Did you know that there is a glass standard relating to safety glass? I should probably put it more technically that, there is a glazing standard associated with the installation of glass that does not shatter, AS1247-2006
Has anyone ever been to a party where they have watched a person run face first into a glass door that they did not see? “ Usually three sheets to the wind”. It’s usually met with cheers and applause and a considerable amount of embarrassment for the injured person. Never quite ceases to amaze me how humans find the greatest mirth from injury.
In a High Court case of Jones and Bartlett, a tenant walked into a sliding internal door. The glass shattered and left cuts to 80% of his body. He unsuccessfully sued the Property Manager. The recent case Than -v- Galetta Anor (2019), the Court’s punished the owners of a building by awarding $330,000 worth of damages to the occupant after falling down a set of stairs. In fact, although the owners of the building were found to be liable, the agent was held to be responsible.
All buildings built after 2006 can be assumed that they comply with the appropriate glazing standards. Those buildings built before 2006 require a glass audit to occur to provide protection to those who live there. Remember that, the glass sliding doors to balconies are the responsibility of the Owners Corporation, and therefore, failure to provide a safe environment of sliding doors is the responsibility of the Owners Corporation.
The Owners Corporation should undertake an audit to ensure that their premises are safe. Unfortunately, Owners Corporations do not see the value in undertaking such things as glass audits. All that the Strata Manager can do is advise them of the need and provide them with information of how an audit is undertaken. This is usually done by a standard motion at the annual general meeting. If the Owners Corporation refuse to do a glazing audit, the responsibility then falls to the Owners Corporation.
The risks associated with somebody walking into a glass door are minor! However, If the glass does shatter, the consequences are extreme. It is not only a consideration of your fellow residents, which makes it important to have this done, but it is also risk management practice for an Owners Corporation.