Friday, 30 May 2014

Sydney Window Cleaner Rescue & Chicago Crack

The cleaners were stranded on their small platform off the fifth floor of the building in Pitt Street.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/window-cleaners-left-dangling-15-metres-up-in-sydney-cbd-after-cable-snaps-20140530-398ak.html
Two window cleaners were rescued by a cherry picker after they were left dangling off a high-rise building in the Sydney CBD when a cable broke. The cleaners were stranded on their small platform off the fifth floor of the building in Pitt Street, about 15 metres off the ground, a Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman said. Emergency services were called to the tower, on 130 Pitt Street and close to the Pitt Street Mall, about 10.20am on Friday.


A NSW Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said the operation took about 40 minutes. The platform has now been secured and WorkCover will investigate the incident. The two male cleaners were not injured.

A spokeswoman for Investa Office, which manages the building, said a section of the non-load bearing cable, that is usually fixed under the cleaner's platform, unspooled and fell to the ground. "As a precautionary measure, Investa's standard safety procedures were activated. Window cleaning works were stopped and emergency services called to assist with bringing cleaning staff to the ground," the spokeswoman said.

Sydney high-rise window cleaner Lincoln Wilson said it was "unheard of" for cables to break while working on the side of a building and, during his 10 years, he had never experienced any problems. "Cables should be maintained very regularly and checked over every six or 12 months by a qualified assessor. I know the cables are always out in the weather but they are made of high-tensile steel," Mr Wilson, who is the director of Mr Window Clean, said.

He said his staff always carried walkie-talkies and worked in teams while cleaning tall buildings, so they could help each other if there were any emergencies. One of four east-bound lanes on King Street at Pitt Street was closed while emergency services were on the scene and buses were diverted from area, a spokeswoman for the Transport Management Centre said.

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Window cleaners at hanging five stories up on Pitt st, Sydney.
The two window cleaners are plucked from the work platform. A cable snapped leaving the men dangling.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/window-cleaners-trapped-on-platform-in-sydney-cbd-after-cable-snaps/story-fni0cx12-1226936964493
Window cleaners trapped on platform in Sydney CBD after cable snaps: Two window cleaners have endured an hour of terror after a cable on their platform snapped five floors up. Emergency services were called to the tower, on the corner of Pitt Street and Lees Ct about 10.20am. In a 40 minute operation, Fire and Rescue NSW crews used a cherrypicker and a high-rise ladder to rescue the two men. The damaged platform was then secured and the matter will now be handed over to WorkCover. The incident saw one east-bound lane of traffic on King St closed. The two men were not injured. Fire and Rescue NSW Inspector Kernin Lambert said the men were in good spirits. He said it was lucky no passers-by were hit by the falling cable.

A California family visiting the Willis Tower in Chicago said they heard the glass flooring on its 103rd floor Skydeck begin to crack Wednesday night while they were taking in views of the city. A spokesman from the building said the sound came from the coating on the glass and the family was never in danger.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/23978556/glass-ledge-cracks-on-103rd-floor/
Glass ledge cracks on 103rd floor: Officials at Chicago's Willis Tower say the popular tourist attraction is safe, even though a glass ledge jutting from the building's 103rd floor appeared to crack beneath the feet of a visiting family. The see-through glass bays are known as The Ledge and extend about 1.2 metres from the building, which was once called the Sears Tower. Officials say the family wasn't in danger when the cracks appeared on Wednesday on a glass enclosure. In a statement, Willis Tower says a protective coating covering the glass surface cracked, not the glass itself. They say the cracks don't affect the “structural integrity” of the ledge, which is designed to occasionally crack.

video


The ledges have proven to be a popular - if a frightening - experience since opening in 2009. Fox News reported that as the family walked out onto the Skydeck, they say they were reassured by staffers that the window flooring was unbreakable. "I had my palms on the floor and I could feel it cracking," Alejandro Garibay, 23, told The Chicago Tribune. "Honestly, I was in shock, in disbelief. I was scared." Mr Garibay was watching fireworks at the Navy Pier. "It was an awesome view. We were getting up and walking away and for some reason I thought it would be cool to get a picture of my cousins and brother ... Then we started getting off and, as we push ourselves off, I could feel it cracking," he said.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Window Cleaning News

Work and play on a sunny day - Window washers descend from a bank of windows outside the Chase Tower. 

http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/news/latest/articles/2014/05/29/499761-news-in-brief-thursday-29-may/
Father and son's Art School blaze escape - A father and son from Greenock had a lucky escape after being caught up in the inferno which ripped through the iconic Glasgow School of Art. Michael Darrah and his son, also Michael, from specialist window cleaning firm M Darrah and Sons, had to be rescued from the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building on Friday after a blaze started in the basement. Both were working on the level above when smoke poured up from the floor, through the walls and out of the vents. It is understood the pair had to be rescued by firefighters but managed to escape unharmed. A source said: “They got out fine — they were lucky. They were in the building because they are contracted to clean the windows and were working on the floor above where the fire started.”

Glasgow School of Art from the AJ’s seminal Masters of Building series - In the wake of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Grade A-listed Mackintosh Building being devastated by fire last week, the AJ presents an in-depth building study written about the world-famous Glasgow landmark. The School of Art is so evidently lavish in details that impress themselves immediately and indelibly on the memory. Almost everyone knows those extraordinary window brackets that seem to be another exuberant railing many feet the ground. Perhaps they may, in some obscure way, be structural-a kind of insect bracing for the giant windows. Whatever the physical facts, the brackets aren’t big to express this structural role, and so they make one doubt whether thev are functional. Another possibility, that each set of four of these metal flowers is a different species, damages our confidence even further in their functional adequacy. Does it help to hear they, are meant to hold planks for window-cleaners ladders? Who without seeing it take place would believe it?

http://www.pressherald.com/news/Surge_in_projects_raises_Portland_s_income__but_tax_hike_still_needed_.html
Jeff Vannah of Reflections Window Cleaning and Painting in South Portland packs up his equipment after cleaning the Crinkle Wall at Hyatt Place at the Union and Fore streets in Portland. Hyatt Place is one of three downtown hotel projects that account for the bulk of $87 million in new assessed value.

