Saturday, 30 June 2012

East Memphis Window Cleaner Fall

East Memphis, Crescent center.
Window washer falls, critically injured at East Memphis building: A man was taken to the Regional Medical Center at Memphis in critical condition this morning after falling about two stories while cleaning the windows of an East Memphis commercial building.

Police responded to the Crescent Center at 6075 Poplar shortly before 9 a.m. A witness told officers that the man, 25, was washing the windows on a mechanical lift when it began to shake. He fell backwards off the lift, which was extended to its maximum height of about two stories, and landed on a sidewalk below. Further details on the incident, including the identity of the victim, were not released. An investigation is ongoing, police said.

Window washer injured in fall: Memphis, TN  – A window washer was injured after he fell at an East Memphis building Friday morning. The man was working at the Crescent Center, 6075 Poplar Ave., around 8:30 a.m. when he was critically injured. Investigators haven't said how high the man was when he fell and aren't sure if the high temperatures played a role in his fall. Action News 5 will have more details on this story as soon as they're released.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Window Cleaning Pictures World-Wide

A selection of some of the best window cleaning photos from around the World.
A cleaner works outside the 23rd floor of a hotel in Ningbo, China. Click to enlarge.
A cleaner lathers soap on a window in the plenary hall of the German Bundestag in Berlin. Click to enlarge.
High on the outside wall of a building in Buenos Aires, a cleaner casts a shadow.  Click to enlarge.
This window washer at a hotel in Ningbo, China, provides an interesting view over breakfast on the 23rd floor. Click to enlarge.
Workmen tackle windows on a high-rise office block in the Canary Wharf business district in London. Click to enlarge.
At the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, workers use high-pressure hot water cleaners to tidy up more than 16,000 pieces of glass. Click to enlarge.
A worker cleaned windows next to the Columbiana Country Republican Party headquarters on March 6—Super Tuesday in the presidential primary race—in Lisbon, Ohio. Click to enlarge.
A worker washed a glass window inside the Congress Center, the venue of the World Economic Forum's 2012 annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, this winter. Click to enlarge.
Employees cleaned a window April 13 as part of the final preparations in an Oslo courtroom where Anders Behring Breivik was to be tried on charges of killing 77 people in one of Norway's worst peacetime atrocities. Click to enlarge.
A work crew scrubs the exterior of the atrium ceiling at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alaska. Click to enlarge.
A woman cleans a window in a building offering lodgings for rent in Pamplona, Spain. Click to enlarge.
At a new residential complex in Beijing, a worker ventures out onto a ledge to wash a window. Click to enlarge.
A man cleans the windows of the building where oil company Repsol is headquartered in Madrid. Click to enlarge.
On Jan. 13 in Beijing, Apple customers who waited overnight for the launch of the new iPhone 4S pelted the company's Sanlitun store with eggs after it failed to open due to the large crowds—leaving a big job for this pair of window washers. Click to enlarge.
A worker cleans windows on a new commercial building in Kuala Lumpur. Click to enlarge.
A worker removed paint from a window at a Bank of America branch in Washington that had been vandalized May 1. Click to enlarge.
A boy cleaned a shop window next to a poster of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in Cairo June 13. Click to enlarge.
Cleaners work in teams on the windows of Movenpick Hotel in Doha, Qatar. Click to enlarge.
During a passage through the Strait of Hormuz in February, American sailors cleaned windows of the Flag Bridge of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Click to enlarge.
At the end of May, workers at a Kiev, Ukraine, shopping center washed windows bearing an advertisement for June's Euro 2012 soccer tournament. Click to enlarge.
The more than 30 workers on the Shanghai World Financial Center's window-cleaning team work in pairs. They aren't allowed to carry items that could fall, such as cellphones or wristwatches, and must stop working in high winds. This pair was preparing to wash windows on the 101st floor. Click to enlarge.
A vendor cleans his shop window at the al-Hamidiyah market in the old town of Damascus, Syria. Click to enlarge.
A worker cleans the windows of an apartment block in Beijing. Click to enlarge.
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Thursday, 28 June 2012

No Pay-Out For Window Cleaner


Jury: "SDG&E Not Liable For Window Washer's Injuries" - Jurors Wednesday ruled against a local man who sued San Diego Gas & Electric after losing parts of his arms in an accident. Shane Cahill was severely injured in 2008 while washing windows on top of a Mission Bay condominium. About 12,000 volts of electricity rushed through his body when the metal pole he was using touched an SDG&E power line. Cahill sued the utility for medical expenses that could range into the millions of dollars. After a nearly three-week trial, the jury sided with the utility, voting 10-2 that the company was not liable for Cahill's injuries. "This was not a safe condition," Cahill's attorney, Todd Macaluso, said Tuesday in closing arguments. "This was an accident waiting to happen." SDG&E's attorney, William Calders, countered, "It's a good story and it reads well, but it isn't supported by the facts."

