Saturday, 31 March 2012

Another Maid Dies Cleaning Windows


Indonesian Maid Dies in 30-Storey Plunge in Singapore:  A 23-year-old Indonesian maid fell 30 storeys to her death at Telok Blangah Heights on Thursday. She had apparently been cleaning the windows of her employer’s flat at about 1 p.m. This is at least the third case so far this year of a maid falling to her death here. A neighbor told Chinese newspaper Shinmin Daily that she was in the vicinity when the maid fell. She was at a nearby bus stop when she heard a loud noise.

She saw the maid on the ground with blood flowing from her head, and the maid’s employer arriving soon after. She said the female employer told her that the maid had lost her balance and fallen out of the window, but managed to cling to it. She shouted for her employer, but fell before the woman could reach her. The maid was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at about 1.15 p.m. The Straits Times understands that the maid had worked for the family of five — a couple, two young children and an elderly woman — for about two years. The family declined to comment on the incident.

The neighbor said that the maid’s employer would tell her not to open the metal window grilles when she was cleaning the windows. But she still did so, saying she could not clean the windows without opening them. Neighbors said they would occasionally see the maid around the area, and described her as quiet and petite. Police are investigating the incident as an unnatural death.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Masters Week Helps Window Cleaning Companies

Cleaning companies, window washers and landscapers are among businesses that benefit from Masters home rentals.
Local businesses keeping busy with Masters clients: The week leading up to the Masters Tournament is a busy time of year for some Augusta area businesses. From landscapers, window washers, maid services and tent rental companies, Masters Week means big business. “This is our busiest week throughout the whole year,” said Robert Ledford, owner of Merry Maids in Martinez.

Ledford said his business doubles the week before the Masters. People renting out their homes want them cleaned before guests arrive. Despite the extra business, Ledford prefers not to hire extra workers for only a week. His regular staff of 25 works additional hours and even Saturday and Sunday before the Masters to complete jobs, he said.

Frank Rodriguez, of We Wash Windows, works at a home in Martinez. Many work overtime during the month before the Masters, but business owners say the extra hours are worth it.
Business triples at We Wash Windows for residential clients around Masters Week, said owner Quincy Fuller. The tournament week provides 25 to 30 percent of his annual income, he said. “If we do one house a day typically, this time of year we’re doing three or up to six houses a day,” Fuller said. Fuller said that he hires three or four additional workers to meet the demand. His company will be washing windows until next Tuesday or Wednesday. “I’m going to do so much work during this month that it will cover certain expenses throughout the year,” he said.

Quincy Fuller, owner of We Wash Windows, says preparing for Masters provides 20 percent of the company's annual income.
Masters Week is the busiest time of year for Stars Discount Window Cleaning, “as far as having the most jobs in the shortest period of time,” said registered agent Marilyn Marsh. Business picks up about 25 percent the month leading up to the Masters, she said. Many of their clients are renting out their homes. The owner, Paul Marsh, doesn’t have employees, so he works longer hours to meet the demand.

Various business groups prepare the area around an AllStar Rents Inc. tent on Magnolia Drive across from the National.
Tents are also high in demand. Allstar Rents Inc. in Augusta has been busy setting up tents for mostly corporate clients, said office manager Rachael Wolf. They started filling orders on March 19 and plan to finish by Monday.

Landscaping companies have been busy sprucing up yards for clients renting out their homes. Augusta Lawn & Turf has a 10 to 15 percent spike in business near the Masters, said owner Larry Price. His company plants flowers and puts down pine straw and mulch. “Just making sure everything is in tip-top shape for their guests coming in,” Price said. Price brings in two to four seasonal workers to help his regular crew, he said.

Andy Watson Landscaping Inc. has been doing spring cleanups and putting down pine straw, plants and mulch, said owner Andy Watson. Twenty-five percent of his spring business comes from Masters clients. Calls started coming in at the beginning of February. To meet the demand, Watson hires one or two extra workers to assist his small staff.