Start your own business: Harman’s Window Cleaning - At the office the other day, we had a man who owns his own business come in, Nicolas Harman, who owns and runs Harman Window Cleaning. Rather than this post being an advertisement I want to extract a few aspects of his business so you can start your own business. I believe there are a few basic principles that I noticed in Harman’s business that you can apply to start your own business.
Principles to start your own business:
1. Honesty / Integrity – Harman is contracted to wash the windows at the office twice a year. This is not to say that some of the easier to reach windows aren’t cleaned by others a few times more than that per year. This would leave an opportunity for Harman to skip out on cleaning a select few windows that don’t look too bad. To successfully start your own business, you must be honest to a fault. Integrity is keeping your word, and doing the job you said you would do.
Harman cleans every single window, not because he has to, but because his standards of quality are higher than any of his customers.
2. Know the customer – Every job is different; as is every customer. Harman doesn’t have to bring big ladders to our office because we have a scissor lift in the warehouse. Knowing the customer helps Harman save money and reduce cost to the client because he can use our existing equipment. When you have an opportunity to save the client money, at no cost to yourself, do it! This goes back to honesty and integrity, which is why honesty is the #1 principle I noticed in Harman’s business.
Don’t be too set in your ways, that you can’t adjust for your customer’s individual needs.
3. Have a Professional Look - Harman’s appearance is professional. He doesn’t have a fancy uniform, but he does dress in a manner that shows he is serious about the job. He isn’t out in the sun to get a tan. Not all businesses are the same, and obviously the uniform should be suited to the job. Successfully start your own business by using this bit of common knowledge: “Dress for the job you want”.
Dress to impress; for success.
4. Be personable – When Harman is working, he is personable. He will gladly answer questions about what he’s doing. Once the job is done, we will often go to lunch with him and talk about business, and how things are going. I think if customers can get you know you, they will have a deeper connection with you, and that can only lead to a stronger relationship.
If you are friendly with the customers, they will have a stronger sense of loyalty to you.

The poem, "In Praise of Air," by Sheffield's Simon Armitage is printed on a university building hoarding to emphasise its titanium dioxide coating is absorbing vehicle emissions that cause asthma and pollute our cities. The poster is estimated to remove the same amount of nitric oxide from the air as can be produced by 20 cars.
http://www.earthtimes.org/pollution/city-clean-nanotechnology/2601/
City clean up with nanotechnology: Titanium dioxide coating on cars and aircraft have revolutionised protective nanotechnology. The University of Sheffield has set the target as absorbing the poisonous compounds from vehicle exhausts. Tony Ryan is the professor of physical chemistry in charge of adapting self-cleaning window technology to pollution solutions. The 10m x20m poster they now use on the Alfred Denny university building demonstrates how nitrogen oxides from 20 cars per day could be absorbed efficiently by roadside absorption.
The Prof has already demonstrated how jeans could have the titanium dioxide integrated in their fabric to clean up the city. The name of the miniscule nanoparticles of the commercial product is Catcio. During daylight, the photons of light inter-react with oxygen, releasing its atoms to form peroxide that will immediately wipe up the nitrogen compounds. Fairly complex, but simple for the chemicals involved! It's estimated that 80% of the pollution would be removed by clothing.
The great surface area of a hoarding can contribute similarly effective action against pollutants. London is now famed for the amount of nitrogen oxides that emerge from its burgeoning diesel traffic. This partly explains Britain's great problem with young asthma sufferers. They have the highest number of asthma patients in Europe. As Prof. Ryan states, "The science behind this is an additive which delivers a real environmental benefit that could actually help cut disease and save lives. "
The field of Soft Nanotechnology moves in devious ways with natural and artificial fabrics. Titanium of course is expensive, with this hoarding costing £100 extra to have the coating. The air-scrubbing poster is a new innovation that has to be placed alongside busy roads to do its job. Clothing worn on city streets is already (harmlessly) producing the compounds that will remove some vehicle pollutants. Next steps of course would involve removing the trucks and cars from city centres!


http://dontwc.com/hp_wordpress/?p=473&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DonTheWindowCleaner+%28Don+The+Window+Cleaner%29
I have a buyer for my business - Don Marsh: I recently got an email from a window cleaning business that hires military veterans. They asked me to come and train their workers for a couple of days. It was a generous offer, and I was honored to receive it. But I had to turn it down. It was a hard decision, but I have been learning that even good things can keep you from doing what God has called your to do. I sent them an email with some pointers in it. I will share most of it here.
I want you to know that I am incredibly honored by your request, as well as the fact that you found my videos helpful. And you are one of many people who have contacted me about this very thing. Unfortunately, I am quite wrapped up in the ministry to children nowadays, and I cannot let myself be distracted by even such a worthy cause as yours. On the up side, window cleaning itself, as I know it, is pretty simple and can be mastered by simply doing enough of it.
I have been doing almost exclusively residential window cleaning for the past 20+ years, and I can tell you that technique, and even results, are not the highest thing on a homeowner’s list of concerns. They want to feel safe having you in their house. Winning their confidence by being conscientious about their property and their time is most important. They want you in and out of there without breaking or stealing anything. And the inside windows are usually the easiest to do.
*Use less water so you spill less, and clean up after yourself.
*Bring poles in that are only as long as necessary.
*Try to take less than 3 minutes per window. Dawdling makes it look like you don’t know what you are doing.
*When you come in the house, ask them where you would like them to start, and if they want you to work clockwise or counter-clockwise from there.
*Then, get on with it.
I am a friendly and talkative guy, but too much talking costs money and extends the job. But people want to know who is in their house, so I always planned on killing the first few minutes telling about myself, my family, and common chit-chat. I stay away from politics. Feel free to ask me questions, but I really cannot come to Miami. I travel a lot already, and I have chosen a time-consuming vocation. But I can always do email…Thank you for your service and your sacrifice, Don Marsh.