Macaluso said the power company knew those lines were too low and still did nothing to fix them. He added the company did not meet a certain standard and called it "negligence." Calders argued Cahill was negligent because Cahill himself testified he never saw the power lines that were only feet away. Macaluso said at best his client is only 20 percent responsible for the accident, leaving SDG&E responsible for 80 percent of the injuries that left Cahill with two prosthetic forearms.

SDG&E issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the verdict: What happened to Mr. Cahill is a tragedy. SDG&E is deeply sympathetic for the injuries he suffered as a result of contact with our facilities. We appreciate the jury's thoughtful and thorough review of the facts and their conclusion that SDG&E was not negligent and that what happened to Mr. Cahill was an accident.

SDG&E cleared in window cleaner accident - A jury cleared San Diego Gas & Electric Co. of any liability in the case of a window washer who lost both arms in an electrocution accident in 2008, the worker's attorney said Wednesday. Shane Cahill was shocked by 12,000 volts while he cleaned windows at a Mission Bay condominium. He lost both of his arms and faces medical bills that could run into the millions of dollars, said his attorney, Carlsbad-based Todd Macaluso. In 2009, Cahill sued the utility for medical expenses.  Macaluso said he had great respect for the jury. "We believe the law needs to be changed," Macaluso said in a written statement. "What happened to Mr. Cahill is a tragedy," SDG&E said in a written statement. "SDG&E is deeply sympathetic for the injuries he suffered as a result of contact with our facilities. We appreciate the jury's thoughtful and thorough review of the facts and their conclusion that SDG&E was not negligent and that what happened to Mr. Cahill was an accident."

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Trial For Window Cleaner Who Lost Arms Goes To Jury

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Former Window Washer's Suit Against SDG&E Goes To Jury -Shane Cahill Lost Part Of Arms When Pole He Was Using To Wash Windows Hit 12,000 Volt Power Line: A jury will now decide who is responsible for the accident that left a San Diego man without part of his arms. Closing arguments wrapped up Tuesday afternoon in the case of Shane Cahill. He is suing San Diego Gas and Electric for medical expenses that could range into the millions of dollars. 

Cahill's attorney and SDG&E's attorney spoke one final time in front of the jury. "This was not a safe condition," said Cahill's attorney Todd Macaluso. "This was an accident waiting to happen." SDG&E's attorney, William Calders, said, "It's a good story and it reads well, but it isn't supported by the facts." Cahill lost part of his arms four years ago while washing windows on top of a Mission Bay condo. About 12,000 volts of electricity rushed through his body when the metal pole he was using touched an SDG&E power line.

Macaluso said the power company knew those lines were too low and still did nothing to fix them. "They should have met the 25-foot standard and they didn't," said Macaluso. "Ladies and gentlemen, that is negligence." Calders argued it was Cahill who was negligent because Cahill testified he never saw the power lines that were only feet away. "He had 16 opportunities in the three-hour period of time to see electrical lines," said Calders. "How many times did he see the lines? None."

Macaluso said at best his client is only 20 percent responsible for the accident, leaving SDG&E responsible for 80 percent of the injuries that left Cahill with two prosthetic forearms. "I think that's fair," said Macaluso. "I think that's reasonable."

Calders asked the jury to remove compassion from their minds and only focus on the facts. "You can't take concern for Mr. Cahill, who is a very nice gentleman, who has had a serious event, and I will agree to that," said Calders. "But you can't take that into your deliberations." The jury will begin deliberations Wednesday morning. 

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Former Window Washer Testifies Against SDG&E: The local window washer who lost part of his arms in an accident testified Monday morning in his lawsuit against San Diego Gas & Electric. Shane Cahill spoke softly as he talked about the moments immediately after 12,000 volts of electricity shot through a metal pole and into his body. "My body just tensing up, tensing," he said. "It seemed to get tighter and tighter. I couldn't move much."

Four years ago, Cahill was cleaning the windows on top of a condo in Mission Bay. He was shocked when his equipment hit a power line. Cahill's attorneys argue that SDG&E's power lines were too close to the condo. Cahill said he could not remember how long it took for someone to come help him. "I was pretty stressed out, so I'm not really sure how long," he said. Cahill lost both of his hands and part of his forearms. Using prosthetics, he demonstrated for his attorney and the jury how the metal window washing pole was set up at the time of the accident.

On cross-examination, SDG&E's attorneys said the power lines were in compliance and tried painting a picture that Cahill himself was negligent. One attorney for SDG&E showed Cahill another version of the same metal pole and asked him what was written on the side of the pole. "Watch for wires," answered Cahill.

The defense also kept track of how many times Cahill walked in and out of the condo without noticing the power poles and power lines next to the condo. "Did you happen to notice that there were electrical lines, or guidelines or communications lines outside of the windows?" a defense attorney asked. "No," answered Cahill. "Never saw them?" asked the attorney. "No, I did not," Cahill said.