Landscape Contractors Inc. has been doing re-sod jobs, general cleanup and checking sprinkler systems, said owner Porter Fleming. Business has slowed down, in general, because of the economy, but “it’s definitely picked up coming into the Masters,” he said.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Window Cleaning News

Job takes workers straight to the top.
A team of fearless window cleaners amazed tourists and city workers yesterday as they dangled from Perth's Bell Tower to give it a thorough clean. The technicians from All Areas Access climbed up the inside of the tallest spire, stepped out of a hatch at the top and abseiled down the outside of the building, scrubbing as they went. They are expected to work on the tower for most of the week. All Areas Access owner Jonnie Lee said the company would tidy up anything left from previous workers on the Bell Tower, wipe down all the sills, get rid of the cobwebs and do minor repairs. "Naturally, it gets quite dirty," he said. "I think closer to the water there is a lot of soot and the salty residue gets on the glass." Bell Tower chief executive Paul Grootveld said keeping the landmark clean was a challenge. "Obviously the building's got lots and lots of glass, so it's a constant job to get that glass clean and looking good for our visitors," he said. The Bell Tower is one of Perth's most photographed landmarks - but any picture that gives it a "unique perspective" could be up for a prize in a photo competition.

Jason O’Reilly “over the moon” after Dragons’ Den success: A down-on-his-luck Dubliner has said he is “over the moon” at his success on Dragon’s Den – after securing investment from two Dragons, and support from all five, for a spur-of-the-moment idea that struck him in Croke Park. Window-washer Jason O’Reilly did not have enough cash to pay for the petrol for his trip from Cavan, where he lives, to the Dragons’ Den set in Rathfarnham – but left with a €45,000 investment in his company AJ Team Products.
Blacktie owner Niall O’Farrell and computing magnate Sean O’Sullivan both took 15 per cent stakes in his company, which sells watches with silicone straps featuring the colours of prominent sports teams. The watches cost around €1 each to manufacture, are sold to stores for around €2.70, and are then recommended for retail sale at €7.49. They’re produced in the colours worn by the four Irish rugby provinces, the 32 GAA county teams, and teams in the top four English football leagues.
In a video for the All About Business website, O’Reilly said he had been particularly hopeful to seek investment from IT enterpreneur O’Sullivan – a new addition to the panel, replacing Sean Gallagher – “because one, he’s in America, and two, I’ve never been to America – but America, here I come!” He had also hoped for investment from Niall O’Farrell, the founder of clothing rental chain Blacktie, because he is “into sports” and could apply his experience to the market for sporting enthusiasts.
All five of the Dragons expressed interest in investing in O’Reilly’s watches, but Norah Casey, Gavin Duffy and Bobby Kerr opted out of investing as they did not want to compete against the joint offering from O’Sullivan and O’Farrell. Duffy, in particular, was reduced to tears after hearing how a previous investor had pulled out of a deal at the last minute, leaving O’Reilly with masses of stock but not enough cash to distribute it. “I’m over the moon. It’s been so, so hard,” O’Reilly said.

A couple have reflected on their 60 years of wedded bliss as they celebrate their diamond anniversary. Peter and Dorothy Hawkes, of Cold Overton Road, Oakham, married at Clipston Baptist Church near Market Harborough on March 15, 1952, and spent much of their married life in Leicestershire before retiring to Rutland in 1997. At the time they sacrificed their chance to take a honeymoon to allow Dorothy’s widowed mother to enjoy a holiday with one of her friends instead. The couple looked after her house and even did a spot of decorating for her along with enjoying a few day trips. After the wedding the couple lived with Dorothy’s mother for three years before starting a family and moving to their family home in Naseby. Peter worked for two agricultural contractors before setting up as a window cleaner and Dorothy worked in a village garden looking after horses, dogs and chickens.

Lord Norman Tebbit of Chingford is one of Britain's most outspoken conservative commentators and politicians. He was a senior cabinet minister in Margaret Thatcher's government and is a former Chairman of the Conservative Party. I took a fair beating on the matter of tax relief for older people. First I should emphasise that I am not a beneficiary. My case was that old age is expensive. Try insuring a car, heating a house, and paying for people to do the things that one used to do oneself – the garden, the window cleaning and the special diets, let alone home care. Freezing such allowances is cutting them in real terms and denying them to those who would otherwise have qualified for them at pensionable age is a loss of a benefit that could have been reasonably expected. 

