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#1 Posted : 15 May 2001 11:02:00(UTC)
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Posted By Richard Forster
Do any organisations have experience of having to,for whatever reason, take measures to protect Georgian wire glass,provided as a fire protection route, from shattering ?

..For the record GW glass has been getting slightly thicker (probably due to Building Regs ?) So you may have glass that fits the bill with regard to fire safety, but could shatter if hit hard enough. It then becomes a forseeable risk and may need protecting against breakage.
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#2 Posted : 15 May 2001 13:16:00(UTC)
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Posted By Ken Taylor
Although 'ordinary' Georgian-wired glass doesn't meet the BS for safety glass, the HSE seem to have accepted this for use in schools and the like in existing areas where safety glass might otherwise be required. Pilkington do a safety version of Georgian-wired (which you may recognise by the heavier guage wire).
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#3 Posted : 16 May 2001 22:52:00(UTC)
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Posted By Edward
Georgian wired does not usually met the std for Safety Glass. Indeed it is weaker than ordinary Float Glass of the same thickness [the wires act as flaws]. Not only is it weaker but the injuries resulting from someone putting their hand/fist/arm thro GWG are much worse, ordinary glass once broken falls away, however GWG holds the shards in contact with the flesh and very serious injuries can be caused when the victim attempts to pull their arm back out.
Many schools, post Workplace regs, have successfully upgraded their existing glass fire panels by the application of safety film. Local Fire Prev Officers have been consulted and they are happy that such films do not sig affect the surface spread of flame behaviour of the fire door/panel.
If your prev respondent has found that HSE have been willing to accept GWG then he has been very lucky to find an insp that obviously hasn't read the guidance!
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#4 Posted : 17 May 2001 10:42:00(UTC)
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Posted By Ken Taylor
Regarding existing Georgian-wired glass in schools, it's not the view of an individual inspector to which I'm referring. When the Workplace Regs first came out we had meetings with the HSE at their London HQ in Long Lane and I have since raised this with them and their Education National Interest Group on other occasions. The view seems to be that, as schools throughout the Country were full of the stuff, it would be prohibitive to expect the Education Authorities to replace it and that film might not be a very practicable solution in school environments. I would be very interested to hear if you have something specific from them to the contrary as I share your concern in this area. My line on this has been to always advise replacement by safety glazing in vulnerable areas and upon breakage.
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#5 Posted : 17 May 2001 16:50:00(UTC)
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Posted By Richard Forster
All very interesting stuff - I set the question in the first place following a fatality and subsequent HSE investigation. An elderly person in sheltered housing fell down some stairs and hit a georgian wire panel with such force that he partially went through it. The glass formed part of the fire resistent material to provide a protected route for the stairwell. The HSE found nothing untoward regarding the stairs and concluded that the incident was not reportable under RIDDOR (we did not notify them the police did) So they are not proposing to take any further action.

However,whilst accepting that the glass is used as a fire resistant material to provide a protected route for stairwells,HSE state that the glass shattering is a foreseeable risk and requires consideration of ways to reduce the risk eg. protecting the glazing.

So, the glass was not a factor in the fatality, the fatality did not require the attention of HSE, the glass meets fire safety standards and Building Regulations. The Glazier replacing the glass commented that there was nothing at all unusual with the glass and "it is everywhere...."

Any comments ?????????????????????????????
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#6 Posted : 18 May 2001 08:13:00(UTC)
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Posted By Ken Taylor
This does still seem to be a bit of a 'grey area' - probably due to costs involved and proving 'reasonably practicable'. I wonder whether the response would have been the same for a care home rather than sheltered accommodation?
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