The tally got up to 14 times before the judge called it a day. Cahill's attorneys previously argued that those wires should have been at least 25 feet away. They were only 12 feet away from the condo when Cahill touched one with the metal pole. When asked if he thought he was going to die, Cahill said, "I thought I was, yes." Cahill will wrap up his testimony Tuesday morning. He is suing for unspecified damages that could total in the tens of millions of dollars.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The New Window Cleaners + Other News

A window cleaner works on a glass office tower roof. According to a new report by the Center for an Urban Future, jobs in the property maintenance industry are growing faster than those in other sectors in New York City.

Job Opportunities for Youth? Report Points to Janitorial Services - If you ask people what the most popular jobs for young New Yorkers are, many would say baristas at Starbucks or sales assistants in chain retailers like Uniqlo, where you can make an average $8 to $10 per hour, or no more than $20,000 a year with regular working hours. But did you know an average janitor in New York City could easily make more than that? A recent report by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) reveals the median salary for New York janitors is $30,870, nearly 14 percent more than any coffee shop jobs. Although this occupation may not sound sexy, it does have a future.  The State Labor Department is projecting 1,700 openings in janitorial jobs every year through 2018, making it one of the most promising fields for young people without college degrees. “Some of the jobs actually start at a relatively low wage,” said Jonathan Bowles, the executive director of CUF who supervised the report, who added that “they also have a lot of room for advancement.”
The national unemployment rate soared to 8.2 percent in May, but the figure for youth unemployment is more than double that. According to a youth employment support organization, Jobs First NYC (JFNYC), in New York City alone, nearly 175,000 young adults between 18 to 24 are currently “out-of-school, out-of-work and out-of-luck.” Many inexperienced young adults, particularly those without a college degree, have been discouraged from looking for jobs by the dismal job market and competition with skilled job seekers, said the executive director of JFNYC, Louis Miceli. In an economy where most decent paying jobs require at least some sort of associate degrees, blue-collar industries are now actively hiring and growing, and they do provide a path to middle-class salaries.
By CUF’s estimates, there will be more than 2,640 opportunities a year in property maintenance, which includes janitorial, cleaning, building maintenance and repair jobs, as well as 460 jobs in telecommunication and utility works. The number is projected to grow by six percent over the next six years. None of these jobs ask for more than high school degree. Only short-term vocational training is required. Some of the occupations provide solid paychecks to entry-level workers, the report points out. For instance, the median starting salary for general building maintenance workers is $27,000, and can reach the average salary of $41,680. The salary for equipment installers and repairers is much higher: $46,110 for entry-level workers and $69,560 for professionals.
The report suggests these are good fields for young people with limited degrees and who don’t mind working their way up from the bottom. Among all the general maintenance workers in New York City, nearly 43 percent have only a high school diploma and 14 percent did not graduate from high school. “Most of these jobs are not sexy and not getting attention from the news media, but these are the fields where young adults can realistically get hired,” said Bowles.
Even though these jobs are expected to grow rapidly, in reality they haven’t been very attractive to young people. “These manual jobs often don’t immediately lead them to the next step, and young people don’t even know what career ladders exist.” said Miceli. “So rather they see these jobs as dead-end.” Mallory Scott, 38, a janitor working at a private sector building in Hell’s Kitchen, said she seldom sees co-workers under 24 years old. The average age at her work place is 40 to 45. Scott has been in her position for seven years. She works eight hours a day, five days a week, receives health benefits and enjoys a three-week vacation every year. “A lot of young kids are not gravitating to this type of business,” said Scott, who believes a janitorial job is stable enough to support her and her family. “For those people who probably feel [the job] is degrading, they don’t know what we make. They could be making $15 [an hour] and they have no clue that I’m making almost $30.”
Start-up janitors in New York City typically earn $10 to $11 per hour, Scott said, and the pay rises to $15 to $16 if they become union members. Many janitors in New York City, even in the private sector, are organized, like the SEIU 32 BJ office cleaners who nearly went on strike last December. In the public sector, many janitors have long been organized. During the Republican presidential primary campaign, candidate Newt Gingrich took heat when he suggested public school districts replace their unionized janitorial staffs with young workers. But Gingrich’s comments were particularly controversial because he was talking about jobs for people 18 and under. Three months is the average period before being eligible for union membership. General cleaners are able to be promoted to utility workers — as long as they develop sufficient skills — and to supervisors or foremen.

We are, as everyone must know by now, in a double-dip recession. The amount of stuff that the country is producing is less than it was. So the latest unemployment statistics are a bit of a puzzle. You can see the ONS's release here: full-time employment is up by 82,000, part-time employment is up by 83,000 and overall, unemployment is down by 0.2 percentage points, or 51,000. Public sector employment is down 39,000 and private sector employment is up 205,000. (On the other hand, the claimant count – the number of people on the dole – has increased). So more people are working, and yet we are producing less stuff: that's a bit weird, though not new to the British economy. The great puzzle of the last four years has been explaining why, despite the recession being far worse for GDP than many previous ones, unemployment did not shoot up in the way that it did in say, the 1980s.
So the best explanation I can see is this one: the increase in the number of self-employed people accounts for most of the increase in employment – 84,000 more people are self-employed than were three months ago. Given that self-employment can include anything from ad hoc babysitting to window cleaning, the rise in self-employment would explain why employment is increasing even as GDP falls: people moving into self-employment are earning far less than they used to earn (assuming of course that they are declaring all of their income to the taxman…).

