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Glass in Furniture

Aesthetic appeal and durability have contributed to an ongoing use of glass in furniture. However, the use of annealed glass tops in tables, desks and similar items has led to an increase in serious and sometimes fatal injuries sustained from falls onto furniture pieces that include glass. A new ASTM International standard stresses the use of safety glass as a means of minimizing serious furniture-related injuries.

F2813, Specification for Glass Used as a Horizontal Surface in Desks and Tables, has been developed by Subcommittee F15.42 on Furniture Safety, part of ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products.

Henry Chamberlain, F15.42 member and chairman, Allied Glass Experts, says that most of the serious injuries involving glass in furniture occur when juveniles or elderly adults fall into glass-topped coffee tables. Children will climb onto the tables, while adults often back into a table and then fall through the top.

F2813 addresses glass tops of tables, desks and similar applications, according to Chamberlain.

“F2813 will provide assurance for consumers that glass tops of tables and desks will be made of a safety glazing product,” says Chamberlain. “The public should understand that any glass table top can be broken, but people are unlikely to sustain serious injury from broken safety glass.”

While less injury risk for consumers is a clear benefit of F2813, the standard also provides glass manufacturers the opportunity to include more value and less liability risk in their products.

In addition, Chamberlain notes, furniture manufacturers will benefit from lower claims costs, a safer harbor from liability risks and the ability to invest in producing safer products without having to compete with firms that do not.

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CONTACT Technical Information: Henry Chamberlain, Allied Glass Experts • Kansas City, Kan. • Phone: 913-278-9200 | ASTM Staff: Leonard Morrissey • Phone: 610-832-9719

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.