CROSS Safety Report
Collapse of domestic glass balustrade due to inadequate fixings
This report is over 2 years old
A firm was asked to provide professional advice regarding the replacement of a glass balustrade which had collapsed.
Key Learning Outcomes
For construction professionals:
Quality assurance on site can help to ensure that glass balustrades are installed correctly and are not overlooked as a secondary element
Consider introducing a quality control procedure for the inspection of safety critical connections for glass balustrades to ensure they are installed as per the specification
For all built environment professionals:
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A firm was asked to provide professional advice regarding the replacement of a glass balustrade which had collapsed. The balustrade was at second floor level, free standing in a prefabricated metal channel section which was inadequately fixed down to softwood decking boards (Figure 1). It is a single occupancy domestic property and all glass and debris fell within the grounds of the property. No one was injured. The reporter asks if the firm have an obligation to report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or any other organisation?
Expert Panel Comments
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The cause of collapse was probably down to inadequacies at the time of construction. The question is whether there is a need to report such an event. RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) puts duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the responsible person) to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses) to the HSE.
It is unclear from the report whether RIDDOR applies here and whether the reporter or their firm falls into one of the above categories. If unsure readers can contact HSE Concerns and Advice team who will be able to advise.
Whatever the legal requirements, CROSS wants reports on all collapses and near misses so that information can be built up on the types of problems that are occurring in buildings and structures.
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