Recession-Resistant Commercial Cleaning Industry Adapts to More Demanding Customers -  Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., a leading independent market research publisher of “off-the-shelf” studies about SERVICE industries since 1979, has released the 9th edition, a 227-page market study entitled: The U.S. Commercial & Residential Cleaning Services Industry. The study estimates national receipts from 1987-2016 forecasts, covers operating ratios, emerging trends, franchising, competitor profiles and more. “This $78 billion business, which encompasses janitorial services, pest control, window cleaning, carpet/floor cleaning, parking lot maintenance, security, HVAC/facilities management, residential maid services, disaster restoration, and more, is very competitive, comprised of 820,157 mainly small operators, including 48,000 franchised outlets. Competitors run the gamut from mom & pop cleaners, to giants such as ABM Industries with $2.4 billion in revenues.
Many feel that this business is recession-resistant. This is a low-tech business that’s easy to enter, and many do. However, moderate growth in receipts came to a halt in 2009, hurt by the recession, the housing bust, the collapse of commercial real estate, low-ball pricing and lower profit margins,” according to Research Director, John LaRosa. Revenues… Marketdata estimates that industry receipts grew 2.5% to $78 billion in 2011. In 2009, receipts fell by the most since 1993—down 4.6%. This year, we expect 3% gains to $80.5 billion, and 4% yearly gains to $93.7 billion by 2016. Specialty niches like disaster restoration, HVAC, security, air duct cleaning and “tag work” should grow faster than “commodity” services such as janitorial.
Marketdata estimates that there is 77 billion sq. ft. of commercial floor space in the U.S. and the cost to clean it averages about $1.49 per sq. ft.—for a POTENTIAL market of $95 billion. Operating Ratios…. The “typical” contract cleaner grossed $623,000/year in 2007 and $643,000 in 2011. Pre-tax profit margins fell to 6.6% of net sales. Average annual receipts per employee were $43,878 in 2007 for the industry overall, but as high as $92,867 for “miscellaneous” services (not janitorial, pest control or carpet cleaning) and $90,772 for pest control workers. The industry has 85,843 establishments with payrolls. The smallest “non-employer” services number 734,314 and account for $12.7 billion in receipts.
Demand Indicators… 90% of contract cleaners service office buildings. Unfortunately, the commercial real estate market may not recover for years. Commercial construction fell about 35% from 2008-2010. Office vacancy rates hit 16.6% in 2010 and are projected to fall only slightly by 2013. Healthcare construction is one of the few bright spots. Delays in federal appropriations are pushing contract awards for government business into 2012. Major industry issues include: a move to more certification and “green” cleaning, price compression, a shift to more science-based cleaning, longer sales cycles, high worker turnover, more day cleaning, the bundling of services by large accounts (total service concept), major geographic differences in the health of commercial and residential end users by city/region, and the growing importance of niche and specialty markets.
About The Study: The U.S. Commercial & Residential Cleaning Services Industry, published in June 2012, is an independently researched “off-the-shelf” study. The study is 227 pages in length and contains 152 detailed tables/charts. The study costs $1,995 and is also sold by individual chapters at lower cost. A free table of contents is available by mail, email (marketdataent(at)yahoo(dot)com) or fax. A 36-page Overview of major findings is available to the general public for $79.
About Marketdata: Marketdata Enterprises is a 33-year old independent market research and consulting firm that publishes industry and market studies covering a wide range of SERVICE sectors and emerging niche market. It has tracked the commercial cleaning industry since 1991. Studies are also available online via commercial databases such as Profound, and distributors (Global Information, MarketResearch.com, Bharat Book Bureau). John LaRosa is available for interviews.

Attack victim spends payout on cannabis unit: A Doncaster man who used cash from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to set up his own drugs factory has narrowly escaped going to jail. Michael Cook, aged 34, was given a suspended four month prison term after telling a judge he was using cannabis to help him conquer his drink problem and he had not planned to sell drugs. Doncaster Crown Court heard how the Balby window cleaner received £2,000 compensation for facial scarring suffered in an assault and used half of it to set up the cannabis production unit. When police raided his rented home in Finch Road last January they found 14 cannabis plants growing to a height of 75cm in the garage. The unit included growing tents, transformers, lamps, electric timers and a water butt. Police experts said the plants could have yielded more than £3,000 worth of cannabis, said Jeremy Evans, prosecuting.
Cook had no previous convictions but Mr Evans said the potential output would have created a surplus which could have got into general circulation. Defence solicitor Cedric Hennis said his client did not accept that, because the cannabis would have been for his own use only and there was no evidence of him selling it. Giving evidence, Cook said he had used the drug ‘on and off for years’ and used YouTube to get information about cultivating his own. “I intended to use it to get off the alcohol. I’m an alcoholic and have been seeking treatment for it. I wanted to use it to stop drinking. “I had no intention of supplying anyone else with cannabis, it was just for my own use. I didn’t know how much each plant would produce.”
Cook, who earns £55 a week on his window round, denied a prosecution claim that he saw it as additional income and said: “No, I was just thinking about my liver. I’m not very money motivated.” Cook, who admitted cannabis production, was also sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work and supervision after the judge said it was important he should deal with his alcohol problem.

