Friday, 31 July 2009

Four Window Cleaning Stories For Friday



Big rise in illegal tapping into water supplies: A four-fold rise in businesses illegally tapping into the region’s water supply has been recorded in West Yorkshire this year. Fire chiefs warn lives are being put at risk by cowboy firms which are damaging fire hydrants to access water by using ill-fitting and unlicensed standpipe equipment. It is thought many businesses which rely on access to water to carry out work, such as window cleaners, road sweepers and landscape gardeners, are dodging equipment licence fees in order to cut costs during the recession. Between January and July this year, Yorkshire Water had 87 confirmed incidents of illegal standpipe use in West Yorkshire, compared to 20 during the same period last year. In Bradford, 35 incidents have been recorded this year, up from only seven at the same time in 2008. Kirsty Wood, the firm’s standpipe licensing manager, said: “Perhaps as a result of businesses trying to save money in these difficult economic times or simply because they aren’t aware of the regulations, we’ve seen a worrying increase in the number of people caught tapping into our water hydrants without the proper equipment or permission.
“Their actions can have a knock-on effect, potentially causing incidents of water discolouration or even temporary loss of supply.” She said the firm had a 100 per cent successful prosecution rate, with offenders receiving a maximum £1,000 per offence plus legal costs. Businesses are required to use a standpipe on a fire hydrant which is no more than an inch in diameter, anything bigger can damage the attachment on the hydrant, much like a screw with a worn thread. Yorkshire Water is now working with Bradford businesses to ensure regulations are met. Mike Cartwright, spokesman for Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: “Taking water without consent from hydrants and standpipes can have severe consequences on both individuals and communities.”
Ian Bitcon, senior operations officer for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said fire hydrants provide back up to appliances during major incidents. “Our front-line appliances carry adequate water to deal with the early stages of fire and to extinguish most fires but we rely on hydrants to support our work,” he said. “Anyone interfering with or vandalising a hydrant is putting lives directly at risk.” Members of the public should report any instances where they suspect illegal use of the water supply to contact Yorkshire Water on (01274) 804457. Businesses wishing to know more about the regulations can also call this number. A licence costs £554.96 a year or £1.46 a day.



Home Owners penalized for not looking after their homes: Patricia Hanson has been with the insurance company for over a decade but in May it canceled her policy because of chipped paint and weeds. If someone were to drive by and take a picture of Hanson’s home they may think it was in bad shape. Hanson agrees, but says what you’re seeing is renovation in progress. Many other Utah homeowners are doing the same thing and she doesn’t understand why her insurance company has ditched her. Hanson has been planning the upgrades to her home for some time now but before she had the chance to get them done her insurance company pulled the plug, cancelling her homeowner’s policy, she claims, without any notice. “I didn't have a call from anybody, no contact, I don't even know who drove by, just came out of the blue,” says Hanson.
Hanson says she got this letter in may after making a payment to renew her policy. She was stunned that it was explaining the reasons for cancellation. The one paragraph letter says, "Peeling paint on all portions of the dwelling. Overgrown vegetation…peeling paint on garage siding, window sills missing paint." Hanson explained work is being done to fix it. “If you look around you will see that most of the paint is on the ground here because we've been power washing,” says Hanson. “I'm getting rid of this, all the grass, going to a zero-scape so this is all covered to kill any of the grass that was left.”Hanson’s insurance agent is out of town but did say on the phone they do give advanced warning when cancelling a policy. He said he will re-instate Hanson when the fixes are made and find her other coverage in the meantime. Brad Tibbitts with the Utah Insurance Department says he’s heard of cases like this but they’re uncommon. “The insurance companies have the right to find out whether or not the house is in good enough shape to be eligible for the premium rates,” says Tibbitts. He says they have to give a client 30 days notice before cancellation. Homeowners are not required to notify their insurance companies before remodeling or upgrade work but it's not a bad idea.

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Window Cleaner turns to Painting: Kevin Krone, 50, isn't afraid of heights. He can't be, at least not this week, when the area painter has spent the past three days repainting the red and white logo atop the 38-story HSBC Center. "The first day, it takes 15 minutes to get used to it," he said Thursday as he peered over the edge of the scaffolding that resembles half a shark cage. "But it's just another day. It pays the bills, and it's a good view." Depending on the weather, he'll be up there again today. At more than 520 feet above the Buffalo streetscape, Krone gets a top-down view of City Hall, Statler Towers and the spire of St. Joseph's Cathedral. The skyline of Niagara Falls, Ont., remains faintly visible -- and, on a clear day, security guards claim you can see Toronto, an impossibility in the mid-summer haze of Thursday afternoon. Kevin Dedominces said he has seen it all before. For the past 20 years, he has been a high-rise window washer for various local companies, just as his dad was before him.
Currently employed by Buffalo Exterior Maintenance, Dedominces washes M&T Plaza, HSBC Arena and the Goldome on a somewhat regular basis. He acted as Krone's chauffeur Thursday, operating the rig that controls the height and placement of the scaffolding for an eight-hour work day. He doesn't get bored, he said. On Thursday afternoon, he had read the paper twice and spent a few hours watching the Bisons game -- Dedominces couldn't see the scoreboard, but from his observations, it must have been 2-0 Buffalo (the Bisons would go on to win 4-1). "It's peaceful up here," he said, adding that he's never thought of the risks of working 500 feet up. "What are the chances of four cables breaking?" Click on pictures to enlarge.