Our Budget Jury explain what they would like to see from the Chancellor in his 2012 Budget: Andrew Mayze - founder, Amayze ‘n’ Glaze. Window cleaner Andrew Mayze bounced back from redundancy, 593 job rejections and bouts of depression to become self employed last year. Helped by community lender Foundation East, his business now supports one full time and one part-time employee. A former dental equipment sales manager, overseeing a £7.9m firm, he has big plans. "Some 23pc of my outgoings are fuel and I would like the tax on fuel lowered, " he says. Work incentives also need to be more generous and consistent, he adds. "I delayed taking on my young lad because they withdrew the Future Jobs Fund. It would have allowed me to take him on earlier and train him." The loss of child benefit is also a worry – married to Fiona, the Mayzes have two children, aged 14 and 10.

Newton firefighters tackle technical rescue: It’s not always about fire. From car accidents to medicals, firefighters deal with more than just burning flames. To prepare for those rescues that necessitate precision and experience, Newton firefighters last week kicked off specialized training with its newest apparatus. “Technical rescue is somewhere I’m heading in this department, and I want to train this department in technical and specialized rescue,” Fire Chief Bruce Proia told the Newton TAB. The recently renovated Fire Station 7 includes a training tower, which stands more than 75-feet tall, for simulations.
After a structural engineer signed off on it’s safety, firefighters from Engine 7 practiced several life-saving maneuvers on March 23. “We had a pick off where we had a firefighter on the second floor simulating a window washer. You see it on the news all the time, where the washer is dangling when the scaffolding lets go. We repel down to get them, so we hooked up a firefighter and brought [the victim] to the ground,” Proia said. “A lot of these things are not everyday occurrences, but we’re making sure we’re equipped and trained at the best level we can be,” Caddell said. “Friday was a first small step in a continuing path toward that.” The firefighters said training will happen as often as possible. 

Lawrence Mooney hasn’t had a day job since 1998, when he was a high-rise window cleaner. Believe it or not, the veteran comedian sees a lot of similarities between that job and his stand-up comedy career. ‘‘They’re both risky, the idea of them scares the hell out of most people and you can die in both jobs relatively easily,’’ he deadpans. ‘‘There are safety measures involved in the window cleaning, but as a comedian when you do a country football club gig where they’ve asked you to come and make people laugh before their strippers come on and there’s 200 blind-drunk men who want to see naked flesh… yeah, I’d much rather be high-rise window cleaning at that point.’’ Although he’s made a crust making people laugh for more than a decade – as well as racking up TV gigs on shows such as The Circle, The Einstein Factor and Agony Uncles.

Kelly Stokes of Window Genie cleans a window at Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville. Jeff Burrows and his wife, Nicole, gave up working for others and opened the Hernando County franchise of the window cleaning company.
Be your own boss? Know your abilities, reinvent yourself — and get to work: For more than a dozen years, Jeff Burrows worked for someone else as a sales manager in the food service industry. "I got tired of the corporate thing,'' Burrows said. "I wanted to call my own shots.'' Realizing that the safety and security of a weekly paycheck is something of a fantasy for workers in almost every industry these days, Burrows and his wife, Nicole, decided to make the leap. Taking their future into their own hands, they opted to start a franchise business. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained,'' he said.
After significant research and weighing their own interests, the couple decided to open the Hernando County franchise of Window Genie, founded in 1994 in Cincinnati, Ohio, specializing in window cleaning and tinting, as well as other home cleaning chores. "It's been better than our expectations. We've exceeded our plan,'' Burrows said. He focuses on sales and developing the business. His wife, who had spent her working life in an office setting, runs the office for the family business. Burrows said he thinks they made the right choice. "Working for yourself,'' he said, "no matter what task you're doing, you're excited to do it.''

A New Way To Shine: Nassau Window Cleaners Launched.
Nassau, Bahamas - Nassau Window Cleaners launches as the first company in The Bahamas to offer a window cleaning service that uses 100% pure water and a ‘reach and wash system’ without the need for ladders or scaffolding. The water pole-fed cleaning system can wash windows up to 45ft high without the operator ever having to leave the ground. By using 100% pure water the best window cleaning results are achieved through the absence of detergent and chemicals, meaning no sticky residues are left behind only a streak free shine. Ken Gibson, owner of Nassau Window Cleaners, said “We are excited to bring such a new and innovative product to Nassau for the first time. As a company we embrace new technology and are looking forward to the high level of service we will be able to offer our customers using this system”.
The system works by passing the water through seven stages of treatment including reverse osmosis and de-ionizing the water through very fine resin that removes any impurities. The result is pure water without any sulfates, leaving the windows cleaner and for longer. The pure water is pumped through a pressurized system along a graphite pole reaching up to 45ft above ground, to a soft filament brush that removes the dirt from windows. The constant stream of water ensures that the finish left at the end is clear and clean. It can also be used on frames, glazing and louvers. In addition the method is completely environmentally friendly, as it doesn’t use any chemicals or detergents. Without the use of scaffolding or ladders it is also safer having less risk for falling or injuries.
Angell Curtis of Bahamas American Finance (BAF) said that he was “delighted with the windows and efficiency of service” from Nassau Window Cleaners who also have contracts with other branches of BAF, along with Templeton, Lyford House, Privy Bank, Town Centre Mall, The Central Bank of the Bahamas and a number of private residences. "Customer satisfaction is our priority for Nassau Window Cleaners ‘ added Gibson, “and because the system is so much quicker than conventional methods the savings will be passed onto our clients”.