Birds trapped in boarded up flat: Residents in central Hamilton were shocked to see distressed birds desperately trying to get into and out of a boarded-up flat last week. The empty flat in Cadzow Street contained nesting pigeons, and had been boarded up by the owner leaving birds and nests inside. Confused pigeons sat perched inside on the window ledges wondering why they couldn’t get out. And other birds, possibly mates of those inside, were seen banging into the boarded up windows trying to get in. The empty flat is above but separate from a functioning letting agency.
Concerned neighbours asked a window cleaner to remove one of the boards and then phoned the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA). One neighbour said: “It was awful. The birds had been coming in and out for weeks, and they were just left inside, with no way to get out. Other birds were also trying to get in. Pigeons are classed as vermin but you can’t just board them up like that.” Another said: “You could see the pigeons trapped inside. “We had to ask a window cleaner to take one of the boards off.” An officer from the SSPCA attended and managed to get in touch with the estate agent in charge of the building, and to get the situation sorted out.

Window Cleaning: With the bright mornings we're having, I thought people might like the number of a window cleaner, especially if you're on the upper floors where you may be taking your life in your hands by doing it yourself. Especially if you're in Holden or Wilshaw where the windows don't open the way Lewisham Homes thinks they do. Let's face it, if you don't have three giant arms you can't open your back windows more than two inches. Even the front windows aren't easy if you're not young and fit. You'd have to be a monkey to get to the kitchen window from the inside, and very brave to get up high on your balcony to do the outside.
The cowboys I got in are quick and efficient. It cost £15 for all six windows but it has lasted six months and is still looking good compared to the previous four-year build up (the last time I did it myself). Treat yourself, the council ain't gonna do it for you. Even if your view isn't great, you'll feel like a million dollars when it's done. If you're strapped for cash, maybe you can find some near neighbours who want a good clean at the same time and you might get a reduction on a job lot? Negotiate.

Cotton shirts less stinky: A squad of shirt-sniffers played a key role in new University of Alberta research into the science of smelly clothes. Textiles scientist Rachel McQueen and chemistry scientist James Harynuk paired up for a field study examining odour-causing bacteria from sweaty T-shirts. Participants exercised wearing test shirts -- without deodorant -- over a 10-week period, and a 17-member volunteer “odour panel” assessed the tops in a sniff test at the end of the trial. The study concluded that cotton shirts smelled less than polyester shirts both before and after washing, and that antimicrobial coating did not appear effective in reducing body odour. “Doing the analysis was a big challenge in this study. But it’s good, because this is the kind of thing we have to consider when we’re looking at a real-world sample, we’re not looking at a contrived situation,” Harynuk said.
Harynuk also analyzed pieces of each shirt in a series of lab tests that revealed 1,000 to 2,000 molecules on every dirty shirt sample. Researchers found the number of molecules on the cotton shirts dropped significantly more after washing than the molecules on the polyester shirts. Harynuk said it is not yet known which molecules contribute to causing odour. “Human sweat, in and of itself, doesn’t smell,” he said. “It’s the microbial action on the sweat, as the microflora on our skin and on our toes (interacting), that’s what generates the smelling compounds and molecules.” The project was an unusual endeavour for Harynuk, who recalls McQueen approaching him a year ago with the idea. “We said, ‘Sure, sounds like fun as long as I don’t have to sniff (the shirts) and my students don’t have to sniff them,’” he said.
McQueen said the aim of the research is to find the key to developing a material that resists odour-causing molecules. She said more controlled lab testing will likely be needed to determine which molecules are causing odour and how they bind to different fabrics. One practical piece to take away from the study, she suggested, is that cotton shirts do not necessarily need to be washed as often as polyester shirts. “A lot of people don’t even bother doing the sniff test, they just throw it in the washing machine after they’ve worn it once,” she said.