Montreal - Cracked windows at Eaton Centre force lane closings and emergency patch job: Anxious pedestrians craned their necks in the city centre yesterday as police, the Montreal fire department and ultimately a commercial glass company decided what to do about some cracked windows on the facade of the Eaton Centre tower. Fire officials were called around 10:30 a.m. when cracks were discovered in a window on the eighth floor and another window several storeys up. The east side sidewalk of McGill College Ave. was cordoned off and traffic was blocked from using the eastern lanes between Ste. Catherine St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd. Because of the fatal accident that occurred two weeks ago on Peel St., where a slab of concrete sheared off a building and killed a woman sitting in a restaurant, police and the fire department did not want to take any chances that the cracked windows would fall out on the windy avenue and injure someone on the sidewalk or street below. Employees of a commercial glass company rode a window washer basket down the side of the building and put thick plastic adhesive patches on all the cracks. The faulty windows will be removed at a later date and replaced. People whose cars were parked in the underground parking lot of the Eaton Centre were not allowed to enter or exit the garage until shortly after 3 p.m.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

UK Banker Becomes Window Cleaner



DARTFORD, UK: Banker hit by credit crunch becomes window cleaner - For casualties of the credit crunch, could a dramatic career change be a blessing in disguise? Alice Fletcher spoke to a former city banker who swapped his suit for the overalls of a window cleaner. Most people would be phased at losing their highflying banking job, but when Scott Manzi found himself in just that predicament he cheerfully swapped the briefcase for a bucket and sponge to earn his bread as a window cleaner.

The 22-year-old resident of Pinewood Place, Dartford, had worked at Citi’s glamorous Canary Wharf offices for five years when a cost-cutting measure meant his department was relocated to Hungary, leaving him jobless. After a second job at an Icelandic bank also fell through when the company went bust, he realised it was time to leave the banking world and try something new. He said: "I liked the idea of being outside and working for myself, as I didn't like being in an office and working for someone else. "When my dad first suggested me doing window cleaning, I thought it would be good because I would be active.

Scott did a short trial with a family friend and realised window cleaning was the job for him, so he signed up for four months of unpaid work to master the trade. With what he could scrape together from his redundancy pay and a loan from his dad, Scott managed to raise the £15,000 he needed to buy a van and the necessary high-tech equipment and three weeks ago started his own company, Bedazzled Window Cleaning Ltd. Scott has no regrets about his change in career and would never consider returning to the financial sector, and said: "I see it as a long term career and would love to eventually be in a position where I can employ other people."

He admits it has been a dramatic lifestyle change and that people now expect him to be the stereotypical cheeky chappy window cleaner. He said: "I tell people I won't be the type who climbs a ladder to look in at people - I won't even have a ladder, as the system I use means I can do it all from the ground." Asked about the future, Scott aims to attract over 500 customers and hopes he will soon be able to repay his father’s loan. He said: “I plan to cover all of Kent and even London if there are big jobs." He is also working on that most vital of window cleaning skills, adding, "I will have to start whistling, as that's expected of a window cleaner."

My Island Mallorca, Gets Bombed



Comment: Its not often I stray from window cleaning news. But today was purely strange. I consider myself lucky passing by todays car bomb only 15 minutes before & then working round the corner 400 meters away. I didn't hear the explosion - maybe due to shop noise, but nether the less the news traveled quickly. It was only a matter of time before the Islands emergency crews & police were on hand to try & apprehend the perpetrators of today's bombing. Sadly, it was very easy for me to leave the area a half hour after the blast, I saw & heard after they were blocking roads on motorways & the port & airport were frozen in movement. A little too late, the way this island normally operates. You have to feel sorry for the 2 Guardia Civil policemen & their families, one of them from Burgos where yesterdays explosion occurred & the other from Pamplona where recently he'd just recovered from a coma. This "Sun" news story says it all: -