Crews from Modern Window Cleaning were called out to Forest Hills Central High School on Wednesday, May 14, to clean up eggs that a group of seniors threw at the school.
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/05/forest_hills_central_seniors_w.html
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- A group of Forest Hills Central High School students who were suspended during their last week of classes after egging the school will not be allowed to walk across the graduation stage on Wednesday. Seven of the school’s seniors were suspended for five days last week after being caught on video egging the school’s three entrances on May 11, according to one of the students involved. The student involved in the egging, who asked to remain anonymous, said the group intended to go to the school to “bury the rock” – a tradition that’s been carried on by seniors for years. However, the student said the senior prank spiraled out of control when another student brought about 100 eggs with him and the group began throwing them at the school. “We just wanted to do something different (for a senior prank),” the senior said. “We realize it was dumb now.”

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/may/29/a-super-clean-surprise/
A super clean surprise: It’s a bird, it’s a plane: WestCoast Window Cleaning owner Eric Katzer, dressed as Superman, looks through the window at Hazelle Twichell, 4, during Superhero Day on Friday at Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. Window washers wore superhero costumes and rappelled down the sides of the hospital, surprising patients. The window washers also donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which raises money for Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital.

Home Owners: Why cleaning your windows is a good investment: Don’t let dirty windows obscure your view of nature in its full spring glory. Whether you do the job yourself or hire an experienced pro, cleaning your windows is an investment that pays off immediately. Here are expert DIY tips for making your windows look their best: Start with the right supplies. If your windows are standard glass, not leaded or stained, and they aren’t tinted, you should be able to safely use commonly available window-cleaning products. But you can also clean with hot, soapy water and rinse with water and a small amount of vinegar to improve the shine. Or, you can try these options:
• Combine a cup of rubbing alcohol, a cup of water and a tablespoon of vinegar.
• For glass that’s cloudy, try straight ammonia. (Don’t combine vinegar and ammonia, as they cancel each other out.)
• Good wipe-down materials include paper or microfiber cloths and newspapers. Avoid plain, cotton towels, which will leave behind lint.
• For cleaning hard-to-reach outside windows, consider an extendable tool with a telescoping handle that has a soft scrubber on one side and a squeegee on the other. Spray the scrubber with cleaning solution, clean the window and squeegee to remove the cleaner.
• To more easily see streaks that will require a second shot of elbow grease, wipe the inside of glass in a different direction than the outside. For instance, go side-to-side on the inside and up and down on the back.
• Here’s a tip if you find that your lower windows, or siding, have dark stains. Your mulch may be to blame. Cheap mulch may be infested with a fungus that, when mature, shoots black spores that stick to glass and siding and are hard to remove completely. If you have problems with this, consider switching to higher quality mulch.
Ideally, it’s best to clean windows twice a year. That may be reason enough to hire out the work, but there are other reasons to consider professionals, including the dangers inherent in working on a ladder. In addition, expert window cleaners have the right supplies to more readily remove paint, glue and other material from glass. They also have experience in cleaning other window components and areas, including screens and sills.
They can also identify and deal with window problems, such as screen patterns etched on glass, sashes painted shut, screens that don’t fit right, clogged channels, non-working or damaged window weights in older windows, wood rot and insect infestations. A pro may also be your best bet if you have specialty windows, including leaded glass, stained glass and tinted glass. Before you hire a window cleaner, do a little research, since anybody can claim to be an expert in this area. Make sure the company has positive reviews on a trusted site, is appropriately licensed and insured, has proven experience, and is willing to provide a free estimate.

http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2014/04/monday_is_workers_memorial_day.html
Worker's Memorial Day: How safe is your workplace? Each year, millions of Americans get sick, injured or killed because of hazards they face on the job, which is reason enough for Worker's Memorial Day, observed annually on April 28. Though most work-related fatalities aren't captured by national surveillance systems, a 2007 estimate put the number of deaths for that year at 53,445. In 2012, 4,383 U.S. workers were known to have died from work-related injuries, according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Pictured a Portland high-rise window washer makes sure not to miss a spot.
In 2012, employers reported nearly 3 million injuries to and illnesses in private industry workers and 793,000 to and in state and local government workers. In the same year, an estimated 2.8 million work-related injuries were treated in emergency departments, resulting in 140,000 hospitalizations.
Several national surveillance systems report new cases of nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses, although no system captures all cases. Based on methods that focus on medical costs and productivity losses, the societal cost of work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses was estimated at $250 billion in 2007. Methods that include consideration of pain and suffering would result in a higher estimated societal cost.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2014/05/22/thumbtack-aims-to-make-yellow-pages-of-the-new-age-raises-30-million/
Thumbtack Aims To Make Yellow Pages Of The New Age, Raises $30 Million - Thumbtack’s latest raise is validation that it’s moving in the right direction to provide a better way to connect consumers that need professional help, including window cleaners, wedding DJs and plumbers. While companies like Yelp and Angie's List have created sites where users can go online and find ratings, reviews and contact information for local businesses, Thumbtack has given consumers a way to specifically dictate their needs, allowing interested professionals on the service to compete for a given project. “This is the dream–this is the Yellow Pages,” said CEO Zappacosta. “And we’ve really reimagined it for the world we live in.”

FORT MITCHELL –  A father and son duo are revitalizing blue collar industries throughout Northern Kentucky. Eleven years ago, Don and Brent Degenhardt launched City Wide Maintenance of Cincinnati, a Fort Mitchell-based management company in the building maintenance industry. City Wide manages 25 facility services including janitorial to commercial customers. City Wide finds small, local businesses in the community who provide specific services - for example, landscaping, window washing, parking lot maintenance, janitorial services, etc., and they subcontract those businesses. “Helping someone take their business to the next level is really neat to watch,” Brent said. “They really appreciate what you’ve done for them and we appreciate what they do for us.” Brent’s father, Don, agreed. He said that helping others grow their business is one of the most rewarding things about having started City Wide. “In some cases it’s a couple just trying to put their kids through school,” he said. “We hope to help them grow their small business, so they can do that and more.” According to Don it’s very “fulfilling” to create jobs and watch these developments transform lives.