Men as well as women shun household chores: Australian women are doing less housework than they were five years ago. But it's not because men are pulling their weight around the house more. Rather, the latest census data shows both men and women are spending less time doing unpaid domestic work, which means either our homes are getting messier or more of us are outsourcing the chores. More than 44 per cent of all men and women aged over 15 say they do less than five hours of housework a week, or none at all. This compares with 41 per cent in 2006.
At the same time, the number of people who say they do more than 30 hours of housework a week dropped significantly from 1.8 million people to 1.7 million. Of people who did unpaid domestic work in the week before the census, 25.6 per cent worked five to 14 hours, 12 per cent worked 15 to 29 hours, and 10.1 per cent worked 30 hours or more. Stephane Fayd'herbe, of the Melbourne cleaning company Cleaning Institute of Australia, is not surprised by the figures.
He says the demands of juggling a family and a career means more and more families are outsourcing their domestic duties, particularly in households where both parents work. ''We've certainly seen our business grow steadily each year over the past five years,'' he said. ''I think that is largely driven by an increasing population that is incredibly time poor and who are therefore looking to get other people to do their more menial and mundane tasks for them.'' He said much new business came from working mothers with young children.
In only the second time the census has looked at the distribution of domestic labour, the results again show that for those households that still mop their own floors and iron their own clothes, women do about twice as much housework as men. According to the figures, almost twice as many men as women do less than five hours of housework a week or none at all. While three times as many women spend more than 15 hours cooking and cleaning each week. The figures show that while 1.4 million women are engaged in domestic chores for between 15 and 30 hours a week, only about 500,000 men do the same.

Women secretly love being homemakers: Many women admitted to researchers that they love cleaning because it gives them a sense of 'pleasure' and 'achievement'. It also makes them feel better about receiving surprise visitors who wouldn't see the house in a mess. However, almost four out of ten of those who love cleaning admitted that it was a secret passion - and that they would never tell their other half they enjoyed getting to grips with the housework. The admissions emerged in a survey carried out among 2,000 women by Zoflora disinfectant.
"There are a growing number of common misconceptions about cleaning however, women can and do get a great deal of satisfaction from cleaning," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Jane McCartney, a chartered psychologist and consultant to Zoflora, as saying. "There is the therapeutic routine or sense of control in creating a home environment but also perhaps, that homes also make a personal statement - cleanliness and choice of fragrance adding to their overall sense of personal pride satisfaction. "Taking on tasks that you have a realistic chance of completing can provide immediate positive feedback; the undertaking and completion of the task will allow you to have a sense of control," she said.
Dr McCartney further said that the sense of achievement, which the women felt after completing the chores, was an important factor that attributed to a person's well being. Also cleaning is an area where this achievement can live beyond the actual task itself. The study found vacuuming, tidying up and wiping surfaces clean are three household chores women enjoy. But cleaning the oven, the toilet and doing the ironing were the ones they were most likely to hate.
Household tasks, which required too much time, too much effort or were labelled 'disgusting' were most likely to be left to their other half. But chores that left their house looking noticeably clean were the ones women preferred and enjoyed, like dusting and washing up. Making sure their house smelt clean and fresh was also a priority for women, with more than three quarters admitting that they would judge someone with a bad smell in their home, or look at them in a negative light. "Not only is it just unpleasant to be near a bad smell, this also stems from our basic evolutionary development too," Dr. McCartney said. "In the past unpleasant smells would signify a danger to survival, in as much as they indicate contamination, illness or even death," Dr. McCartney said.

Living green wall planned for InterContinental Chicago: Laurence Geller, the blunt-talking British chief executive of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, plans to literally spruce up the facade of the InterContinental Chicago hotel on North Michigan Avenue with a 9,800-square-foot living green wall. The wall, which requires City Council approval, would be covered in thousands of plants growing year-round in concealed trays hung perpendicular to the wall. It would be the largest wall of its kind in North America and one of a handful in Chicago, according to Geller and Anne Roberts, the local landscape designer he has hired to build it.
Maintenance will be necessary two to three times per year and done in a similar manner to window-washing. Workers will dangle from the roof to trim and replace plants. "This is horticulture to the 100th degree," Roberts said. "It's infinitely much harder to figure out what's going to grow on a wall. And this wall will face west, meaning very, very hot in the summer, and is near the lake, meaning high winds." Geller said the first year will be "trial and error and effort" — "we'll over-irrigate and kill some (plants)," he warned. But if it succeeds, he believes tourists will flock to photograph it and that will propel more business.

The courage of whistleblowers and why we should welcome the huge rise in care home complaints: Complaints about abuse of the elderly and disabled in care homes and hospitals rocketed last year.
More than 4,300 whistleblowers have come forward to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which regulates care home in England in the last 16 months. Complaints, from relatives, staff and ancillary workers such as window cleaners and hairdressers, are up from 22 a month in December 2010 to 556 in March 2012. This is a rise of 2,500 per cent. More than half of these complaints were so serious that they triggered a full investigation. The rise has been attributed in part to greater awareness of the problem, in the wake of the shocking BBC Panorama programme broadcast in May 2011 in which an undercover reporter secretly filmed appalling scenes of abuse of patients with learning difficulties in Winterbourne View private hospital near Bristol. The home was closed and 11 staff charged with abuse.

Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton has spent his holiday break cleaning windows! Albrighton swapped his boots and shinpads for a bucket and sponge to join Bolehall Swifts boss Daren Fulford and his son Conor on their round in Tamworth town centre. "I’d had a bit of banter with them about window cleaning," Albrighton told the Sunday Mercury. “They were saying I had never done a hard day’s work in my life. I’d put it to the back of my mind, but when the season finished they brought it up again. So I decided it would be fun to give it a go and it was a great laugh. “I really enjoyed it and didn’t think it was too tough.
The one killer part was the 5.30am start, but I thought I did well with the rest of it. It’s always been drilled into me to stay as grounded as possible and my mum and dad have always helped me to keep my feet on the ground. “I know a lot of people have bad views on footballers. “There’s a stereotypical view of players in the Premiership but there are a lot of good lads. “For me, I enjoy being a part of Tamworth. It’s my hometown and so doing things like this are important to me.” Fulford says there was more to Albrighton's efforts than just replying to a wind-up. “School kids in particular were walking past and then glancing back and saying, ‘that’s Marc Albrighton’. I just thought it was great that he was doing it.” Also here.

Toronto’s falling condo glass prompts new Ontario rules:  The Ontario government has amended the province’s building code after a recent spate of falling panes of glass from balconies in downtown Toronto. “The public deserves to know that their homes and neighbourhoods are safe,” Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Kathleen Wynne said at Polson Pier on Thursday morning. New changes include what type of glass must be used and how it is installed, depending on how close the pane is to the balcony edge, Wynne said. The changes will take effect July 1. However, Toronto councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam said the amendments only apply to new structures and will not affect existing buildings.
While praising the move as a good first step, Wong-Tam told CityNews: “There’s been close to 30 panels that have fallen in the past two years. It could go a little bit further.” Under the new Ontario rules, construction companies will now be required to use heat-strengthened laminated glass when glass is close to the edge of a balcony. This is the same type of glass used in windshields and is less prone to shatter, the government said. Wong-Tam said consumers need to know where their glass is manufactured. Companies must use heat-strengthened laminated glass or heat-soaked tempered glass where glass balcony guards are inset from the edge of the balcony.
Last week, glass fell from a condominium on Simcoe Street near Richmond Street West, smashing onto two cars, but falling glass has been a problem in downtown since last summer. On May 29, glass fell from the two outer window panes of the 30th or 31st floor of the RBC Centre at 155 Wellington St. W., crashing onto Simcoe. On March 24, glass fell from the top floor of the Trump International Hotel and Tower on Bay Street, prompting police to clear nearby streets. Similar incidents last August prompted two separate class-action lawsuits. The two lawsuits represent owners and renters in the Murano Towers and the Festival Tower, who, according to the lawsuit, have not been able to use their balconies for nearly a year. One woman was injured last summer, receiving a cut to her hand from a falling panel.
Lanterra Developments, the defendant in one of the lawsuits, announced that it would remove all tempered glass panels from its properties on Grenville, Grosvenor and Bedford streets and replace them with laminated glass.  Thirty existing properties will be inspected, and future and current projects will also use laminated glass.

Shattered glass rains down in uptown: Intoxicated man broke window on 39th floor of One Wells Fargo uptown. Someone sneaked past security at the One Wells Fargo building Sunday evening, went up to the 39th floor and shattered a window pane, sending shards of glass falling to the street, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said. “We believe that a highly-intoxicated male somehow managed to throw some type of object through the window,” said police spokesman Bob Fey in an e-mail. There were no injuries reported as a result of the incident, which occurred about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. But a number of people walking on the street had to scramble to safety when the glass began falling. “We were sitting outside, and we heard a boom,” Heather McDonnell told WBTV, the Observer’s news partner. “And 20 seconds later, it was raining glass.”
The 39th floor has been vacant for more than a year, said David Pitser, director of office property management for Childress Klein Properties. The company has owned the building since it was constructed in 1988. Police told WBTV that no structural problems were involved. “There’s absolutely no truth to any speculation that the windows have any type of problem,” said Pitser. Pitser estimated the damage at “well under $10,000” and said he expects the 4-by-5-foot window to be replaced by the end of the week. On Monday afternoon, several people who work in the uptown building said that neither their employers nor the property owner had notified them about Sunday’s incident. “That’s scary though,” said Ryan Webster, an intern at a law firm on the 26th floor. “I feel like the windows that high up should be shatterproof.” He also noted that typically, to get into the elevator area, one would need to use a badge.

The Houston Pavilions building in downtown Houston is having problems with falling glass. The main tenant of the Houston Pavilions Office Tower is NRG Energy and its subsidary Reliant. Panes of glass have shattered mysteriously. Most workers said they first remember hearing about trouble several months ago. “They sent out the emails to let us be aware of it. So that we would know what was going on,” said Gertrude Harris. Later the entrance was closed and building managers sent out another notice. Workers said an inside window pane on the sixth floor shattered Monday. Two weeks before it was an outside  window pane on the floor above. “The one on seven, someone was saying they thought something hit it,” said Josh Brinker, a building worker. An entire block has been closed as a precaution.