Stranded British tourists told of their terror today after a bomb killed two cops in the heart of a Spanish holiday hotspot. A schoolboy reeled in shock after seeing the charred remains of an officer being dragged from a blazing patrol car. And others told how the force of the blast — which rocked a police station at lunchtime — shook them from their sunbeds in Majorca's crowded Palma Nova resort. This afternoon the island — where an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Brits are staying — was closed off amid fears of another blast.
Roads, ports and the airport were shut and large areas of the town remained on "lockdown" as Spanish police feared further devices may target tourists. Palma Airport was said to be on high alert as searches continued for more terrorist bombs. Brit Maureen Mitchell — on holiday with her partner Peter Van Dijk, 50, and his sons Mitchell, 11, and Cameron, nine — spoke of her shock. The foreign exchange sales consultant Maureen, of Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, said: "We were sat around the pool enjoying the sunshine and suddenly there was a massive bang - a really huge explosion. "We all raced over to see what it was and we saw the black clouds of smoke coming from the police station. "Everyone was panicking because it was so terrifying. "Peter´s elder son Mitchell ran over and saw a charred body with no legs being pulled from the burnt out wreck of the car."
The 34-year-old added: "Children were crying hysterically. Then we were all ordered back into our apartments. "We are right at the Magaluf end of Palmanova here, and there are thousands of Brits on holiday. "Mitchell's still shaken up by what he saw - it's the last thing you'd expect in a resort like this." Company director Derek Sedge, 51, was relaxing on a sun lounger just 50 yards from the blast when the bomb detonated. He said: "The was an absolutely enormous bang that almost shook me off my sunbed. "The noise was hug and I knew pretty quickly that it was a bomb. "When I got to the Guardia Civil station the car was well alight and engulfed in flames and black smoke. "I could see anyone inside for the smoke but knew right away that anyone in that car wouldn't have stood a chance. "There are British families all over this resort and it's appalling to think a bomb went off among so many people. "Many more than two could have died and it's left a lot of tourist very shocked and concerned about more attacks. "The police have sealed off the whole area and its understandably quite tense."
The blast erupted at 1.50pm outside the Civil Guard station in Palma Nova, near the brash Magaluf loved by thousands of Brits. The blast was heard throughout the area, sending tourists running from bars and beaches. Bombers are believed to have targeted a green and white police car parked close to the Guardia station. The police driver of the car was believed to have been killed instantly by the blast with a colleague who was close by. The police barracks is situated around 50 yards from the Playa Ca´s Saboners holiday apartments, where Maureen was staying. A member of staff there said: "All the guests have been ordered to stay in their rooms while police check the area for more bombs. "We are full at the moment and the vast majority of our guests are British." A spokeswoman for the Civil Guard said: "At the moment all we can confirm is that there has been an explosion outside the police station." Spanish media immediately linked the bomb to Basque terrorist group ETA. The explosion happened a day after Eta blew up a Civil Guard barracks in the northern Spanish city of Burgos, injuring 60 people. Eta have killed more than 850 people since it was founded in the 1960s.

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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Window Cleaning News

Window washer rescued from outside 5th floor: A window washer was stranded outside the fifth floor of a downtown Erie building Saturday evening. The man called 911 at 6:25 p.m. when he discovered he could not move the mechanized basket in which he stood to clean windows outside Northwest Savings Bank, 800 State St. It took fire crews about 20 minutes to rescue the window washer. His name was not released Saturday night.

Professional window cleaning and power washing firm Blue Bay Window Cleaning are to offer risk free trial offers to residential, commercial and high rise clients in the Houston Texas area, through the Blue Bay website.Blue Bay Window Cleaning are to offer risk free trial offer through their website to clients within its operational territories, in a bid to expand the Blue Bay brand even further throughout the region. Specializing in all aspects of building washing and exterior cleaning, Blue Bay Window Cleaning are to offer free trial offer to clients based in the Houston, Corpus Christi and Sugar Land areas of Texas, as it vies to expand its reputation as a leading national cleaning brand for residential, commercial and high-rise cleaning projects.
Carlos Rodriguez, a spokesperson for Blue Bay Window Cleaning, believes by offering free trial offers and estimates through the website, Blue Bay Window Cleaning will have the opportunity to deliver professional window cleaning and washing services to a wider range of business and consumer clients. “By offering free trial offers, I am confident we will be in a position to expand the Blue Bay Window Cleaning brand, to win even more customers in the Houston area to cement our position as the region’s leading window and exterior cleaning and pressure washing company.”
“At Blue Bay, we pride ourselves on doing a professional job at an affordable rate. No matter the scale of the project or the level of difficulty, our highly trained, expert staff are equipped to handle the most difficult cleaning needs, and we’re more than open to offering free quotes and free trial offers to clients within our key territories.” Blue Bay Window Cleaning handle a range of cleaning projects for a diverse portfolio of clients, including roof washing, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, and even specialized high rise cleaning projects.

Thai murder trial to open in death of Victoria native - Wife accused of hiring a hit man to kill 48-year-old oil-field worker. A Thai woman goes on trial in her home country today for allegedly orchestrating the murder of her Victoria-born husband, 48-year-old Dale Henry. The oil-field worker died Feb. 3, 2008, when he was shot point-blank in the head at his home in Thailand. Maneerat Nee Henry is accused of paying a hit man close to $2,000 Cdn so she could collect on a $1-million life-insurance policy. Two other men, allegedly the hit man and Nee's lover, are also on trial. It is scheduled to continue until Aug. 4. Richard Henry, the victim's brother and owner of a Victoria window-washing company, is in Thailand for the trial, but fears for his safety. "I really have to watch my back," he said in an e-mail. "My brother deserves justice, which I've promised since his murder. I don't feel it is safe at the moment to be showing my face around as all the accused are walking the streets," Henry wrote.

Window cleaner admits laptop theft: A window cleaner who burgled a neighbour has received a suspended jail sentence. Matthew Miller, 18, of Tag Croft, Ingol, admitted burgling a home in the same street, stealing a laptop. He was given a 32-week sentence, suspended for 18 months at Preston Crown Court. Miller was placed on a four-month curfew and was ordered to pay £500 compensation.

Window film manufacturer Huper Optik moved into a new facility recently. The newly renovated space triples the square footage available for Huper’s business operations and headquarters, amidst adding new training facilities and meeting spaces, as well as leaving 5,000 additional square feet for future expansion. But the company’s chief executive officer, Faisal Nazir, says it’s about more than simply expanding. In addition to adding the company’s mainstay—energy-efficient window film—Huper’s new facility is scheduled to add a number of new features, including: green power sources including wind energy; floors crafted with renewable resources; LED lighting and control systems which are based upon the frequency of daylight at any given time; and a cool roof system, to name a few. All will be provided and installed through Energy Efficient Systems (EES), a provider of what Nazir describes as “holistic energy solutions.”