http://www.romseyadvertiser.co.uk/news/11232493.Thriving_high_street_is_vital_for_town__says_new_mayor/
Outgoing window cleaning mayor Ian Richards received praise from all the speakers at Tuesday night’s mayor-making ceremony. Several commented on the fact that he had been able to find time to get married during his mayoral year and he was also commended for his quick-change talents – one second he was a window cleaner the next moment he appeared in suit and chain of office. Mr Richards said that one of the themes of the year had been to promote commerce so he was pleased that the council was now employing a town centre manager and had taken on the responsibility of the Christmas lights. One of his final acts as mayor had been to help organise a civic thank-you for all the agencies, including the military, which had helped fight the floods in Romsey during the winter. The event will take place at Romsey Town Hall next Friday, May 30, and the public will have a chance to come along and thank the flood heroes in person from 1pm.

http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/dogs-lead/story-21122939-detail/story.html
All dogs should be put on lead - By The Sentinel: Up to a point, I agree with strong 'dog laws'. But I disagree with the new Government laws with regards to privacy and safety in the home. Under new rules, the owners of out-of-control dogs which attack people on private property face being jailed for up to 14 years Surely the only people you expect to see in your yard are the postman and the window cleaner?
Even council workmen wishing to enter your property, whether council or private, must show ID, knock and introduce themselves? Do the new Government rules state daytime or night-time as to the safety of people in your yard? It does not worry me at all if I put my foot up someone's backside after I have 'locked up' for the night.
Let's hope that the new rules in the future cover the following wishes of my own: All dogs must be on a collar and lead in all areas, including parks, nature reserves, all streets, roads and pavements, and must be controlled by an adult aged 18 or over; A little girl aged seven years old cannot control any dog of any size. In one 24-hour period recently, two Staffordshire bull terriers, one collie and one chihuahua have used my garden as a toilet. This is an environmental crime.

Football is only one part of Bowen’s busy life. She is in the third year of a four-year term as mayor; she owns Sandi’s Village Cafe in Lindsey; she owns Clear View Enterprises window cleaning; and she is a licensed massage therapist.
http://www.thenews-messenger.com/article/20140504/NEWS01/305040020/Meet-Your-Neighbor-Lindsey-mayor-wears-many-hats?nclick_check=1
LINDSEY — Lindsey mayor Sandra Bowen stretches the concept of being “a woman of many hats” a little farther than most. She’s a mayor, wife, stepmother, daughter and business owner, but she also dons a hat that most women never wear: a football helmet. Twelve years ago, Bowen fulfilled a childhood dream when she joined a Toledo-area women’s football team. She first became interested in the sport in junior high. “On the first day of school, we had to fill out a form saying which sport we wanted to play,” she said. “I wrote down football, and the football coach said, ‘Pick another sport.’ When the opportunity to play came 20 years later, I took it.”
Bowen plays football for the Toledo Reign, the longest tenured women’s football team in Ohio. Some years the team has an abundance of players, and some years the roster is slim. During lean years, Bowen can play several different positions. “I play offensive line, and I can play offensive guard, offensive tackle and center,” she said. “I do defense also. Through the years, I’ve done defensive end, but my main position has been linebacker. Some years, hardly anybody played, and I had to play everything.”
At 46, Bowen is the oldest player on a team that has players as young as 17. At 5 foot, 4 inches, she’s also one of the smallest. Although she’s been sidelined by various injuries throughout the years — including fractured ribs, concussions, black eyes and a broken wrist and ulna that required the placement of a plate and six screws — she loves the sport and says she plays better than ever. “We play as rough as the men. It’s full tackle,” she said. “Often, someone across from me weighs twice as much as I do. I had to learn to be the aggressor and be the one to be giving the punishment — not receiving it. I’ve become a smarter player. I’m older now — and smarter.”
Bowen’s family has been supportive of her sport, but her father, she said, is done watching her play. “My father hasn’t watched me in a few years. He doesn’t want to see me get injured again,” she said. “He’s always saying, ‘Sandi, you can say you’ve done that already.’” But for Bowen, the aggression is part of the fun. “It’s a challenge. You can get out of it what you put into it. It’s not just physically tough, it’s mentally tough,” she said. “I do like it. I keep taking the punishment, but I hope I deliver as much as I take.”
Football is only one part of Bowen’s busy life. She is in the third year of a four-year term as mayor; she owns Sandi’s Village Cafe in Lindsey; she owns Clear View Enterprises window cleaning; and she is a licensed massage therapist who recently got back into the profession. Bowen is not a Lindsey native, but when she moved there in 2002, she wanted to immerse herself into the small community. She joined village council in 2003, eventually became council president, and was named mayor in 2012. “I like it,” she said. “There have been a lot of challenges, but we have a great support team here in the town. I wouldn’t be able to do the job as well if not for the people on council and the people helping out. People volunteer to mow and remove snow, and Rod Opelt, the former mayor, does a lot of work.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/10850007/How-to-shave-25pc-off-your-car-insurance.html
Tweaking your job description could get you a cheaper deal on your car insurance, experts say - A careful choice of the words you use to describe your job could shave up to 25pc off your car insurance premiums. It may seem bizarre, but research for Your Money has found that many insurers place a heavy emphasis on drivers’ professions – as well their experience behind the wheel – when it comes to quotes. The nature of a person’s job could lead to substantially higher or lower insurance claims, insurers say, with certain jobs, such as a window cleaner, judged to be more accident-prone than, say, the bursar of a school.
Despite the occupations having no direct bearing on drivers’ experience or skill, they can cause premiums to vary by thousands of pounds. For instance, research by comparison site Confused.com last year found that a window cleaner was quoted £4,607 while the school bursar was quoted just £372 – despite them insuring the same car in the same postcode. Of course other factors, including age, type of car and driving history are also considered. But none of these factors can be “tweaked” in order to get a better deal. Your job, on the other hand, can quite legitimately be described in a number of ways.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Looking-staff-health-safety-makes-business-sense/story-21064780-detail/story.html
Looking after staff health and safety 'makes business sense' - "Health and safety can come over as a very negative thing – like the reason it's there is to stop things from happening. "But proper health and safety professionals are there to enable businesses to do their jobs effectively, but have reasonable appreciation of doing it safely. "When you see contractors with workers in flip-flops and shorts, against another one whose staff are in uniforms, it gives a completely different feel. And actually, if you do things safely, you often do them more quickly and the quality of the work is usually better. "So the industry wants to drive out those who are in it for a quick buck – the cowboys – because very often that's where the problems lie and the accidents happen."
Proportion is a word which comes up a lot in discussions on health and safety. In this context, it relates to the management of risk – so measures taken depend on the risk involved. Mr Fear uses ladders as an example. Would it be proportionate mitigation of risk for a handyman changing a lightbulb in his elderly neighbour's kitchen to use a hydraulic platform? Of course not. At the other extreme, neither is it appropriately risk-conscious for a window cleaner who is spending a week cleaning the outside of a three-storey building to use an extendable ladder. Common sense needs to be applied. Health and safety can also bring significant benefits to the bottom line of a business. Mr Fear said: "In terms of productivity, the disruption is significant when key members of staff are off sick because they've injured their backs. "You might have to replace them, there's potential for compensation claims – from a business point of view it makes sense to look after your staff." So there are many business benefits to running a company which meets standards laid down by health and safety legislation – such as efficiency, reputation and having staff who feel valued.