Love Running Your Service Business: ServiceTask was founded in February 2011 by Edward Giardina at a small office in the state of Rhode Island. Ed ran a home service company before the launch of ServiceTask. As his business expanded, he searched for simple, web-based tools for his business operations but found none. He then explored the idea of developing a software for service businesses that would be user friendly, leading to the creation of ServiceTask.
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Banned driver 'guilty' of child's death: Andrew Paul Morrow, aged 33, had the charges put to him again and pleaded guilty to causing the death of Daniel Mooney by driving dangerously on Mountcoole Park in the north of the city on 15 May last year. Standing in the dock of Belfast Crown Court in a grey tracksuit top, Morrow, from Vara Drive in Belfast, also pleaded guilty to causing the schoolboy's death by driving while disqualified and without insurance. At a previous court hearing Morrow, a window cleaner from the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, admitted charges of failing to remain and failing to report an accident. Only child and talented dog shower, Daniel was riding as a pillion passenger on Morrow's scrambler motorbike when he fell off and he tragically died from the head injuries he sustained. He was not wearing a helmet. On Thursday, Judge Patrick Lynch adjourned passing sentence until pre-sentence probation reports have been compiled and also until the outcome of proceedings against Morrow's co-accused, 19-year-old Dean McComb, from North Queen Street, also Belfast. His trial is listed in September but prosecuting QC John Orr told the court: "We will look at the outstanding matters and see what our view is of the co-accused" who faces similar charges."

Der Fensterputzer (The Window Washer): Theatre; When Pina Bausch died in 2009 she left barely 30 works in the repertoire of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, so London’s current season by the company offers a chance to see not only all 10 of her creations inspired by residencies in some of the world’s major cities but a third of her entire surviving output.
Der Fensterputzer’s music is every bit as deracinated. Bausch responds to Hong Kong’s traffic by turning to Portuguese Fado, Romanian gypsy laments and folk tunes from Argentina — songs of yearning that immortalise old loves and long-lost sensations. Her movement, too, with its anemone arms that draw in to allow precise hand gestures, seems to be catching at moments as they drift past, and preserving them in small, private rituals.
The dancers often touch their own bodies, rearranging bits of themselves as if they were Chinese puzzles with a hidden inside. There are touristy snapshots such as the window washer of the title suspended in a neon-tattooed night, or a rope bridge that descends from the heavens, but they get quickly whisked away. Der Fensterputzer is less concerned with the blizzard of experiences provided by a city such as Hong Kong, and more with how we distil memories from them.

Is it bad for women to objectify men - the way men objectify women? One, the idea that admiring men for their physical attributes is something new, which ignores the decades-old existence of a partially clothed David Beckham, the key Brad-Pitt-based plot point in Thelma & Louise, any scene on TV or in the movies or in real life in which a group of whoo-hoo-ing women go to a male strip club or drool while gazing outside at a sweaty, muscle-bound male window washer (who exists only in the movies or TV)—not to mention an entire, long-charted-from-ancient-times history of women considering men attractive even if they don't like or know them personally.

Wrapping Up the Los Angeles Film Festival: Nadav Kurtz's Paraiso won best short doc at Tribeca and the Seattle International Film Festival and hopefully will find its way into a theater or your laptop somehow, someway. It's a beautiful little gem about the immigrant window washers of Chicago -- Mexican immigrants who daily strap themselves to the tops of the Windy City's most totemic skyscrapers and dangle precariously over the edge, all so you can look out your corner office with just a little less grime obscuring that Masters-of-the-Universe view. Delightful, probing, insightful, and most importantly, ennobling its subjects without the least trace of condescension, Kurtz takes you on a 10 minute ride to the top of the world with men who face death on a daily basis just to feed their families-- and then joke about catching people having sex in their offices. It's enough to make John Steinbeck cry.

Janitorial tender sparks debate: A little debate was had over the janitorial tender awarded at Monday’s city council meeting. The tender was to cover the cleaning of various City buildings from Sept. 1, 2012 to Aug. 31, 2014 including the City Hall, the library, City garage, water treatment plant, the wastewater treatment plant, and the public safety building. Swan Cleaning submitted the lowest tender of $134,518.69 but was passed over by city council following reference checks.
The City found that Swan Cleaning currently holds the contract for the Provincial Building and with Manitoba Housing in Portage. It was revealed that Swan Cleaning had a slow start with frequent evaluations and direction to improve performance. On the other hand the current contractor JG Janitorial has provided satisfactory service in the past.
Coun. Irvine Ferris entered into the debate on behalf of the Portage and District Library, who had some issues with the cleaners. He stressed that although the local people did excellent day to day work the library did have some issues with the biannual carpet cleaning and window washing, which caused him to not support the tender. Despite this the tender passed by a vote of 3-2, awarding the janitorial contract to JG Janitorial for the sum of $169,631.20.

Man Breaks Into Home, Cut Self On Window, Dies: Burke, Vt. - Vermont State Police say a man died after he broke into a home. Police responded to a report on Wednesday of a dead man on the kitchen floor of the unoccupied home in Burke. They identified the man as 73-year-old Duwayne Masure, of Sutton. According to WCAX, Masure smashed the glass out of a back window of the home while attempting to burglarize it.  He tried to climb through the smashed window, but was severely cut and bled to death.

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