Can Tempered Glass Break?

The vast majority of manufactured glass products are made from tempered glass. Also known as “safety glass”, tempered glass is about 4x stronger than “regular glass” and therefore, much less likely to break. However…

Read More: How Is Tempered Glass Made?

While unlikely, it’s not impossible for tempered glass to break.

Remember, in the event tempered glass does break, it breaks into small granules instead of sharp shards.

Read More: Advantages of Tempered Glass

Reasons for Tempered Glass Breakage

Scratches or Chips

What starts out as a small crack in a sheet of glass can weaken the glass overtime, resulting in spontaneous breakage.

Incorrect Handling of Glass

It’s important to be aware of proper handling techniques. Improper handling or moving of glass can result in breakage or chips that may result in future breakage.


Blemishes included in the glass during the manufacturing process can make the glass prone to spontaneous breakage. Nickel sulfide, for example, used to be a common issue because a blemish smaller than can be detected can be enough to cause problems down the road. For this reason, nickel sulfide has been virtually eliminated from float glass production facilities in the United States.

Read More: Techni-Glass – Made In America

Handling Broken Glass

For those who work with glass, it’s vital to be aware of safe handling practices, to have access to proper safety equipment, and to know what steps to take if first-aid care is needed.

In the unlikely event you find yourself dealing with broken tempered glass, remember:

  • Secure the area with a warning sign so no one accidentally steps into the glass and hurts themselves or tracks it elsewhere
  • Never collect glass with bare hands
  • Only use cleaning materials intended specifically for broken glass as shards may get stuck in ordinary cleaning items like a mop
  • Only dispose of broken glass in designated waste bins

Read More: 16 Safety Tips for Commercial Glass Handling [INFOGRAPHIC]

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