http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/columns/columns/expat-view/10517-my-finnish-experience.html
Finland maintains one of the best living standards in the world. Finns are very pragmatic and the simplest of issues are taken care of, which is not always the case, even in most of the developed countries. For example, it is very easy to clean windows in Finland, as all the windows open inwards. Even in developed countries many window-cleaning companies earn their livelihood just because windows open outwards.

A call has been sounded for former pupils at Harold Street Boys School in Grimsby for a reunion. Keith Thompson is organising the get together for those that left in 1965, most of whom will be turning 65 and celebrating their retirements this year and in 2015. Former pupil Keith, now 64, wants to round up as many ex-pupils are possible for the event to be held sometime next year, probably in the summer. Keith said: "We left in 1965, some of us in May and some in July, as it was staggered, so most of us will be looking at retirement next year. "Next year everybody will be turning 65 so it's the perfect time to mark that with a reunion and I hope to get as many people as possible to come along. "We had a class of about 32 and there were three or four classes so that's maybe 120 pupils. Some sadly won't be with us any more and others will have moved away."
Keith, now a window cleaner in Grimsby, has a special keepsake from his former school, after he was given the school bell when the buildings were knocked down. He said: "A gentleman working on the site rescued it and gave it to me, so it's very special as it was used right up until the school was demolished. "If you wire it up it will still work. I remember it being very loud!" He continued: "We have held reunions before but the last one was quite a long time ago. "As a window cleaner I still come across some of the old faces now and again, but it would be brilliant to get some of them back together." The reunion will raise money for two charities, St Andrew's Hospice and the Pink Rose Suite at Grimsby's Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital.

Karen Daly - Daly, 68, has served on the Lincoln City Council for seven years and owns a window cleaning business. “I am running again because I have objectives for the city and want to keep it an inspirational place to live,” she said. Daly holds the finance and tree portfolios for the city council. “We’ve got our budget in line,” Daly said of her tenure. “We tightened our belts some. We have worked hard to not add special assessments unless they are needed.” She said the most important issue for the city is expanding its maintenance shop. “We hope in the future to house a rural fire department truck,” she said.“The roads the rural fire department uses to reach us are hard to access because they have to cross the railroad tracks and they can be blocked. So do other emergency vehicles,” said. The city has been setting aside money for it so it won’t need a special assessment to pay for a larger shop.

http://www.management-issues.com/opinion/6906/standing-up-on-the-job/
Standing up on the job: Last month it was reported that staff at London's National Gallery were up in arms about management proposals to stop some of them sitting down on duty by removing the chairs that are currently available for them to use during their four-hour shifts. After all, standing up is far more healthy than sitting down and in a workplace where customers are always on their feet, it must surely be best to interact with them at eye level. Limbless people who have no option but to sit are very aware of the disadvantage eye level difference makes to their ability to connect with other people. And rarely would they choose to sit in one spot for long periods. There's a psychological benefit, too. To see familiar spaces from different angles from time to time and exchange occasional remarks with members of the public is guaranteed to make working hours pass more quickly and help make them less tiring.
The reason for my being so certain about those last points is that the more we move and the more we speak, the deeper and more frequently we have to inhale and exhale. This, in turn, ups our oxygen intake, increases the flow of blood to the brain, keeps us more alert, makes us feel more energetic and enables us to deliver better results - no matter what form of work we do.
Shop assistants survive being on their feet at work. So do gardeners, teachers, nurses, doctors, cleaners, waiters, builders, (need I go on?). Window cleaners and painters even do it on the rungs of ladders. The realization that sitting down all day is generally a bad idea has led to the growing popularity of lectern-like ' standing desks' that let otherwise sedentary office staff move around as they work at their computers. A pretty good precedent for the value of this comes from Goethe, who was one of the most productive thinkers known to history. Though he had wealth enough to buy sofas, chairs, tables and desks galore, he nevertheless, chose to stand both to read and write even when in his 80's.

Under a cloudy sky, Window Cleaner Ricardo Cortez helps wash the Wells Fargo building Friday morning with the help of Juan Gonzalez in downtown Anaheim. The 12 story, 156 foot building's windows are washed twice a year and takes a week to complete.

Man caught by have-a-go heroes admits trying to rob bank - A man has admitted using a fake gun to try and rob a bank. Andrew Fernandez demanded money from the cashier at Lloyds Bank in Brighton Road, Coulsdon, on November 27 last year. The 47-year-old, of no fixed abode, was chased out of the bank by a local window cleaner, James Rowley, who had popped inside. He was then caught by Mr Rowley's colleague, Daniel Sandholm, who held him in the next-door road until police arrived. Mr Fernandez pleaded guilty at Kingston Crown Court today (Monday)to attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and two further counts of possession of an imitation firearm, relating to offences on July 12 and September 27 last year. He has been remanded in custody to be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on June 16.

