While a near-$5.5 million ($5 million CAD) lawsuit filed in Ontario, Canada in April brought widespread attention to the issue of wired glass safety over the past two months, the Canadian federal government has been actively working to reform its wired glass regulations.
Earlier this year, the Canadian General Standards Board established a “Committee on Glass” made up of industry members, users and regulators to update the national standard on wired glass.
The committee held its first meeting May 21 and met again May 22, focusing its discussion on CAN/CGSB 12.1 Tempered or Laminated Safety Glass and CAN/CGSB 12.11 Wired Safety Glass, the latter of which hasn’t been updated since 1990.
“The committee determined that in the future, wired glass in Canada should only be used in non-hazardous situations due to the manner in which wired glass fails,” says Pierre-Alain Bujold of Public Works and Government Services Canada.
According to Bujold, CAN/CGSB-12.1 Tempered or Laminated Safety Glass “will be revised to include a new category for organically coated glass, and will address impact requirements for a full range of safety glazing materials.”
A subset of committee members called the “working group” was formed to prepare the draft standards based on decisions made in the May meetings, and the group plans to meet before the end of June.
“CGSB will determine the next steps based on the outcome of the working group meeting,” says Bujold.
The $5 million lawsuit stemmed from an Ontario secondary school student’s injuries as a result of a wired glass accident at the school. USGNN.com™ has also recently reported three other wired glass incidents that are currently in litigation—including two more in Ontario and another in New Jersey.
Greg Abel, president of Safe Glass Consulting and director of government relations for Safe Glass Solutions out of Seattle, has been retained by each of the plaintiff firms in all of the mentioned cases. Abel was also asked to participate in the upcoming June Committee on Glass meetings.
“From everything explained to me so far from attendees of the last meeting, we are headed in the right direction with regard to making schools and public buildings safer for our children and the users of said buildings,” says Abel. “I had expected a lot more resistance from the wired glass industry than we have had.
“I feel the reason for the lack of resistance is a result of the wired glass industry wanting to limit their exposure to liability with all of the attention that has been brought to this product. It’s a shame that countless children have been the unwilling victims of wired glass and that it has gone on for so long.”
Stay tuned to USGNN.com for updates as they are made available.