It has been quite a while since I’ve written about traditional wired glass, but the hazard has not disappeared. With students back at school in person, the injuries related to this product will continue. I spent a lot of time researching this issue for my article Breaking Tradition, which was written way back in 2013 but is still accurate. A recent article written by Darrell L. Smith and published in Campus Safety Magazine echos many of my concerns:
It’s Only a Matter of Time Before Someone Gets Hurt
The presence of wired glass in a school may mean it is only a matter of time before a serious injury occurs. In fact, multi-million lawsuits against school districts, cities and private educational organizations have been won by families who had a child severely injured by wired glass.
- Kent State Washington Unified School District paid $2 million and an apology to a family who’s son severed their after going through wired glass
- The Halton Catholic District School Board in Ontario, Canada paid $5 million to a family following injuries to their son’s arm after it went through wired glass
- While no recent studies have been done, a study by Dr. Philip L. Graitcer of Emory University did back in 2003 estimates more than 2,500 wired glass injuries per year in schools alone.
While addressing the other risks that are present in school buildings, we can’t ignore the potential for injuries and even fatalities due to accidents related to traditional wired glass. I highly recommend reading the Campus Safety article as a refresher on the requirements for glazing used in doors and other hazardous locations, and suggestions on how to mitigate the risk – particularly in schools.