Time to Tackle the 'Honey-Do' List: All of us have our pet peeves. One of mine is window cleaning. I’d rather have a root canal. About this time every spring, my wife used to announce that it was window-cleaning day. She always seemed to pick a Saturday. It was the very day I suddenly discovered that I had an important business meeting. When I returned home, the windows were spotless. Nathan and Deborah Meusel operate NGM Window Cleaning based in Califon. The company’s trucks fan out every day to clean windows all over New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. “We use pure water technology—purified water,” said Nathan. “And we supply our own water.” The water arrives on the trucks along with the equipment to be used. Pure water leaves no spots, he explained. And his experts do not use ladders. They can handle up to twelve stories using a boom. Inside, they use the traditional squeegee methods.

After an almost snowless winter, signs of spring are sprouting forth in the Northland: Derek Smith of Derek’s Lawn Care in Kansas City, North, said he waited longer than he wanted to start cutting grass because the rain hampered him. “My own yard is already six to seven inches tall,” Smith said. Typically, his mowing season begins the first part of April. Besides making grass grow, rain makes ugly water spots on windows. That’s how Seth Brown knows spring is in the air: rain makes his phone ring. Brown owns Panes & Drains, a window- and gutter-cleaning business in Liberty. “It isn’t the rain that is making your windows dirty,” Brown said. “It’s the dirt.” Autumn leaf debris and winter grime build up on the outside of the glass, he said. Brown removes all the tree pollen, bird and bug gunk from the glass. Without anything to cling to, rain water will bead right off and fall to the ground, leaving no visible spots.

Condition improves for Ann Arbor woman who fell six stories from MSU dorm window - An 18-year-old Ann Arbor woman's condition has improved since falling six stories Sunday from a dormitory window at Michigan State University. Alexandra Pew is listed in serious condition, according to a Sparrow Hospital spokesperson. She had previously been critical. Pew fell from a lounge window on the sixth floor of North Case Hall at about 3 a.m. on Sunday, according to MSU police. Pew, who is not an MSU student, was visiting friends at the university. MSU police Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor said Pew was playing a game of catch with several residents in the sixth-floor lounge when she fell backward, breaking through the window and falling to the ground.

Hurricane officials: Don't tape your windows - Center officials are joining with a consumer advocate group at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Fla. this week to encourage residents to skip taping their windows when a hurricane is heading their way. The officials believe it leads to a false sense of security and actually increases danger. Instead, residents should use proven methods such as hurricane shutters or impact-resistant windows. "Our goal is to break this myth," Read said, referring to window taping. "It does not protect your windows. At best, it's an inconvenience. At worst, some people have the illusion that they're safe ... and people can get severely hurt."
Taping windows can create larger and deadlier shards of glass when winds blow through a home, said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, president and CEO of Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. "The shards can become bigger because they're being held together," Chapman-Henderson said. "You're wasting your time. You're wasting your money, and you're potentially increasing the danger to your home." Even some disaster management officials are guilty of advising residents to use tape on their windows. Read said that when he started working in the 1970s, taping windows was still advised in hurricane brochures. That advice was cut from brochures in the 1980s, "but it still persists today," he said.

