Advocates for Safe Glass to Take on Glass Furniture Safety
August 4, 2009
Greg Abel has been known for his goal of prohibiting the use of
wired glass since 2001, when son Jarred was injured in a wired-glass
accident and suffered severe nerve and tendon damage in his left
HERE to read related story). Now, however, Abel has a new goal
for the nonprofit organization, Advocates for Safe Glass (ASG) of
Eugene,Ore., which he founded and chairs: improving the safety of
glass used in furniture.
"I had to take a little sabbatical from ASG to regroupafter
having put in several years in the battle with wired glass, it just
had taken its toll," Abel says. However, in that time he began
receiving calls from law firms around the country in regard to a
new safety issue: "children being either injured by wired glass
or young people actually dying as a result of impacting glass in
According to Abel, "There are more than 20,000 furniture glass-related
injuries per year that are treated in emergency rooms, of which
3 to 6 result in fatalities, and most of these are of young people."
He adds, "It just killed me to think about; the latest being
this little 11-year-old girl in Providence, R.I., (CLICK
HERE for related story), which really hit home because that's
where my sister lives."
Abel says that rather than pushing ASTM Subcommittee F15.42 on Furniture
Safety to publish its drafted standard on furniture (at present,
negative ballots need to be resolved before the standard can move
forward), he hopes to work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC) to better regulate glass used in furniture.
"We don't necessarily need an ASTM standard, what we need is
for the CPSC to do the job that they're required to do by Congress,"
Abel also is going directly to that source, and is seeking the support
of several Congressional representatives.
"Because Congress is getting ready to go out I'm not at liberty
to divulge who it is, but I've got a couple of members of Congress
who are very sincere in assisting to do something with this,"
Abel says. "I intend here within the next six weeks to travel
back to Washington, D.C., to meet again with the CPSC and see about
challenging the fact that they have not stepped up to the plate
with regard to this. The injury data is there; there's no reason
in the world why they haven't done anything."
Despite this new focus, Abel is firm that he will not be losing
track of fire-rated glazing-related issues. The organization's updated
website will continue to provide updates on the three areas of focus
for ASG: glazing in furniture; the hose stream test; and barriers
to radiant heat, which, Abel says, "seems to be ignored a lot."
The website also will include an "Ask the Expert" section,
where experts from opposing sides of the fire-rated glazing issues
will provide their viewpoints to various questions.
to learn more about Advocates for Safe Glass.
HERE to read USGNN.com coverage of glass tabletop breakage.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.