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/11231741.Woman_dies_suddenly_at_Blackburn_house/?ref=var_0
A woman died suddenly while visiting a friend’s house in Blackburn. The 42-year-old, who has not been named, was with her boyfriend at the home of Peter Sline in Moorland Avenue, Feniscowles, in the early hours of yesterday. Police confirmed they had been alerted to the death and that it was not believed to be suspicious. Yesterday, Mr Sline, a window cleaner, said the three had been drinking when the woman passed away. He said: “She had been asleep for about an hour and then she just got up, lay down on the floor and died.”

Keith Byrne death: Family of hit-and-run victim beg driver to come forward - The heartbroken family of hit-and-run victim Keith Byrne have begged the driver to come forward and end their nightmare. The 35-year-old’s brother John and sister Niamh said they have been left devastated since he was killed as he made his way home after a night out with pals earlier this month. Keith’s body was discovered by a motorist on May 11 just metres from the family home in Carnalogue, near Louth village. Mr O’Regan was cycling to work on April 15 when he was shot dead by a lone gunman in North Dublin.
The 48-year-old, who worked as a window cleaner in the area, was making his was along Gateway Avenue in Ballymun at around 8.20am when a man cycled up behind him and shot him. Garda believe the gunman may have been lying in wait in the area for some time before the attack. Detectives also hope to get a response over the murder of 39-year-old Mr Carroll who was gunned down outside his home on Cherrywood Drive in Clondalkin, West Dublin, on August 29 last year. Gardai are appealing for information on earlier on the night of the murder and on the car used in the getaway.

http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/news/drug-dealer-hit-£80000-poca-bill
Drug Dealer Hit With £80,000 POCA Bill - A Bradford drug dealer has been ordered to pay back almost £80,000 of his ill-gotten gains or face more time behind bars. Peter Rawson, aged 38, of Henley Road, Bradford, was jailed last year for three years after he was found guilty of money laundering and drugs supply offences. Officers executed a warrant at the self-employed window cleaner's house in April 2011 and seized 1,400 diapazam tablets and £2,900 in cash. And today Judge Burn at Bradford Crown Court granted a confiscation order against Rawson for £79,169.79. He was given six months to repay the amount or will have 21 months added to his original sentence. If he fails to pay the full amount within the specified time he will serve a lengthier term and still have to pay the amount outstanding. The money will be used for community projects and policing operations.
Recorder Jonathan Sandiford, said that over five years, £198,000 was paid into Rawson’s bank account – some of it was accounted for – and money was also transferred offshore to Thailand and brought back in carrier bags. Yesterday, at a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Bradford Crown Court, Judge Colin Burn agreed that Rawson had benefited from his crimes by £101,428, but the available amount was £79,169. Judge Burn ordered Rawson to pay the latter sum within six months, with 21 months imprisonment in default.
At the sentencing hearing, Recorder Sandiford told Rawson he had to sentence him for money laundering of just under £100,000, though he said some of the money he received went to pay other people and the costs of his window cleaning business. Recorder Sandiford, said: “It seems to me there was an element of professionalism in your criminality.” Describing it as “classic money laundering behaviour,” Recorder Sandiford added: “You were a man prepared to take in any cash if there was money to be made. “You didn’t care where the money came from.” Rawson’s barrister, Richard Wright QC, said his client had done work for a children’s cancer charity and had sent food parcels to British troops serving in Afghanistan.

A con man who preyed on elderly women by falsely claiming to have carried out roof repairs and washed windows has been jailed for 40 weeks. Rogue trader Darren Greenhalgh ruthlessly targeted his victims over the space of four days in March, knowing they were particularly vulnerable. The pensioners, aged 89, 84, 79 and 69, all lived in Eccleston. He tricked one of them – who has short-term memory loss out of £300. Greenhalgh, 27, from Higham Avenue in Eccleston, had cleaned their windows legitimately in the past. But he returned to an address on Pike House Road on March 23 to demand £20 from a 69-year-old woman after lying that he had fixed roof tiles. At St Helens Magistrates’ Court, Angela Blackmore, prosecuting, said: “She was confused and was not aware that any tiles had been broken. “But she assumed he was telling the truth and gave him the cash. She thought nothing else of it until her window cleaner came to her house and it was mentioned.

A man employed by a window washing company tried to steal about $40,000 worth of jewelry from a Fairfield Beach Road home Saturday afternoon, police said (FAIRFIELD, Conn.). The homeowner said after the two workers for Luigi's Squeegee left around 3:30 p.m., she found that a locked dresser in a second-floor room had been pried open. She called police, and the company's owner, who told the two workers to return to the home. It was determined that only Angel Filomeno-Rodriguez, 26, had been on the second floor of the home, according to the report, and a screwdriver was found in his pocket. None of the jewelry appeared to be missing, police said, and none was found in the truck used by the employees. There was about $1,000 worth of damage done to the dresser, police said. Filomeno-Rodriguez, who lives on St. Stephen Road in Bridgeport, was charged with criminal attempt at first-degree larceny and second-degree criminal mischief. Bond was set at $2,500 and he is scheduled to appear May 28 in Bridgeport Superior Court.

Barrow window cleaner attacked his ex-partner: A Barrow woman woke up to find her ex-partner in her house clutching a baseball bat, a court was told. Martin Jackson, 23, of Longway, Barrow, assaulted Zoe Drewery, the mother of his child, at her home in Fenton Street, Barrow, on the morning of Saturday May 17. Jackson smashed Miss Drewery’s television before grabbing her face and pushing her in the chest, causing her to fall to the ground. Miss Drewery had gone to sleep downstairs in the living room when she woke to find Jackson, a window cleaner, with a baseball bat in his hands. Miss Drewery had been in a relationship with Jackson for three years and the couple have a two-month-old daughter together. Jackson pleaded guilty to assault by beating, causing criminal damage and possession of cannabis at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday. Mr Lee Dacre, prosecuting, said: “The victim woke up at 5.50am. She saw that the defendant was in the lounge with a baseball bat. “Jackson destroyed the TV set. The victim shouted for him to leave. He said ‘no’. “He grabbed her by her face and her right wrist. The defendant was then abusive to the victim. He pushed her to the chest and she fell to the floor.”
The court was told that the pair had argued during the previous night. Jackson was caught by police officers shortly after the incident and was found in possession of cannabis. Mr Mike Graham, defending, told the court that Jackson had been receiving support for alcohol and anger issues. Jackson was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £60 victim surcharge. He will have to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and an alcohol awareness programme. A restraining order, banning Jackson from entering Miss Drewery’s home, was also imposed. District judge Mr David Purcell said: “This was a serious offence against a vulnerable victim which is made worse by the fact that you were so drunk. “Violence is always serious but when it takes place in your own home at the hands of someone you are supposed to trust, it makes it so much worse.”