No one injured after pane of glass falls 11 storeys in Calgary: The owner of a highrise apartment in downtown Calgary has been ordered to inspect all of the windows in the building, after a pane of glass fell 11 storeys to the pavement. “On Mar. 19, a slider type window in an aluminum frame fell from Mount Royal House and struck another window and cascaded to the sidewalk and street below,” said Lexie Bexson, communications advisor, with the City of Calgary. The Calgary Fire Department, with assistance of the Calgary Police Services, closed down the road. No injuries were reported. The remaining pieces of the broken pane were removed. Fire crews proceeded with a floor by floor assessment of the sliding window frames in the suites facing the avenue to assess the potential for additional falling glass.

Falling glass prompts Queen Street closure (Toronto): Queen Street West was closed between St. Patrick Street and Simcoe Street Monday after a piece of glass fell from the window on the sixteenth floor of an office tower at 180 Queen St. W. - No one was injured in the incident, police said, but they closed a section of the street to vehicles and pedestrian traffic. Police said they are still looking into what caused the glass to fall and they still do not know when the street will open. This isn't the first time glass has fallen from Toronto high rises. On Saturday morning, glass fell from the Trump International Hotel and Tower at the intersection of Bay and Adelaide Streets. No one was injured, and police blamed high winds for the incident. Falling glass also prompted a group of Toronto condo owners to launch a class-action lawsuit against contractors and developers earlier this month. In those cases, the owners and renters in the Murano Towers and Festival Tower condo developments were not permitted to use their balconies after glass fell from other balconies, shattering on the street below.

Faked goods risk lives: Thoudands of non-compliant, falsely branded building products are flooding into Australia every week, with industry officials deeply concerned about dangerous products that could ''chop you to bits''. Poor policing of the imports has been roundly blamed for the problem, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has said it was not its job to enforce standards that applied to building products. About 1000 windows are being pulled out of buildings around the country after failing to meet the grade, the executive director of the Australian Window Association, Tracey Gramlick, said. ''In the last few years it's been very bad,'' she said.

Pitch in and tackle do-it-together home improvement projects: Why do-it-yourself (DIY) when you can do-it-together? Now DIYers are teaming up with friends, families or companies to tackle home improvement and spring-cleaning projects. "Tackling home improvement or maintenance projects is a great way to work together with others in your community to accomplish more in less time," says Kathy Krafka Harkema, spokesperson for Pella Windows and Doors.  Get the kids involved in chores like planting trees, spreading mulch or washing decks, patio furniture or your windows. Join together to get all the windows in the neighborhood sparkly clean.
About 69 percent of men and 74 percent of women are likely to clean and wash their windows during spring cleaning, according to the 2011 National Spring Cleaning Survey by the American Cleaning Institute. But many are unsure of how to do it. "Make conducting a quick home check-up and cleaning your windows part of your spring home improvement checklist to create a better view and help enhance your home's potential energy efficiency," Krafka Harkema says. "Team up with your neighbors so everyone's windows look good. Use the right tools, cleaners and equipment to do the job safely and correctly."

Working out with yucky housework: "The worst thing is inactivity," said Ingo Froboese, a professor at the Health Centre of the German Sport University in Cologne. "Our billions of body cells don't care what kind of exercise we do. The main thing is getting exercise and that goes for doing housework too. It helps to stimulate metabolism and to stay healthy." Rainer Stamminger, a professor of home economics at Bonn University, takes a similar view. "Not regarding housework as a burden, but using it as a personal fitness program provides motivation for unloved chores," he said.
Andreas Mueller, a sports scientist with the German Fitness Instructors' Association, disagrees. Light physical activity during housework did not promote fitness, he said. Instead, a person would have to climb up and down a ladder while washing windows, for example, which was similar to a workout on a step machine. "Washing windows and ironing are very unpopular. Cooking meals and garden work are much better liked. "A lot of people in our studies find ironing less onerous if they can watch television at the same time."
Stamminger said it was a good idea to do a chore from start to finish and not interrupt window washing to cook or wash laundry, for example. "This is also sensible from an environmental standpoint. Someone who washes only a few windows needs more water and produces more wastewater," he said. Hard work burns a lot of calories. Here is a list of the number of kilocalories that a person weighing 70kg will burn by doing various household chores for 15 minutes:
  • Tidying up: 30
  • Ironing: 35
  • Cooking: 40
  • Hanging laundry: 50
  • Mopping: 60
  • Making the bed: 62
  • Vacuum cleaning: 70
  • Washing windows: 83
  • Gardening: 88
  • Climbing stairs: 121
Jailed book keeper who stole £30k from hotel was treated 'like family' - At Grimsby Crown Court, former Stallingborough Grange hotel book keeper Sandra Elmes was sent to prison for 30 months. It was revealed the hotel made about £80,000 in the two- and-a-half years after she left. Prior to her sacking, the hotel was losing money, despite being a successful business. And tips for staff soared after Elmes was sacked in 2006. The court heard she took them to add to the money she stole and spent the money on luxury holidays and a lavish lifestyle. Sentencing Elmes, Judge David Tremberg said it was a breach of a high degree of trust and made her look "above suspicion."He said she had got away with multiple thefts over a period of years because she was trusted and the accountancy was "not so robust."
Judge Tremberg said: "For up to six years until February 24 this year you remained in denial. During the police investigation you sought to blame others, thereby causing additional distress." In 2000 she had sole responsibility for book keeping and petty cash. She audited receipts. If more petty cash was needed she would ask one of the managers to draw cash from the company bank account. She made up receipts for window cleaning, but staff cleaned the hotel windows.

