WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, PA - Growing use of glass-topped furniture - especially annealed glass tops in tables and desks - has led to an increase in serious and sometimes fatal injuries sustained from falls onto furniture that includes the glass, says standards group ASTM.

As a result, a new ASTM International standard stresses the use of safety glass as a means of minimizing serious furniture-related injuries.

ASTM 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.

The standard covers performance requirements and test methods to ensure the relative safety of glass used in furniture as a primary or secondary surface on tables, including coffee tables and end tables.

Henry Chamberlain, ASTM standards committee member and chairman, Allied Glass Experts, a Kasnas City glass consultancy, says that most serious injuries involving glass in furniture occur when juveniles or elderly adults fall into glass-topped coffee tables. Children tend to climb onto the tables, while adults often back into a table and then fall through the top.

“The public should understand that any glass table top can be broken, but people are unlikely to sustain serious injury from broken safety glass," says Chamberlain.

Chamberlain notes furniture manufacturers will benefit from lower claims costs, less breakage in shipping and handling, a safer harbor from liability risks, and the ability to invest in producing safer products.



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