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Monitoring of glass continues

Post Time:Jul 23,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:275

The University of Otago has taken steps to minimise the risk of people being injured by glass spontaneously shattering in some of its buildings.

This comes as the university continues an audit, which started last year, into the safety of architectural glass sheets in some of its more than 200 buildings after facing problems with spontaneously shattering glass.


University property services director Barry MacKay said the university had taken steps to improve safety in some areas with ''significant risk''.


''Sites where there are high pedestrian traffic areas and ... where failures could lead to significant risk in event of falling are being regularly monitored and/or have had modifications to improve the safety in event of failures,'' Mr MacKay said in a emailed statement

A-yet-to-be-determined amount of glass would ''likely'' need to be replaced as a result of the audit, which had proven difficult because of a lack of expertise on the issue.


''It has proven very difficult to get high level, independent advice on glazing failures within New Zealand. We are investigating what expertise is available in Australia.''


Asked what the results so far had been, he said: ''There isno single cause of the glass failures and this is part of the issue for the university and all other owners of buildings with similar materials.''


Mr MacKay said last year the problem could affect about a dozen of its 200-plus buildings.


The audit came after an incident at Arana College in March last year. An email, obtained by the Otago Daily Times, from the college's property manager, Brian O'Kane, to a university staff member said two large sheets of glass - forming part of canopy outside the main dining hall - had ''spontaneously shattered and fell to the ground''.


There were no injuries, ''but there would have been if residents [or] staff were underneath'', he wrote. The university is yet to replace glass removed from verandas outside its Information Services Building after one of the glass sheets shattered on to the Cumberland St footpath last December.


Replacing the glass on the veranda was not ''not a high priority'' because having no glass sheets meant there was no risk of glass shattering, Mr MacKay said.



Source: http://www.odt.co.nz/campus/university-otago/26581Author: shangyi

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