Latest news from Durable 2: Glazing Health & Safety

Guard against spontaneous breakage of glass

06 October 2014

Toughened glass in office partitions, windows or glazed atriums can suddenly break for no apparent reason creating a significant risk for people in close location. Especially if the glass is falling from height, which has happened at thousands of locations throughout the UK.

However these glass failures seldom make the news unless they occur in a public location. Though toughened glass does not break into sharp shards like ordinary annealed glass the sheer weight of the glass causes a major safety issue. Toughened glass which meets EN glazing standards is being increasingly used in high risk locations. The mass of toughened glass that descended at an incident at Heathrow, onto an area where people would normally be present, was thought to weigh hundreds of kilos. 

The reason for the failure of toughened glass is open to debate and has resulted in many claims. It is generally accepted that the inclusion of minute particles of Nickel Sulphide in the manufacturing process could be to blame though manufacturers also think that damage before and after installation, particularly to the edges of toughened glass sheets, can be the reason.

Installing a safety film to the glass has been found to be highly effective. It turns the panes of glass something akin to laminate glass with the added advantage that it is likely to be retained safely within the frame in the event of failure. The other major benefit is it is very cheap in comparison to re-glazing and is relatively quick to complete. 

So if you have toughened glass installed in a vulnerable area, contact Durable Limited, a company with many years of experience in these issues, and undertake a mitigated Glazing Risk Assessment survey.

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