Mary McCabe took her neighbour Andrew Todd to court after he erected a 6ft high garden fence without a gate between her back garden and his while she was away on holiday. The fence replaced a wire one with a wooden gate which had been there for years, Carlisle County Court heard. Mr Todd’s home is at the end of the terrace and all previous occupants had enjoyed a right of way across his back garden and through the gate. But the gate’s disappearance meant Mrs McCabe and any visitors could no longer get access to the rear of her mid-terraced home in Howard Road, Brampton. So Mrs McCabe, a 54-year-old former hospital chef, has had to drag 55lb bags of coal through her kitchen to the coal bunker at the rear, as having to take her bike and wheelie bin through her home.
But after a three-day court hearing, which heard evidence from Mrs McCabe's window cleaner, her coal delivery man, and former Howard Road residents, Judge John Park ruled that her back garden gate should be reinstated. He also awarded Mrs McCabe damages of £1,500. Mr Todd’s legal costs are expected to be around £30,000, making the new gate he now has to install probably the most expensive in Cumbria.  

'The city of Portland snow globe tried to burn my house down': -  Among fire hazards in the home, a snow globe is not exactly the most feared. So Ken Gambell from Milwaukie, Oregon was stunned when he got a call saying his home had caught alight - because of the Christmas decoration. The sun had caught one of the snow globes - still left out from the holiday season - on his window ledge and beamed light onto the back of his sofa. With such intense heat and light focused on one spot, the couch began smoking and set off a fire alarm, which was heard by neighbours. They alerted firefighters who arrived to a room full of smoke and the sofa alight in the living room on Saturday evening. 'Apparently when the sun came out - the 15 minutes it showed this year - it hit this globe and created a magnifying effect on the back of the couch,' he added. 'Who would have ever thought something so harmless could cause a fire?'

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Spotlight On Fatal Falls from Height

Stephen Wainwright.
Closure for Ilkley mum 7 years on from son’s fatal fall: The mother of a window cleaner who fell to his death seven years ago yesterday said she felt a sense of closure after planting two trees to remember her son. Pat McPherson said it had been seven “heartbreaking” years since Stephen Wainwright died after falling from a fifth-floor balcony while cleaning windows at a block of flats in Wells Road, Ilkley.
But yesterday, Mrs McPherson planted two trees at Ilkley cemetery in honour of her popular son, who had been cleaning windows for 20 years when he died in March 2005. She said it was a good opportunity for friends and family to remember the 44-year-old Leeds United fan, after attempting to set up a memorial with the club over the years.
However, it was not possible and now Mrs McPherson said she was happy to plant the cherry blossom and acer trees in the cemetery grounds thanks to money donated from Mr Wainwright’s friends and his family over the years. “It’s been seven heartbreaking years,” she said. “All his friends collected money for him and they’ve been very good and still come round to see me now. “He had friends from the ages of 14 to 80 and the number of people who got in touch after he died has been amazing. “He would have liked this.”
Mr Wainwright was born in Otley and moved to Ilkley with his mum when he was six years old. He was a former pupil of Sacred Heart School and St Mary’s School, Menston. He later studied art at Keighley College. He liked being a window cleaner because it kept him outside. An inquest into Mr Wainwright’s death heard it was likely he had either been leaning on railings inside the balcony trying to clean a kitchen window or was on the outside of the balcony holding on to the rail.

