Shattering news

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell considers glass’s strengths and weaknesses.

Glass, as we see first-hand working in this industry, is becoming increasingly popular. With this, however, is an increased exposure in the national press, and an increased focus on its safety credentials.

For example, it has been reported that some Scottish councils may have issues regarding the safety of glass panelled shop fronts; glass fell from canopies at two retail parks in Inverness, injuring a man at one of them.

Highland Council said it was not aware of a national problem but had contacted other councils to check. It has also asked the owners of businesses in its area that have glazed canopies to make sure ‘adequate inspection and maintenance arrangements’ are in place for the structures.

These follow other incidents in November and January.

More comically, but no less serious, is the news that three Apple workers have been hurt walking into glass walls in first month at $5 billion headquarters.

Despite warnings from a building inspector that people would not be able to tell where the door ends and the wall begins, at least three Apple employees walked or ran into the ultra-transparent glass hard enough to require emergency medical treatment during the first month of occupation, according to recordings of 911 calls obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Glass is a wonderful building material, but without proper guidance in its use it can be deadly, which is why sales of toughened, laminate, and opaque glass is constantly increasing – according to conversations I have with glass companies.

Worth bearing in mind when you see the new glass bridge in action  in the Hebei province in China.