. They fit glass for tabletops and display cases. On commercial interior projects, glaziers install items such as heavy, often etched, decorative room dividers or security windows. Commercial work includes replacing storefront windows for supermarkets, auto dealerships, banks, and many other businesses. For most large-scale construction jobs, glass is pre-cut and mounted into frames at a factory or a contractor’s shop. Some glaziers replace and repair glass in motor vehicles.
Glazier job duties physical demands include not only strength, but a keen sense of balance. Balance is necessary to avoid the risk of falling while working on ladders and scaffolding. Glaziers also require good eye-hand coordination. Glaziers must be on their feet and move heavy pieces of glass most of the day. They need to be able to hold glass in place until it can be fully secured so stamina is important. Physical strength is key as glaziers must lift heavy pieces of glass for hanging. A glazier’s physical job duties can result in work-related herniated discs or degenerative disc disease for which workers compensation benefits should be paid.
Glaziers are covered by union membership in the Milwaukee including Local 1204 and by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) DC7.
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