Paedophile jailed for 'debauching boys as they slept' - A "dangerous" paedophile from Farnham who repeatedly abused young boys after luring them with video games and takeaways has been given a nine-year term. Rodney Reast, 53, was sentenced for 12 sexual offences involving youngsters at Guildford Crown Court last Friday (May 2). On the first day of a planned trial on March 31, he pleaded guilty to eight charges of indecent assault on a male under 16 and one count of sexual activity with a child. He also admitted two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and one of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent. Since 2011 after being convicted of other sexual offences, Reast has been jailed in HMP High Down and he will now remain in prison for at least another four years as part of the nine-year sentence. Reast abused four boys between 1996 and 2010 when they were aged between 10 and 16, Guildford Crown Court heard. The defendant, a window cleaner and part-time taxi driver, used to invite several boys to his home to play computer games, eat takeaways and stay the night.

http://www.eastwoodadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/breaking-news-alert-over-door-knocking-window-cleaners-1-6634524
BREAKING NEWS: alert over door-knocking ‘window cleaners’ -  Complaints have been made in the Eastwood area regarding men claiming to be window cleaners and touting for business. At 4pm on Thursday May 22, a man described as Asian and in his 20s is believed to have tried the door handle of a door on Thorpe Road. When challenged by the occupant, he said was a window cleaner looking for new customers. At 8.30pm on the same day, two men in their 20s, described as having West Midlands accents were door knocking in the area of Lindley Street and Engine Lane, claiming to be window cleaners looking for business. If you have any men acting suspiciously in your area, please call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency, providing us with a full description of persons and if possible details of any vehicles sighted and vehicle registration numbers.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Rope Access Window Cleaning News

Understanding the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 With its 351 pages of legal jargon, it is not difficult to see why many people are still in the dark when it comes to understanding the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 and their duties and obligations.
http://sourceable.net/safety-officers-crack-down-on-height-safety-systems/
Safety Officers Crack Down on Height Safety Systems (Australia) - Following a number of ‘near miss accidents’ in recent years, Workplace Health and Safety Officers from the Gold Coast region have spearheaded the creation of the Height Safety industry Working Group. The group, which convened for the first time in March, includes stakeholders from industry sectors including rope access, high rise window cleaning, height safety system installation and height safety equipment manufacturing. The officers identified window cleaning companies being at the greatest risk. 

These companies abseil down the building while attached to anchor point systems on the roof. In its meeting, the group identified the need to raise awareness of best practice principles in three main areas: Correct design, installation and certification of height safety systems; Raising the standard of safety of rope access companies; and Understanding of the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 by Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs). Design, Installation and Certification No amount of training or safe procedures can save a worker from a poorly designed and installed system.

An adequate design will address four separate points: Building layout: What sections of the building will need to be accessed? Building Structure: Is the building structure capable of sustaining the potential force of a fall? Anchor Design: The position, type and number of anchors that will be required? Rescue: In the event of an incident, does the design allow for a safe rescue? Installation is equally important. In order to protect yourself as a PCBU, it is important to ensure the installation company holds a QBCC license to install height safety systems, is an authorised installer for the manufacturer of the system in question, has adequate levels of experience in installing height safety systems and holds the required insurance. 

It is also important to clarify what certification and documents you will receive once the system is installed. Raising Standards Another goal of the working group is to raise the level of professionalism and safety within the rope access industry. Through better general education and awareness, they expect consumers will demand a higher standard of safety from rope access companies, and that rather simply awarding work according to the lowest quote, PCBUs will increasingly question areas such as qualifications, competency and experience. The follow on effect will be a more professional and safety conscious industry. 

Understanding the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 With its 351 pages of legal jargon, it is not difficult to see why many people are still in the dark when it comes to understanding the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 and their duties and obligations. It is a legal requirement that a PCBU has a duty to ‘eliminate risks to health and safety’ and ‘if it is not practicable to eliminate risks…to minimise those risks.’ Yet many building owners, corporate bodies and building managers do not fully understand this non-transferable obligation. Heavy penalties apply for failing to comply with the legislation, including large fines and potential jail sentences. 

The Act goes further to state that this duty cannot be transferred to another person and that more than one person can hold the same duty at the same time (part 2, division 1, subdivision 1, section 14 & 16.) How do you ensure compliance? So as a PCBU, how do you ensure you are getting the right advice and complying with your duty? You could read all 351 pages of the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 as well as the 735 pages of the Work Health & Safety Regulation 2011. Not to mention the Standards AS1891.4 and AS4488, or you could just follow these three simple rules: Properly research which companies you will choose to obtain a quote from. Ask the experience and compliance questions at the start of this article. Choose a company which is experienced, compliant, licenced and authorised, and is also willing to help educate you about your duties and obligations. 

Hopefully, the new working group will help drive industry change and raise standards. If it helps to prompt PCBUs to ask not only if they are complying with their obligations under the Act but also whether or not they have done everything possible to help keep people safe, it will succeed in this goal.

Stefan Bright - Acceptance of Triangle Award Speech: If you do not know anything about the professional window cleaning industry, here are a few tips to get you started; Number one,we prefer the term professional window cleaner over window washer. Homeowners are window washers, professional window cleaners require up to 6 months to become skilled enough to be able to perfectly clean over a hundred windows a day. Furthermore, it takes nearly a year to become equally proficient in the safe and correct use of the equipment needed to reach the windows.

