When does a designer need to undertake a glass risk assessment for glazing?

Essentially, there is no situation in which a glass risk assessment shouldn't be undertaken for glass used in a building envelope or similar.

The aim of a glass risk assessment is not to check whether or not a particular glass specification is acceptable or unacceptable, but to judge the risk of different glass make ups and select the most appropriate in terms of safety, risk, cost, energy requirements etc.

Guidance for undertaking glass risk assessments on glazing that has a potential to fall on breakage, causing safety or other concerns is provided in the CIRIA document; ‘Guidance on Glazing at Height’.  Further guidance on risk assessment, glass types and testing are provided in CWCT Technical Notes 61, 66, 67, 69, 99 and 112.

It is important to consider that any individual that makes a decision regarding the selection of glass, whether that is limiting the glass type by appearance, cost, environmental impact or other requirement, becomes a designer under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations and should be aware of their duties and obligations under this legislation.

Further to the above, many stakeholders in the project are involved in the process and it is important not to rely on individual companies or entities to provide risk assessments in isolation, in regards to this Technical Note 112 states;

‘Where possible, all parties involved in the design, construction, use and ownership of the building should be consulted when preparing a risk assessment.  The design team should carry out the initial risk assessment which should be reviewed and if appropriate amended by the main contractor and specialist contractor. A risk assessment should establish any residual risk and who is responsible for the risk.’

Revision 1, 25 May 2023

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