Indonesian Maid Falls to Her Death in Singapore: An Indonesian maid fell 13 storeys to her death last Saturday while reportedly cleaning windows. The 23-year-old fell from her employer’s home in Pasir Ris Street 71. Residents told Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao that they heard a loud thud and saw a wooden bamboo clothes pole next to her body. Her employers declined to comment. A police spokesman said they were alerted to the incident at around 4:45 p.m. that day.
The maid was pronounced dead at the scene and the police have classified the incident as an unnatural death. Investigations are ongoing. Last month, a 28-year-old Indonesian maid fell seven floors from her employer’s Jurong East condominium after reportedly losing her balance while cleaning windows. Between 2006 and 2010, 27 maids died as a result of falls from heights. The figure includes accidental falls and suicides.

Faced with a spate of falling deaths in the 1970s, New York City undertook a campaign over education and regulations that reduced the number of deaths from 40 to 50 annually to just four by 1980.
Emirates act on window deaths: Sharjah saw four children plunge to their deaths in the space of two weeks in late November-early December. Two more followed in Abu Dhabi, one at the end of January 30 and again four days later. The three-year-old girl who plunged to her death in January from a fifth floor apartment at Airport Road in Abu Dhabi had nearly met her fate four weeks earlier, when she was rescued by a policeman who noticed her leaning out of a window in her home. Adults are not immune from the problem either: Last week, a 23-year-old Ethiopian cleaning woman met her death after falling. “Many people don’t use air conditioning, starting in December or November,” Michal Grivna, who teaches in the UAE University’s department of community medicine, told The Media Line. “When there is cooler weather they tend to open the windows instead of using air conditioning.”
At least two of the emirates are now doing something to address the phenomenon. Abu Dhabi’s Municipal Affairs Department announced on March 13 that it was giving homeowners six months to meet new standards of safety. These include rules that windows and balconies must not allow openings in excess of 10cm (4in). Locks and protective measures must also be in place for windows and openings that are less than 1.5m (5ft) above the apartment floor. A week earlier, Sharjah issued similar instructions, including a requirement that building owners increase the balcony height to at least 1.2m instead of 1m and that windows should be child-proof so that without the aid of an adult they could not be opened wide enough for a child to climb out. 

Fall: Alcides Moreno & wife Rosario.
Miraculous survival stories: Window cleaning brothers Alcides and Edgar Moreno fell 47 stories when the cable securing their cleaning platform snapped in 2007. They had not been wearing safety harnesses as they washed the New York apartment building’s windows and after falling 500 feet Edgar, 30, was killed instantly. Married father-of-three Alcides, then 37, was left in a coma with multiple fractures of his ribs, right arm and both legs as well as damage to his spinal cord. Alcides not only made a full recovery but was able to walk again. Dr Philip Barrie, from New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said: “If you’re a believer in miracles, this would be one. I’ve seen it all – or at least I think I have – until something like this happens.”

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sky High In Shanghai - 101st Floor Window Cleaning

No room for vertigo: Left, two workers are suspended against the cityscape as they prepare for a shift on the 1,614ft skyscraper. Click to enlarge.
Tall order: The city sprawls out into the smog as one of the window cleaners readies his squeegee at the Shanghai World Financial Centre, China. Click to enlarge.
Yang Bo cleans a window outside the 94th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center March 26, 2012. Click to enlarge.
Sky high in Shanghai: Fearless window cleaners at work outside the 101st floor of the world's fourth-tallest building. The wacky workplace slogan of a thousand coffee mugs has never been more true: You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps. Outside the 101st floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center in China, window cleaners are shown preparing for their shift. More than 30 workers on the window-cleaning team of the supertall skyscraper work in pairs every day.

Top of the world: It takes a team of more than 30 cleaners, working in pairs every day, to keep the skyscraper looking its best. Click to enlarge.
They have to obtain a licence for high-rise operations and must not have high blood pressure or, naturally, suffer a fear of heights. They are not allowed items which could fall, such as mobile phones or wristwatches, and must stop working in heavy winds. The centre is the fourth-tallest building in the world, standing at 1,614ft. It opened in 2008 and houses the highest observation deck on Earth, while the Park Hyatt Shanghai, occupying the 79th to 93rd floors, is the world's second-highest hotel.