Blame lawyers for killing firefighters' joy: Look no further than the charity fundraiser put on last month by Firefighters Without Borders, which prides itself on the good work it does and the fun it has doing it. Originally, the plan was to "drop" a banker off a tall building, in keeping with the anti-banker spirit of the times. And that banker was Jeffrey Moore of BMO Harris Private Banking, a fit 53-year-old and founding member of Firefighters Without Borders. Moore was to be lowered in a window-washer's platform from the 32-storey Bank of Montreal Tower in the Bentall Centre, then "rescued" by rappelling firefighters. "Normally, they would haul me up, that's the typical rescue, that's the shortest distance," he told me. "But for drama, they were going to lower me down." The firefighters were excited about this headline-grabbing scheme as it developed over a couple of months. At the last moment, though, the Vancouver city's legal department raised a red flag. So the June 5 stunt, at least in its original form, was a no-go.

If the outside of your property is a mess you won’t even get would-be buyers to enquire about the house if they spot the For Sale sign, and you won’t get interested parties through the door. No matter how lovely the house is on the inside, and no matter whether your back garden has the wow factor or not, if you have peeling paint on your front door, your windows are dirty, there are bins on the drive and an unmowed lawn at the front, your house will not sell – and if it does sell, your buyers will hammer you on the price. Sort out the front of your house, make it attractive, appealing and make it reflect the fact that you have cared for this property, therefore your buyers will benefit from your care when they buy this beautiful bargain pad!

A MEMORIAL on the top of Beachy Head has been damaged for the second time this year and the man who placed the cross at the scene has described the actions as 'sacrilege'. Keith Lane, of Whitley Road in Eastbourne, lost his wife Maggie in 2004 when she fell to her death from the cliff top. The 59-year-old, who is a semi-retired window cleaner, says he believes Maggie's memorial cross is now being damaged by someone who has a grievance against him as three other Beachy Head memorials have been left standing. Mr Lane said, "It is desecration. It really is the lowest of the low and an insult to my late wife." Mr Lane explained his wife's memorial cross had been pulled out of the ground five weeks ago and left on the grass. He subsequently cemented it back in to the ground before adding top soil and then grass. But on Sunday (July 26) he visited the site and found the cross had been snapped in two. A devastated Mr Lane said, "I am very, very upset and I would like the person or persons to come forward and talk to me.
"If they have a grievance they should speak to me about it instead of vandalising the memorial to my wife. "It is a very special place to me and the person or persons doing this do not realise how much it means to me. "They are wasting their time because I will keep replacing that cross and I will never remove it. The only way it will leave is if the cliff it stands on crumbles away in to the sea." Pastor Ross Hardy, director of the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team which patrols the notorious suicide spot, said, "We are deeply saddened to hear of the wilful vandalism of Maggie's cross and the obvious stress this caused Keith. "We would ask anyone who has information on who may have done this to come forward." After Maggie's death, Mr Lane independently patrolled the area and prevented 29 distressed people from committing suicide. His rescue efforts won him prestigious bravery awards but in October 2007 he stepped down because of health and safety complaints. However, after the recent death of the grief-stricken Puttick couple, who jumped from Beachy Head with their dead young son in a rucksack, Mr Lane is considering returning to the life-saving role.

Two “terrified” British law graduates were locked up in the same cell in a Brazilian prison today over an alleged holiday insurance fraud. Backpackers Shanti Andrews and Rebecca Turner, both 23, are reported to have told police they had been robbed on a bus journey to Rio de Janeiro and had lost possessions including a camera and laptop, together worth £1,300. But police, suspicious that they did not report it for three days, took them back to their hostel and found their suitcases in lockers under their beds. Mrs Headley said her ex-husband, Alan Andrews, a window cleaner, has flown out to Brazil. He is thought to be carrying his daughter's law diploma to enable her legal team to use a local rule which gives special privileges to imprisoned lawyers.

Water woes nearing Stage 3: As Lake Palo Pinto nears 30 percent capacity, city departments are cutting back on water use and plans are progressing for buying Brazos River Water from Parker County to blend with Palo Pinto Lake water. “It's likely by the end of the week we will hit stage 3 [water shortage conditions],” Howerton said. What measures will be instituted at that point have not yet been finalized, but Howerton said he has suggested to council members that any additional water conservation be initiated in mid-August. “We still have some planning to do,” Howerton said. “We've made some tremendous progress … but we don't want to rush into this.” Though the current version of the drought contingency plan prohibits outdoor water use including vehicle washing, outside watering of lawns and window washing will also be prohibited after stage three is triggered when Lake Palo Pinto reaches 856 feet above mean sea level. Despite several recent rains, the lake was at 856.05 feet above mean sea level Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Window Cleaning Crane Collapse & Window Cleaning Mannequin



