ASTM Standard for Glass Furniture Published

ASTM International has completed work on its long-anticipated glass furniture standard. The standard, titled “Glass Used as a Horizontal Surface in Desks and Tables,” was completed late last year and addresses “serious human injury and fatality incidents involving breakage of glass used in unenclosed horizontal surfaces in desks and tables.”

“This specification is intended to minimize the likelihood of serious cutting and piercing injuries that may occur due to the breakage of glass used as a horizontal surface in desks and dining, coffee, end, display, mobile, outdoor and other types of tables,” writes ASTM.

The standard aims to ensure that safety glass is used “when used as an unenclosed horizontal surface under 44 inches in height in a desk or table.”

It also includes a provision that all glass panels that fall under the scope of the standard should be marked as “safety glass, safety tempered glass or laminated safety glass as appropriate.” Additionally, the glass should be marked as meeting ASTM F2813-12 by either the glass fabricator or the furniture manufacturer. It is available for purchase on the ASTM website.

The standard requires that glass used in desks or tables (under 44 inches in height) must comply with the performance criteria of ANSI Z97.1-2009, and does not permit the use of monolithic annealed, monolithic chemically-strengthened or monolithic wired glass in these cases.

Glass equal to or greater in area than 9 square feet must comply with Class A and glass less than 9 square feet must comply with a minimum of Class B performance, according to the standard.

The exceptions to the standard are glass fully supported by and bonded to a non-glass material and glass surfaces incorporating or constituting display screens.

The standard has been in development since 2008, three years after the Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, made a proposal to ASTM International that an industry standard for furniture glass be written, after numerous reports of deaths and injuries related to glass furniture. This issue has been brought to light again in recent weeks, as a resident of Willamette, Ill., recently died after falling through a glass coffee table, according to local reports. (CLICK HERE to read a column written by USGlass publisher in July 2007 in response to discussions of a possible standard.)

The standard originally was balloted last winter.

What do you think of the new standard? How do you think it will impact consumer safety? Please email pstacey@glass.com.

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