Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Child Killed by Falling Signage

One of the larger hidden hazards of the CRT was the weight of the device, more particularly, the weight distribution. Due to the possibility of injury from flying glass from a tube implosion, the glass in the front of the device was relatively thick. Most of the weight of a finished TV was the front face of the tube. This meant that with a tug on the front of the set, a TV could be sent toppling forward. For larger sets, serious injury or worse could result. With flat panels, this particular hazard has largely vanished.

However, the news informs us of a 10 year old boy killed, and the rest of his family injured by the toppling forward or a floor mounted display. In this case, the harm most probably resulted from the weight of all of the other components besides the display. But still, a metastable arrangement of a display found a way to reach a more stable position and hurt those that were in the way.

The accident happened at the newly renovated airport in Birmingham, Alabama. The Accident would not have happened in, California or any other earthquake zone as the display would have been fixed to the wall even if it was resting on the floor. So, maybe a lesson learned for the digital signage industry. Sitting a display on the floor is one way to get around Americans with Disabilities Act requirements however it is still incumbent on the venue owner to consider the safety of those that can directly touch the display. UL provides minimal guidelines for impact safety, but it could be wise to follow normal architectural guidelines for display case glass to prevent consumer injuries from broken glass.

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