Centre evacuated after incident: A CRANE collapse led to the evacuation of the Clover Centre walk-in clinic at Great Western Hospital. The collapse happened at about 8.15am yesterday as window cleaners prepared a 60-metre cherry-picker crane for their morning’s work. Within minutes of turning on the crane’s engine a supporting arm broke, tipping the 35-tonne machine precariously over the outbuilding, which had `10 staff and six patients inside. None of the window cleaners – from Lingwoods cleaning company in Reading – were on the crane’s platform at the time. “If it had collapsed with someone in the cage up at 60 metres, we could have been looking at a truly terrible incident,” said Mark Hemphill, health and safety investigator for the Great Western Hospital NHS Trust. “We’re grateful to the window cleaners who ran into the Clover Centre immediately to raise the alarm and evacuate the building. “Given its position, the crane could have collapsed at any time and taken the building out completely.”
Walk-in patients were treated at the hospital’s emergency department or directed to the Carfax Street NHS Medical Centre in the town centre until the crane was made safe at 2.30pm. The Clover Centre re-opened at 5pm. The patient discharge lounge was moved to the north side of the building for the day, but normal service was due to resume with the reopening of the west entrance of the hospital at 8.30am today. The blue Bronto Skylift SI crane was rented from London-based plant hire company Orion Access Services and had been used at the site at least 12 times so cleaners could reach the hospital’s highest windows.
It was still at the scene as the Adver went to press but was today set for removal and examination by the manufacturers, who will then send a report to the Health and Safety Executive. Paul Morris, operations manager for Lingwoods, said he had never heard of anything like the collapse in the 20 years he had worked for the company. Mr Morris, who spends a week at GWH every three months cleaning windows, added: “The first thing we do before starting the job is extend the crane to see that everything is in working order. “Something like this is exactly the reason no-one goes in the crane before the safety checks are done.”

Hanging mannequin prompts 911 calls, rescue: A man purported to be hanging by the neck from the Howrey law offices next to the Four Seasons Hotel in East Palo Alto Saturday turned out to be a dummy. Dozens of people telephoned 911 on Saturday morning to report the hanging man, according to Menlo Park Firefighter Neiley Hunt. But the "victim" turned out to be a fire department mannequin sporting a flame tattoo on its right arm.
The mannequin was part of a week-long annual search-and-rescue simulation by the Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 3, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) task force sponsored by the Menlo Park Fire Department. The week-long drill practiced rope rescuing -- lowering team members down the building's facade to save the mannequin -- which represented a window washer who had fallen from his scaffolding.
Among those participating in the drill was Angus, a border collie that was lowered down the rope with his handler, Peter Gross, a San Francisco firefighter. Firefighters from as far away as Santa Clara and San Francisco took part in the training exercise.

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Monday, 27 July 2009

Working in the Sun - A Guide



Working in Extreme Heat

How hot is too hot?
The answer varies according to your overall fitness and the type of physical activity the work requires. No matter what the temperature is around you, your body tries to maintain its normal internal temperature of 98.6. For most of us, that means we're comfortable working in an environment of about 73 degrees (with 45 percent humidity), but that ideal could drop as low as 55 degrees if your work is extremely labor intensive.

What happens to the body under extreme heat conditions?
If your body is not used to working in extreme heat, or "acclimatized," its first reaction will likely be to increase your internal temperature -- in other words, to give you a fever. Working in this state increases your pulse rate, strains the heart, and in severe cases may cause a life-threatening heat stroke.

Of course, your body will work hard to bring down your temperature. It sheds excess heat primarily through sweating, which cools off the body. That's why humid conditions or clothing that doesn't allow for evaporation foil the body's attempts at cooling itself through sweating.

But if you're not yet used to heat, your body sweats inefficiently. Not only will it not sweat enough, it'll produce sweat that's high in salt content, which depletes the body of electrolytes and can cause heat exhaustion. Once your body becomes used to the heat, it sweats more efficiently.

The other way the body sheds excess heat is by altering your blood circulation. The heart begins to pump more blood into the small blood vessels near the skin's surface, where the heat of the blood is transferred to the cooler outside environment. If the outside environment is not cooler than the body's 98.6 degrees, however, this method is ineffective. In a person unaccustomed to the climate, this change in circulation puts extra stress on the heart.

What can working in extreme heat do to me?•Fainting or heat collapse. This usually occurs in the unacclimatized worker because the brain isn't receiving enough oxygen. (Because the heart is pumping blood out to the capillaries in a frantic attempt to cool down the body, the blood pools in the extremities instead of returning to the heart to be pumped up to the brain.) Workers who stand erect and immobile are especially prone to fainting (remember the old movies in which a young soldier passes out while standing at attention in a line during inspection?). Fainting can be extremely dangerous if workers fall while they're operating heavy or hot equipment. It can be prevented by gradually acclimatizing workers to the environment. Treat this by cooling the person, administering fluids and evaluating any injury that may have occurred from fainting.
•Heat stroke. This is the most serious health problem caused by working in hot environments, and early recognition and treatment of it is critical. Symptoms include dilated pupils, confusion, angry behavior, delirium, and even convulsions. The victim needs immediate first aid, followed by hospitalization, to prevent brain damage or death. Take the individual to a cool area, soak his clothes with water, and vigorously fan the body until help arrives. Do not give the victim fluids to drink. Emergency medical treatment is crucial.

•Heat exhaustion. This condition is caused by losing large amounts of fluid through sweating. Symptoms range from extreme weakness or fatigue, giddiness, nausea, chills, and headache to vomiting or fainting. The skin will be clammy and moist, the complexion can be pale or flushed, but the body temperature will be normal or only slightly elevated. The pupils will be normal as well. Treat by having the victim lie down in a cool place and drink cool, nonalcoholic liquids; severe cases may require medical treatment.

