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CROSS Safety Report

Glass panel blown out by wind in city centre

Report ID: 535 Published: 1 April 2016 Region: CROSS-UK

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Overview

A U shaped glass panel was blown out of a fourth floor stair enclosure by high winds and fell to the ground.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals:

  • Consider introducing a quality management procedure for the inspection of safety critical fixings for glass panels, particularly for those installed at high level

For civil and structural design engineers:

  • Careful consideration needs to be given to the fixing of glass panels, particularly in areas subjected to high wind suction pressures

  • If possible, attend site to inspect the installation of glass panels and their fixings

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A U shaped glass panel, which had been in place for some 40 years, was blown out of a fourth floor stair enclosure and fell to the ground. The failure occurred during some very strong gusty winds, which blew up suddenly, says a reporter.

The cause is not entirely known, but it appears that the panel spanned vertically between steel channels and was fixed in place with metal clips. The gaskets which held the panels were in poor condition and it could be seen after the event that the gaskets were hanging loose.

Some self tapping screws, which apparently held the fixing clips in place, were found not to be fixed into anything.

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