Number two, we are not daredevils, cowboys nor are we crazy because we like working at heights. We are highly skilled tradespeople who enjoy the serenity of working above the general population using our artistic abilities to create a clear view of the world for those of you who get to look at it through our canvas.

Number three, we do have standards, guidelines, regulations and training programs to follow which help to ensure our health and safety as well as the safety of the general public as they walk by and look up at us plying our trade. The reason I am standing before you today is because it was not always this way. When I started cleaning windows myself in the late 1970’ s, there were no regulations, standards, guidelines or trade associations. I was only able to learn the trade from somebody who learned it from somebody else and realizing that a lot of it was based on trial and error.

Ten years later, I traveled from central Pennsylvania to the remote western town of Lubbock, Texas where the first ever gathering of professional window cleaners from across North America took place. At this event, over 60 window cleaners simultaneously discovered that we weren’t all alone in this occupation and that sharing our trials and errors would only help us all learn more about our occupation and safety. The International Window Cleaning Association, better known as the IWCA was born and the year was 1989.

The following year, Federal OSHA held a public hearing to begin the renovation of the General Industry Walking and Working Surface regulations which includes equipment and techniques used regularly by professional window cleaners. I testified at that hearing and a few months later, the President of the IWCA asked me to join the board of directors and head up the Safety and Training Standards Committee. That committee consisted of about a dozen professional window cleaners from across the country and together we agreed that our occupation needed a consistent set of safety guidelines. I had done some research and found that on average about 7 - 9 fatalities occurred each year in the window cleaning industry.

It took over a year for us to put together and publish the Safety Guidelines for Window Cleaning. Because nothing like this had ever existed before, several thousand copies were sold. This became the catalyst for many good things to come. Shortly afterwards , I spent over a year researching two decades worth of window cleaning accident case studies in order to pinpoint causes, hazards and methods of abatement. As a result, I was able to assemble a window cleaner safety training program to educate workers with identifying the hazards of our occupation and how to avoid them. That program was first delivered in 1993 and has been given several times a year ever since. In fact, I just came home this past Sunday (5/3/2014) from delivering it in Los Angeles, California.

The IWCA has estimated that over 6,500 professional window cleaners have attended and taken part in this training. I know that these professionals have taught others in the trade so the real outreach has been significantly greater. All this knowledge, experience and education helped with the development of an American National Standard for Window Cleaning Safety in 2001 which has helped OSHA, architects, engineers, designers and builders better understand the requirements for safe building maintenance. It was our way of introducing prevention through design to the window cleaning industry.

The safety training program and industry safety standard were the core documents which contributed to the creation of the Window Cleaner Safety Certification program. This is an IWCA program that is a study course which requires taking three online tests and a proctored final exam. All these accomplishments have made a difference. Professional window cleaning is the number one trade that takes place on commercial and residential mid to high rise buildings more than any other. There are upwards of twenty thousand workers exposed to serious fall hazards every day in North America and  no longer do professional window cleaners have to guess, or practice their trade by trial and error which can have fatal consequences.

Today, there are readily available sources of knowledge, experience and safety training. The Alliance between OSHA and the IWCA has helped to expand the educational outreach. This past February, the IWCA celebrated its 25th anniversary. I was asked to compile and deliver the list of safety related milestones the organization had achieved in that time. The most significant achievement was the statistic showing a 30 percent reduction in the number of fatalities in the window cleaning industry over the last 10 year. After reading these milestones to the audience , I think several people in attendance there may have thought to nominate me for this award. I thank them for that.

The greatest reward for doing what I do is when a window cleaner shakes my hand and thanks me for helping them to learn how to think more safely about their occupation which in turn, helps them to work safer. Over the years many have even told me I’ve saved their lives or that of a co-worker. Receiving this award from the American Society of Safety Engineers is extremely gratifying. I have benefited by being a member of the ASSE since 1997 and having such an esteemed organization that is outside of the window cleaning industry recognize and distinguish my efforts is most honorable and greatly appreciated. And in saving the best for last, I could not have done any of what I have without the extreme sacrifice and support of my best friend , who happens to be my wife of over 30 years, Michele. Thank you for your patience, tolerance and acceptance of what I do, which helped me make a difference. Thankyou.

The caped crusader window washers were back on the job for a second year at an Oregon children's hospital - not fighting crime, but fighting grime. Super heroes descend the nine stories of Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel for the second year.
Superheroes lift kids' spirits at Portland hospital: Superheroes took to the skies at Randall Children’s Hospital Monday fighting not crime but grime. “Holy squeegy Batman – it’s time to get to work,” shouted a window washer decked out as the Boy Wonder. A half dozen members of the regular window washing crew donned tights and capes to delight young patients. “This is the second year for this and I’m looking forward to all the smiles and high fives,” said Batman as he was suiting up.

This year’s event included a super twist for the kids. “We’re here with free costumes for all the patients,” said Alison Hicks who runs Chelsea’s Closet in memory of her daughter. “Dress-up was her favorite thing when she was in the hospital, it gave her a reason to get up in the morning,” Hicks said, of her daughter.

Before the superheroes arrived, costumes were delivered to rooms and out-patients selected outfits from a hallway rack. “It’s so nice to have him come here for something other than chemotherapy,” said the mother of a three-year-old patient. For the dangling half dozen doing the dirty work, there was a big pay off. “It so nice to come and brighten the day of these kids who are going through tough times, and they end up brightening our day as well,” concluded Spiderman. 

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/05/09/union-files-complaint-custodian-death-uc-berkeley-window-washer/
Union Files Complaint In Death Of Window-Washing Custodian At UC Berkeley - A union representing service workers at the University of California, Berkeley has filed a complaint with state authorities over the death of a custodian. Forty-five-year-old Damon Frick died after falling from a lift on April 7 while washing window sills at a campus auditorium 20 feet above the ground. The complaint against the university says Frick never received proper safety training, and his supervisor assigned him the job even though those duties weren’t part of his typical work. It was filed Wednesday with the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Frick’s family separately is pursuing a wrongful death claim against UC Berkeley. A call to the university on Friday was not immediately returned.

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