•Heat cramps. These are painful muscle spasms caused by electrolyte imbalances in the body. They usually occur among workers who are performing hard physical labor, sweat profusely, and drink either too much or too little water (cramps can be caused by a deficiency or an excess of salt in the body). To prevent heat cramps in a hot environment, workers should drink about a cup of either water or electrolyte solution every 20 minutes. Once someone has heat cramps, clear juice or an electrolyte solution can help alleviate them. Seek medical treatment if cramps persist for and hour or more.

•Heat rash/prickly heat. This is one of the most common problems in hot, humid work environments. It occurs when sweat cannot evaporate off the skin -- either because the environment is too humid or because of inappropriate clothing. Sweat ducts become plugged, causing red papules, or bumps, to appear on the skin. Heat rash is very uncomfortable, especially when complicated by a subsequent infection. Treat it by resting in a cool place periodically and by regular washing with soap and water and drying of the skin. To prevent a rash, avoid wearing synthetic clothing; natural fiber, such as cotton, is best.

•Accidents. Working in hot environments can promote accidents such as burns and mishaps caused by slippery, sweaty palms, or fogged safety glasses. Less obvious are accidents caused because workers are experiencing physical and mental fatigue from heat stress. Be careful to take breaks in cool areas and drink plenty of fluids.
Are there people who shouldn't work under extreme heat conditions?

If you're overweight, have heart problems, or are on a low-sodium diet, consult with your physician before doing this kind of work. You may also be more vulnerable to heat if you are taking diuretics, thyroid medicines, tricyclic antidepressants, and some anti-psychotic medications.

How can I protect myself?
Wear loose-fitting clothing, take frequent breaks in a cool rest area, open windows and install fans, and get plenty of fluids (a cup of water every 20 minutes or so under extremely hot conditions). Avoid beer and other alcoholic drinks.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunday Window Cleaning Videos

Crystal Clear part 1: A window washer falls from 20 stories up the side of a skyscraper and crashes through the top of a parked convertible landing in the passenger's seat next to a very frightened driver. He is dazed but un-injured.

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Daves window cleaning...

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Don cools his heels in a hot tub while on vacation, and keeps up with phone calls for his business in his spare time. Learn more at Dons website.

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"A Glass act" Window Cleaning, working in Spokane, Washington. Featuring Mark R, Mark M, Michael, Johnny, and David on the Chronicle Building.

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More from "A Glass Act" this time with an Aquaclean pole system & a 60' ladder.

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A little reminder about the value of becoming a window cleaning marketing superstar, and earning more money, more quickly. It's not what you think.

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Eric Ehlers or Matt? of "Erics window cleaning" in Denver, Colorado.

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Mira Cool Vest review by Wayne Shockey of "Awning Cleaning Services" in Texas.

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Jesse Lane of Quality Window Cleaning in Canada - oh dear..

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John Kieser of Metropolis Window Cleaning in Longmont, Colorado cleaning windows on a 5 story tower.

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Tony Tunyon operates a window washing rig on the sears tower. A news anchor volunteers from NBC to ride up the tram system.

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Seth Fenster of "Windows Only" of Washington D.C. shows us his set-up.

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And finally...This is a segment from the 90s kids' program "Zzzap!" called 'Cuthbert Lilly -he's Dead Silly'. In this episode, Cuthbert is a window cleaner but as usual makes a mess of things.

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Saturday, 25 July 2009

Window Cleaner – Now A Swine Flu Call Operator


I was a window cleaner – now I'm in a swine flu call centre.
Case study: 'Dave' Swine flu information line worker.

I found the job on a website, applied for it and got a call back within a couple of hours. It didn't seem to matter that I had no medical experience. Before I was made redundant I'd worked in many different jobs, including a stint as a window cleaner. The guy was really just checking that I could hold a conversation over the phone. He gave me the job on the spot and sent me an email mentioning that training would start on Wednesday – the day before the hotline went live. I didn't hear anything else so turned up and between 8am and 4pm we were taken through what to do by someone from NHS Direct and the contractor.
There was quite a bit of confusion and there were a few problems with the paperwork and the website, but probably no more than you would expect for a start-up. One of the first issues we encountered on the job was that we could only help people in England – everyone from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had to be directed elsewhere.
I must have taken one call every 20 minutes so there was some thumb-twiddling going on. But it was clear that the system was erring on the side of caution. Of the 40 people I spoke to on the first day, I recommended all but two should take anti-viral drugs. It seemed to be all about dishing these things out. The procedure is so heavily scripted that you can end up asking silly questions. I heard one woman asked whether she was conscious when she rang up. We are also required to ask all women aged between 10 and 70 whether they could be pregnant, which can be embarrassing. People were asking things like: "These are strong drugs – are there any side-effects? What happens if I drive on them or have a couple of pints?" I advise them to read the packet.
There were also people ringing up from parts of the country where they have still not got any collection points for the drugs – places such as Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Sheffield. We couldn't really help these people. I wonder how useful the hotline is. People are ringing up thinking they are going to get a diagnosis but we only run through a checklist of the symptoms. They seem to think I'm the world's leading authority on this, but I tell them "I'm not a doctor".
During the training they were telling us what an important job we were doing allaying people's fears and potentially saving lives. I thought, if it is such an important job, shouldn't we get paid more than £6.60 an hour?

