Originally Posted by maciekskontakt
Does it mean that now we have to provide odd and ugly structures just to make places safe to all people. Think about blind and deaf people. So what should we put on walls and doors for them? After all they are part of society.
And there you actually have the nub of the problem.
A business that owns premises that operate in a public space has a legal duty of care towards those who it invites onto its premises.
It's for this very reason, and due to the various laws surrounding access to premises and services by people with disabilities, that - for example - public transport has brightly coloured safety grab rails, that footpaths (sidewalks) have dips instead of steps at crossing points and, in the UK at least, these dips are paved with concrete slabs that have raised nodules, so that people walking on them who have limited or no sight are aware that they've reached the edge of a path and are likely to step out in front of traffic.
And... it's completely reasonable to require any premises with floor to ceiling glass walls to make a reasonable effort to bring such transparent but potentially dangerous - to SOME people - surfaces to the attention of those with mobility or sight issues. Those business that don't do this run the risk of being taken to court for failure to live up to their duty of care.
If a plate glass floor-to-ceiling window is very clean and the lighting on occasions can be such that there are no reflections upon a person's approach, it's entirely likely that someone will collide with the window and at some point cause themselves injury by so doing.
I'm not being a litigious money grabber, and the idea that such a person hitting a glass wall in the UK is because all UK people are stupid is simply offensive.
This is a very simple concept of liability based around potential hazards to the public. Apple already know this to some extent, seeing as they have in some instances placed small white markers on their windows, however in some lighting conditions these may not be especially noticeable. Architects and designers should be aware of these accessibility concerns. In the UK, which is by a great way less litigious than the USA, these concepts are taken very seriously.
The apparent fact is that an elderly person succumbed to an injury by seemingly not noticing that there was a transparent obstruction in the way. Since glass is, by its very raison d'être, designed to be invisible, clearly further efforts need to be made to prevent people from either injuring themselves or breaking the glass when such huge panels are used. It's necessary from a Disability Access / Anti-Discrimination point of view and from the point of view of general public safety.
Just because some of you lot think it's sidesplittingly funny that an elderly lady broke her nose by colliding with the glass and you're visualising it in your minds in a slap-stick vaudeville laugh-a-minute sort of way doesn't take away from the fact that there may well be a serious case to answer. I remain of the view that this case has, based upon the details presented here, a reasonable cause behind it.