Ontario school boards face lawsuits after hundreds of wired glass injuries

Injuries include severed arteries, life-threatening blood loss and permanent facial scarring

In the past 14 years, the Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange has received 114 claims from wired glass injuries. The insurer, which works with most school boards in the province, has incurred more than $5.8 million in costs while dealing with the claims.

Wired glass, in which shards are internally held together by wire mesh to prevent fires from spreading, is much weaker than regular glass, though it looks the same. And when it breaks on unsuspecting students, the results can be devastating: severed arteries and nerves, life-threatening blood loss, permanent facial scarring.

School boards, however, often argue students were acting recklessly, and say it’s not financially feasible to replace all wired glass in all schools. The glass is still permitted by building codes, though an engineering professor says better alternatives have been available for more than a decade.

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