The writer did not wish to be identified.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Friday Window Cleaning News

Woman appalled that streets of Thailand were cleaner than UK launches one-woman clean-up campaign: A pensioner, embarrassed to discover that the streets of Thailand were cleaner than her home town, has launched a one-woman campaign to clean up her local streets. Sandra White spends three hours every morning patrolling the streets of Spalding, Lincolnshire, cleaning litter, and even paid a local window cleaner to wash shelters in the town's bus station. The 67-year-old, who doesn't earn a penny for her efforts, has set her sights on returning the town's streets to the condition they were in when she first moved there in the 1960s. She told how she was embarrassed to discover that the streets in Thailand were much cleaner than those in the UK, when she visited the country on holiday.
'I once went on holiday to Thailand and to be honest I was embarrassed by how clean the streets were compared to England,' she said today. 'I know people wonder why I do it, but I just like a job to be done properly. 'When we came to Spalding 40 years ago it immaculate, but it isn't the same now. 'I clean out the gutters and the grass verges, it can be a horrible job with everything from urine to half empty beer can. 'But it is amazing what you find when your a cleaning streets, I've found everything from money to unopened packages that have been stolen from shops. 'I joke that you could live off the streets working from the gutter upwards.'
Local window cleaner Paddy Durham told how Mrs White paid him £70 from her own pocket to wash shelters in the town's bus station. He said: 'Sandra is out there 365 days a year for three hours a day cleaning the streets, picking up rubbish and just generally tidying up the verges. 'Really she deserves some sort of medal for keeping the town so clean. 'She started off by paying me £70 to clean the bus station, and has paid me another £10 to clean up the shelter outside the cemetery. 'I don't really know why she does it. She just hates to see Spalding in a state, and will go up and down the road all day. 'I think her husband just goes along with it but sometimes you see him helping out.'
In the last six months alone she has collected 500 bags of bottles, cans and fast food debris. She is now looking for volunteers to help with her campaign. 'I think it needs someone like me to stand up like this. 'With the credit crunch and all these people out of work you would have though people could spare a couple of hours a day. 'It is not enough for just me to be going round Spalding keeping it tidy, I can't do it all on my own.

In an effort to expand its services and better meet its customers’ needs, Desert Eagle Powerwash is now offering window cleaning as part of its comprehensive cleaning package. The service complements an already-extensive range of commercial cleaning solutions offered by the company throughout Arizona, including power washing, pressure washing and power sweeping. “Our goal is to be at the top of the class in our industry,” said Corey Justice, founder of Desert Eagle Powerwash. “We have the latest and most innovative equipment, a well-trained and professional staff and a customer-first attitude.”
Desert Eagle’s new window cleaning service features thoroughly trained window cleaning technicians and state-of-the-art equipment capable of handling all types of window maintenance. The service can include both interior and exterior cleaning of windows. In addition to its new window cleaning service, Deseret Eagle Powerwash offers a full range of power washing/sweeping services, including concrete foundations, sidewalks, parking lots, dumpster pads, Drive Thru’s, and pool decks along with oil/grease removal, post-construction clean-up and restroom steam cleaning. The company complies with all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and offers biodegradable detergents.
Using 225-degree heat and top-of the-line equipment, Desert Eagle Powerwash offers the best in commercial cleaning solutions, from systems set up to be able to transport dirty water to a waste management site to using a backpack blower and even hand picking hard-to-reach areas, including in and under bushes. The company services communities throughout the state of Arizona, including Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Goodyear and Scottsdale. Founded in 2006 by Justice, a former United State Marine Sergeant and Iraq veteran, Desert Eagle has grown from just two full-time employees to 12 and boasts three power washing rigs with a fourth currently being built and two parking lot sweepers. The company aims to provide a superior customer experience and was nominated by the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce as the Best of Phoenix in 2007.
“We just noticed that in this particular industry there was lots of room for opportunity given the fact that so many individuals in this line of work were under trained and often had equipment that did not meet the requirements of the job,” said Justice. “With a lasting emphasis on quality workmanship and an incomparable commitment to customer satisfaction, we’ve become a trusted leader in the professional cleaning industry for commercial properties.” To celebrate this new service, Desert Eagle Powerwash is currently offering a discount to new customers. Any new customer who signs a six-month contract will receive 10 percent off the total cost. Interested persons can call Desert Eagle at (623) 882-4771 and mention the code “POWERCLEAN” to take advantage of the discount and find out how Desert Eagle Powerwash can accommodate all their commercial cleaning needs.

GRAND RAPIDS-Robert Jackson spent 23 months in the Grand Rapids Correction Center earlier this decade for home invasion and fleeing and eluding. The 43-year-old Kentwood native is back in the building, but this time by choice. He is running the kitchen in the former state prison facility, which is undergoing a face-lift. The building at 322 Front Ave. SW closed in January 2008 after 15 years as a halfway house. It is reopening in August as the Exodus Building, a nonprofit transitional housing and educational campus. "I've watched too many good people lose momentum because they had something bad happen in their life," said Robb Munger, Guiding Light Mission's former director who is now in charge of Exodus. "I just don't think anybody is disposable. I think everyone deserves a chance to work and to prove themselves."
Munger envisions Exodus as a business incubator and work service agency, where individuals down on their luck can rent a room in a structured environment and learn new skills. "It doesn't take a whole lot to start a lawn care or window-cleaning business," he said