Nerves of steel: The Shanghai World Financial Center dwarfs the already huge buildings of China's biggest city. Click to enlarge.
The 1,614ft Shanghai World Financial Center in Lujiazui. Click to enlarge.
Two cleaners prepare for work outside the 101st floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center in Lujiazui. More than 30 workers on the window-cleaning team of the skyscraper work in pairs every day. The cleaners have to obtain a license for high-rise operations and must not have high blood pressure or, naturally, suffer a fear of heights. They are not allowed items which could fall, such as cell phones or wristwatches, and must stop work in medium to heavy winds.


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Window Cleaners Smarter Than Einstein Or Hawking

Clear thoughts: Steve Borlase has an IQ of 180
Genius smarter than Albert Einstein wants to quit cleaning windows: When he came to, he had suddenly become a maths whizzkid - but, despite his skills with numbers, the 39-year-old can’t get a well-paid job. Steve, 39, said: 'I fell off some monkey bars when I was five and a couple of days later something changed in me and I was able to work out huge arithmetic sums. 'For the past year I've been working as a window cleaner but I would love somebody to take me on and give me a chance to show what I can do with figures.'
With an IQ of 180, he can figure out sums running into millions but can only find work polishing windows in Warminster, Wiltshire. His vast intelligence makes him smarter than Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Countdown's Carol Vorderman. He also knows exactly how much his shopping is going to total before he gets to the till and is easily able to keep track of how much money his girlfriend spends. Mr Borlase, who has represented England as a pool player, said: ‘I did apply to go on Countdown as the new Carol Vorderman but they said I was no good as the male viewers like looking at a shapely figure.’
Maths wizard Steve Borlase, who works as a window cleaner, took just 90 seconds to solve this page of calculations.
It doesn’t add up – all I want is a new job: A human calculator who can solve complicated sums in seconds says he can only find work as a window cleaner – despite having an IQ of 180. Steve Borlase, 39, has a higher intelligence test score than former Countdown star Carol Vorderman, Professor Stephen Hawking or even Albert Einstein. He can recite complicated six-figure equations in just seconds while scrubbing windows – writing out long division in his soapy suds.

But the numbers man, from Warminster – whose skill mirrors that of maths genius janitor Will Hunting in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting – has been turned down for dozens of jobs. The former salesman, who earns £300 a week cleaning windows, said: “I know I have this really rare talent and I don’t believe anyone can do what I do.

“I sent 127 emails to sales companies – but I only got two replies. I have had to take up window cleaning because it is the only work I can get. I have been working in this job for about a year but I would love a job where I can use my skills. “It is quite incredible really, because I can get even the bigger numbers within a few minutes – without writing anything down. I can see all these numbers floating around in my mind and the brightest one is always the right answer. I can work out sums going into millions in just seconds and I have never seen anyone else who can do this before.”

Mr Borlase claims he got his extraordinary talent after falling off the monkey bars in a playground, aged five. He is able to add, subtract, multiply and divide five- and six-figure numbers faster than most people can enter the sums into a calculator. In less than 90 seconds he was able to give the answers to 53 x 7, 64 x 64, the square root of 332, 19 x 19 / 3, 99 x 99 x 99, 7 x 21 x 29, and 47 x 49. He has an IQ of 180 – which is 20 points higher than TV presenter Carol Vorderman, maths professor Stephen Hawking and physicist Albert Einstein.

Steve said: “I have been shopping in Morrisons with friends and they have said to me, ‘Right, let me know when we get to £70’. I’ll add up all the shopping in my head as we go along. When we get to the cashier, I can tell her to the penny what the shopping will come to.” The sums genius, who only got a B in GCSE maths, left school at 16 and became a gas and electricity salesman before the work dried up.

He then was made redundant before he began scraping a living as a window cleaner. Now he is looking for a job to match his talent and says his dream job would be working the numbers on Countdown. Mr Borlase, who is also a professional pool player who has represented England, said: “I rang Countdown and spoke to somebody about a job but it came to nothing. “I got the feeling that I might have got somewhere if I had been wearing a skirt.

“Things are a struggle at the moment – but I am convinced I can do a job for someone. I would be great as a bookie or a job where you have to do a lot of buying or selling.” The film Good Will Hunting, starred Matt Damon and Robin Williams and featured a young maths genius, discovered working as a janitor at a US college. The critically acclaimed film won two Academy Awards and one Golden Globe.

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