Investigation of the tear-off behaviour of hand-vacuum lifters for plates of glass

Project No. BGBA #018


completed 06/1997


Considerable incidence of accidents when using hand-vacuum lifters for the transport, installation and removal of window glass. Goal: systematic determination of the safety risks when using hand-vacuum lifters in particular in respect of failure (tear-off, slip-off).


Distribution of questionnaires (in co-operation with the "Safety in the glassing trade" working group of the Fachvereinigung Jungglaser Nordrhein-Westfalen) to determine the age of the equipment used, duration of use, subjective evaluation of various quality characteristics, storage conditions, place of deployment, cleaning, instances of failure; laboratory tests with a tension testing machine under varying conditions (damp/wet, temperature) on 9 new and 4 used pieces of equipment of different types in order to determine the practical load limits.


Users carry out amongst other things a visual check of the intactness of the equipment as they are aware of the corresponding risks, and prefer equipment with a partial vacuum control display. Manufacturers carrying capacity specifications are in many instances too high, in particular in the wet and cold. Conversion suggestions: constructive improvements (sealing, partial vacuum display, ergonomics), reliable carrying capacity data (possible obligatory prototype testing), user instructions in particular indicating reduced lifting capacity in the cold and wet as well as proper procedures for cleaning and storage, possibly monitoring (recurrent expert testing).

Last Update:

19 Jul 2000


Financed by:
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Bau-Berufsgenossenschaften
Research institution(s):
  • Zentrum für Sicherheitstechnik der Bau-Berufsgenossenschaft Wuppertal
  • Erkrath

construction industry

Type of hazard:

mechanical hazards


Gerätesicherheit, Heben und Tragen von Lasten, Unfallgefahr

Description, key words:

Safety risks/failure of tools for the safe transport of glass plates