Whitstable will host the UK’s Strongest Man competition this Saturday and organisers say local man Paul Wood (pictured) is tipped to win. The Whitstable window cleaner won the South East’s Strongest Man competition earlier in the year in which competitors must complete seven gruelling feats of strength. Andy Dilnot, who organised the competition, said: “In true strongman style we’ve got some inanimate objects to be picked up, including barrels filled with cement, lumps of granite rock, railway sleepers, a Ford Escort, atlas stones, and a jeep to pull. “These guys, while they’re pleasant people, they’re also animals.
“I help train them and some of them still surprise me about what they can actually pick up off the floor. They can lift twice what I weigh above their heads, and I’m not a small fellow.” The weights being lifted are enormous. The men will have to complete a ‘farmer’s walk’ with 150kg weights in each hand, lift atlas stones of up to 160kg, and flip a 450kg tyre, yet Mr Wood is confident. Mr Wood said: "I believe I am capable of winning, definitely. My best event is probably the farmers walk, which is something I am quite renowned for being good at. "A lot of people having people have been coming up to me wishing me luck and saying they are sure I am going to win which is good, but it's a bit of pressure on top.”
The event will be for the 105kg category, meaning the strongmen must all weigh less than 16.5 stone. Mr Dilnot said: “I’ll be biased here when I say this but he is probably the strongest of his weight category in the country.” The national final, which takes place on July 26 at Whitstable Rugby Club, will put contestants through a set of seven events to test their strength. The competition, which is free, will also have an outdoor bar, a barbecue, a karate demonstration and a professional compere for the uninitiated. The lifting will begin at 11am and will continue until 5pm for the presentation of trophies and prize money. The UK Strength Council asked Whitstable to host the competition

Council shuts down Eastbourne nightclub where teenager was killed: A nightclub has been shut down after a teenager was battered to death inside. The Funktion Rooms in Pevensey Road, Eastbourne, has been shut down by Eastbourne Borough Council following the death of 19-year-old Ben Lund. The council’s licensing committee called an emergency meeting following an application from Sussex Police and members decided to suspend the nightclub’s licence over fears revellers were being put in danger there. The death of the popular window cleaner, who was described as “calm” and “caring”, shocked the community. His family said they were “utterly devastated” by their loss.

It sounds pane-ful: A reader tells us he was attending a fracture clinic where he got into conversation with a chap having his leg, which was in a stookie, checked. The man said he was a former window cleaner. Our reader asked him when he'd given up the job, which allowed the chap to give his prepared answer: "Halfway down."

The Cleaning Corporation: With their state of the art Reach and Wash Pure Water Window Cleaning System, the Cleaning Corporation can clean all your windows and frames outside from the ground, windows will stay cleaner longer due to the cleaning process. They also provide and inside window cleaning service
Of course all these services provide excellent value for money and a 100 per cent guarantee, but in addition to that you can be confident that their services are green and environmentally sound. The Cleaning Corporation are the only cleaning company harvesting rainwater to purify for cleaning purposes. Using purified rain water means that far less chemical is needed for cleaning and better results are achieved. The engine in their truck mounted cleaning system — for carpets, upholstery, and hard floors — has been converted to run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG), a much cleaner, greener, quieter, fuel than traditional petrol or diesel.
As power is provided on the van from the engine for all cleaning systems both window cleaning and truck mounted carpets, upholstery and floor cleaning; this means no electricity or water is used at the site, which again reduces overall energy consumption and is beneficial to the environment.

Blessings counted as Dracut boy, 3, recovers from window plunge: The day Patrick fell, the family's window was open, but the screen was in the window and locked, Maria said. A couple days earlier, Paquette was washing the windows, and knew Patrick had watched her open the screen. She thinks Patrick stood on the radiator, which stands a couple inches above the floor, and was somehow able to push the screen up and out of the window. When Patrick fell, he landed on top of the screen on the pavement. Nearly a month after 3-year-old Patrick Paquette fell 15 feet onto his driveway, his mother, Maria, is counting her blessings. He wears a helmet as his fractured skull heals.

Fraud: A resident on the 2300 block of Meadow Drive North reported July 15 that two white males between 19 and 21 came to her door about 4 p.m. June 22 and told her their family had a window washing business. The resident hired them to clean her windows July 12 and gave them two checks, one for $96 and one for $48, payable to QSI. One of the men said a confirmation notice would be sent to her. The notice never arrived and no one came to wash the windows, but the checks were cashed and deposited into an account for Quality Subscriptions Inc.

Vandals Hit Zoo Again, Honolulu; If he could talk to the animals he cares for, zoo keeper Solo Kaahanui would ask who committed the latest crime at the Honolulu Zoo. Graffiti bandits have struck again. "This is defacing public property. It's no class," he said. Last week someone defaced 21 glass panels. Tuesday they scratched fourteen more at seven sites. Some of the tagging went over last week's etchings, like someone's marking territory. The damage estimate is adding up for taxpayers. "If we had to pay for them to replace, each pane is going to be between $1,000 to $1,200," Dept. of Environmental Services director Sydney Quintal said. World Wide Window Cleaning has offered to cut the cost but the repair work could take weeks. "Basically, we'd have to sand down the surface of the glass and then you come in with a different material that polishes the glass," Stephen McDunn said. Zoo officials said the latest graffiti may be the work of a copy cat. There's talk of adding security officers and keeping watch in other ways. "We're going to have to make some tough decisions and find funding for security cameras," zoo director Stephen Walker said. The latest vandalism happened between 10:30 a.m. And 1:30 p.m. when the zoo was crowded. If you have any information on the crime call Honolulu police.

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