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Apple's Glass Walls Reportedly Causing Employee Injuries

Friday, February 23, 2018

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Apple’s shiny, nearly all-glass Silicon Valley headquarters has come with an unexpected consequence: Employees are running into the glass and hurting themselves.

According to reports by Market Watch and Time, several employees have sustained injuries from walking face-first into the interior glass panels that separate work stations.

According to Market Watch, at least two incidents of men walking into the glass caused injuries serious enough for emergency services to be called.

Reports also say that employees had started putting Post-It notes on the panes, but the marks were promptly removed because they interfered too much with the aesthetic.

Markings of some kind, though, are legally required to be there according to California safety laws. No violations have been filed and no one from Apple has commented on the reports.

The Glass

The campus—including the main office, “The Ring”—was created by Apple design chief Jonathan Ive, head of facilities Dan Whisenhunt and architect Norman Foster (and his firm Foster + Partners, based in London).

The Ring’s walls are made entirely of 45-foot-tall panels of safety glass, commissioned by the Seele Group (Germany), which already had a relationship with Apple for its many glass-clad storefronts and other buildings.

Prior to the Apple Park project, Seele Group already owned the only machine capable of making such panels. However, Apple needed about 800 of them, so Seele worked with a manufacturer to come up with a way to make five panels at once.

Because this was an almost-all-glass-building in California, it needed shades. The structure’s canopies are also glass, with one side painted white, and fixated to a metal sheet coated with white silicone.


Tagged categories: Color + Design; Glass; Health and safety; North America; Paneling; Safety

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (2/23/2018, 11:34 AM)

Our office went with a lot of glass inside to allow better natural light transmission from outside. At least we have some frosted bands on ours to keep people from running into the panes.

Comment from Phil Kabza, (2/26/2018, 8:30 AM)

Someone with the ability to field etch Apple logos on the glass panels is going to have a very good year .

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (2/27/2018, 4:23 PM)

Don't even need to be etched. A translucent frosted vinyl could be applied quite quickly....or cut into Apple logos (either single larger ones, or smaller ones in bands. If they wanted to solve the problem, if there is a will and some cash from the great big Apple kitty, then it can happen very quickly.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (3/1/2018, 8:43 AM)

If the exterior glass cuts most of the UV, vinyl is a fine, economical choice. If there is still significant UV, I highly suggest acrylic sheeting instead.

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