In this incident, on April 14, 2020, Team Pro-Enviro was called in for a load shift service for a step-deck trailer carrying glass sheets. The load shifted and left shattered glass everywhere. There were several slabs of 1/4 inch glass that had broken. After taking a closer look, we discovered a significant amount of glass caught along the curtain area and track. We needed a plan for this cleanup response.
Damaged Straps Make for a Risky Cleanup Job
Glass is sharp! All the broken glass made dangerous work conditions and wasn’t a typical load shift service. We used various tools to clear glass from the rear of the curtain area to get the curtain open. Our team needed to clean up carefully to avoid damage to the 10 to 20 glass sheets that were still intact.
While working, we saw several areas throughout the curtain where the straps failed. The glass was leaning directly against it, causing it to bulge. One strap was broken entirely, with several others damaged and barely holding. The damaged straps made a potentially dangerous situation, as the glass sheets could give at any time. Our team had to have clear communication throughout the cleanup response and avoid staying in high-risk areas for long periods.
8 Hours of Cleaning Glass
After pulling back the curtain a few feet, we saw the extent of the damage. There was too much cleanup for just two workers and hand tools. We needed to bring in a Bobcat for this load shift service. Due to the fine nature of the broken shards, we had to get in there and clean a lot of it by hand before the Bobcat arrived. Our team worked slowly and carefully to avoid injury. It took us approximately 8 hours to clear glass from the track to open the curtain all the way. We used picks, shop vacs, and other tools to clear the track.
Make Room for the Bobcat
Finally, the Bobcat was able to access the large pile of shattered glass and get to work. We loaded the trailer with broken glass using the Bobcat. Then we covered the dump trailer with a tarp to prevent the glass from blowing out during transport. Our team attached a sweeper on the Bobcat and started to sweep the entire area to ensure it was glass-free.
After this cleanup response, the area looked like the accident never happened. Unfortunately, there was no easier or faster way to get this job done. It was both physically and mentally demanding. In cases like these, a load shift service can become a safety hazard. That is why properly securing every load is vital.
If you’re load shifts, or you need cleanup response, contact Pro-Enviro!