An Overlooked Safety Hazard

Glass tabletops can be an attractive design feature for homes and offices. Unfortunately, not all glass horizontal surfaces may be made from tempered or safety glass.

Recent findings have shown that glass table injuries are common, with more than 2.5 million per year reported with many resulting in medical emergencies.

Rutgers University reports that “most of the injuries occurred in children under age seven and in young adults in their early 20’s. Injuries affected the arms, shoulders and forehead and ranged from minor abrasions to deep cuts to organs, blood vessels, and even to death.”

While tempered or laminated safety glass is required for doors and some windows subject to human impact, tabletops were often made with untreated glass, and if broken, these normally break into pointed fragments or have sharp edges which may cause severe lacerations. About 15 percent of the injuries reported in the above-cited study were classified as severe, including those to the upper and lower trunks and wrists.

If the glass in the tabletop is tempered glass, then if it is broken it is designed to break into smaller rounded pieces which may cause some less serious minor cuts if a person falls on top of or through the tabletop glass.

It may be a good idea to have a professional window film dealer inspect any glass in tabletops in your home or office to to determine whether any potential hazard from the glass breaking could be reduced or possibly eliminated. While the dealer is there, you might ask that other glass in the home be checked. If any is found to be potentially hazardous in normal use, it may also need to be replaced or else have an installation of safety security film applied.