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NEWSLETTER October 2010
NEWSLETTER October 2010

Interesting Use of Architectural Glass in Federation Square

Picture of The Atrium Federation Square by Peter Campbell (CampbellBarnett and Glassplay)
Why the name "Architectural Glass" for our industry?

The term "Architectural Glass" was chosen as a description to encompass leadlight, stained glass, kiln formed glass, etched etc – basically decorative flat glass which is used in an architectural capacity, i.e. installed or fitted into a building.

A blanket term was necessary for both practical and promotional purposes. Many practitioners use more than one of these methods to produce their work, and "leadlight and stained glass" still invokes either ecclesiastical or period style work in most people’s minds, including architects and builders. In order for our sector to both continue the heritage of this type of work, and to forge ahead into the future and develop the contemporary versions of decorative flat glass, a more versatile descriptive name was required.

"Architectural" is the purpose of what we create, and our art/design; and "Glass" is the material we use. We respect the heritage of our art, and we want to ensure the continuation and development of this sector into the future.

Accreditation for Industry
With more and more legal incidents coming to light, the need for fabricators and installers to have accreditation continues to grow.  Building owners and operators have a legal duty of care to provide premises which are fit (safe) for purpose.

Building owners and operators are realizing that they have a legally enforceable responsibility to provide safe premises for users, whether they be dwellings, offices, shopping complexes or health care buildings.  As a consequence, many owners are requesting to have buildings audited and updated by an accredited glazier.

It is absolutely essential that Superior Glass (Qld) Pty Ltd. has a current copy of AS1288 and that we can show our customers that Superior Glass (Qld) Pty Ltd. have been accredited and can therefore protect our customers from the potentially expensive dangers resulting from glazing that does not comply with the Standard.  To ensure that you are able to maximize your position in this rapidly developing industry, contact Superior Glass (Qld) Pty Ltd. to find out more about what's involved.

Solicitors' Warning
Encounters with plate glass doors and windows often result in serious injuries.
Building owners and occupiers and their insurers should be aware of the scope of liability in negligence for potential injuries from glass breakage.

Thomson v S A Housing Trust
An eighteen-year-old South Australian girl was awarded $23,961 in damages. Her back and arms were seriously lacerated and disfigured by a breaking shower screen. The court found that the owner/operator, South Australian Housing Trust, was liable for having glass in the shower screen that was not up to current Australian Standards

Giner v Public Trustee
An eleven-year-old girl fell through the door of a flat, which had been built prior to 1970. Her cuts were so deep as to almost sever her leg. In awarding damages of $139,058, Judge Mildren rejected the Defence that the flat was glazed to the standards pertaining at the time. He confirmed that the relevant factors are those existing at the time of the accident.

Jenkins v Culbertson
In this case, an intending customer walked into the shop's glass door at night, after the shop was closed. The glass shattered, damaging the customer's face. The Judge awarded damages of $11,400 saying that the defendants failed to discharge the duty of care upon them. The glass door did not incorporate the safety features, which properly such a door should have fitted to safeguard it. A subsequent appeal was dismissed with costs.

Building operator pays $5000 for cut arm
The West Australian October 28, 2000 Centrelink must pay compensation to a man who smashed his hand through a glass door after he was told he had to wait in an unemployment office queue. The District Court has ruled that the CES, now known as Centrelink, should have foreseen that it would have angry and frustrated clients and therefore should have used strengthened safety glass in its front doors. The plaintiff was awarded more than $5000 compensation for a severe gash to his forearm after Judge Peter Nisbet ruled the Commonwealth had failed in its duty of care. Mr. O'Callaghan would have received more than $10,500 compensation for pain, suffering and medical expenses if Judge Nisbet had not found that he was 50 per cent to blame for his injuries.

What is the Moral of these Cases?

  • All new glazing must conform to AS1288
  • All re-glazing must conform to AS1288
  • All existing glazing should be assessed for conformity to AS1288
  • All parties have a 'duty of care' to provide a safe environment
  • All glass products must be 'fit for purpose'
  • Disregarding these rules could lead to expensive awards for damages

To ensure that you are as fully protected as possible, contact Superior Glass (Qld) Pty Ltd. on (07) 3353 1588 to discuss this important matter or the relevant State Body as listed below.

Prevention is far cheaper than cure.

Allan Albury

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Superior Glass (QLD) Pty Ltd

43 Queens Road Everton Hills 4053

07 3353 1588

07 3353 2339

Allan Albury:
Shaun Barrett: