Wednesday 30 April 2008

Mass held for Deceased

NYC construction workers hold Mass for dead colleagues. NEW YORK — Thousands gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Monday at a Mass organized by city construction workers to remember more than two dozen of their colleagues killed on the job in the past year. Workers, some who came straight from the job dressed in work boots and jeans, were joined by family members of some of the 26 union and nonunion workers killed in the past year. Several times the workers raised their hats to nine chairs, each with a different colored hard hat and roses or daffodils on the seats. Eight referred to the union construction workers who lost their lives since last April, while the ninth represented the 18 who died in nonunion jobs, Jordan said. Bells rang as labor officials recited the names of those killed. The dead include six of seven victims of the March 15 crane collapse, a window washer who fell off a Manhattan skyscraper and a man who plunged 40 stories to his death off a Donald Trump tower. The ceremony was on Workers Memorial Day, which is held annually to commemorate the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act. But city construction workers have not held a Mass this large before and many said the crane collapse called greater attention to the high risks of their industry.

Driving Down Prices – The first online marketplace for house cleaning services. Is the new trend of getting everything for less & cheaper taking over the world? It says, and I quote:
"BidMyCleaning is first to bring you one-stop shopping for the best prices on house cleaning services with instant bids and the convenience of immediate online scheduling."
"The first and only website to offer you competitive bids from cleaning service providers who have been rated by BidMyCleaning and by other customers like you. We are your trusted connection to reliable, quality cleaning service providers. Whether you need just maid service or a top-to-bottom cleaning including carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning and window cleaning we have it all for you! And your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed". "When you're looking for the best rates on cleaning services and you don't want to waste time going from one provider site to the next submitting queries or sending e-mails requesting estimates, offers you a choice from a range of instant bids from cleaning companies that meet our strict standards and those of our customers - customer's just like you who want quality cleaning services at a good price. Our double rating system is as good as receiving a personal referral, perhaps even better! is the only online marketplace for cleaning services where consumers can receive instant competitive bids tailored to their specific needs for maid service, carpet cleaning and window cleaning. After selecting a bid the consumer can then schedule their service online immediately. All payments are handled in a secure online environment. For cleaning providers, provides free online management tools creating the only market opportunity that gives businesses control over their schedule, clients and performance.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Window Cleaning News Round-Up

Omaha firefighters rescued a construction worker Monday morning after a scaffold malfunction left him suspended two stories up on the side of a downtown building. Two workers were on the scaffold on the west side of the Wells Fargo building at 20th and Farnam when it gave way shortly after 11 a.m. One worker managed to climb down. The other wasn't able to get down. "He was stuck on about the second floor,” says Omaha Fire Battalion Chief Mark Ervin. "We estimated he was about 30 feet from concrete. "What saved him? “The fall harness,” says Chief Ervin. “He was tethered to the roof for safety." Otherwise it could have killed him. “There's a very good chance it could have killed him,” says Chief Ervin. After a few minutes, firefighters were able to raise a bucket to reach the man. Paramedics checked him out to make sure he was okay. It's not clear what caused the scaffold to break. Traffic was briefly stopped in the area while the worker was brought down.

Mark Bromley: from soapy rags to riches (he hopes). As his first play opens at the King's Head, a window cleaner explains why he wants to get rid of his ladder and bucket. Thirty-six-year-old Mark Bromley is a window cleaner, but he's not washing today. He has written a pair of plays, and he's here to direct them. “I've got a ladder and a bucket and two days a week I listen to music and clean windows,” he says. “The sun's out - lovely. It could be very lucrative, but I don't want any more customers. I'm thinking about my play now.” He rubs a hand over red eyes. “And I'm flat on my arse financially.” To hire the theatre, Bromley had to raise £2,200, which he did through donations, a sponsored run and intensive window-cleaning. He is yet to pay the actors and has a 14-year-old daughter to support. “I want to do what I love doing, but I have no other means of income so I'll have to get up a ladder this week - and it's the most important week of my life.” Bromley's livelihood depends on how many tickets he sells and on bringing the production up to scratch to attract an agent. “I want to give up window cleaning this year. I've had enough of struggling.” “What gets me,” he says, sitting up, “is that Guy Ritchie - a one-trick pony - is swanning around making films, and he's not cleaning f***ing windows. I believe I have something better to offer, but I'm not given the chance,” he peaks before sitting back and grabbing his pint. “So I have turned back to theatre, it's more egalitarian.”
Dining downturn: Restaurateurs face rising costs & thriftier customers. The steaks at Cattlemens are a little smaller. The pizzas at Mary's Pizza Shack are a little pricier. The pastas at Flavor have less cheese and more vegetables. And the busboys at Checkers also wash windows. "In the 12 years I've been here, I've never seen anything like it," said Katherine Castillo, owner of Checkers Bistro & Wine Bar in downtown Santa Rosa. "It's a scary time right now, but I'm hopeful it's not going to last," says Castillo, who managed the restaurant for a decade before buying it in 2006. At Flavor, on Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa, chef and co-owner Charles Downing said the cost increases are brutal. She's cut back on fresh flowers. She's stopped using a window-washing service, asking the busboys to do it instead. ("They've got nothing but time," she says.)
Democratic senators want tougher OSHA penalties. People can get more prison time for mail fraud than for violating safety standards that can kill workers, Democratic senators said Tuesday as they called for tougher punishment for workplace fatalities and stricter enforcement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The maximum OSHA civil penalty for a safety violation is $70,000 and the maximum prison sentence for a willful violation of a safety standard that leads to a worker's death is six months, said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. In contrast, mail fraud can draw a top sentence of 30 years. There were 5,840 fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2006 - a fatality rate of 4.0 per 100,000 employed workers - the most recent numbers available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. OSHA said that the fatality rate was the lowest since the BLS instituted its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 1992.
Normally, the Philadelphia School District would welcome a free window washing. But on this day, service comes with a healthy dose of youthful indignation. To represent their cause, protesters are dressed in head–to–toe white jump suits. Donning rubber gloves, they wash the building’s windows in staged protest. Reemerging from the district headquarters, the CEO dances with students to Outkast’s ”So Fresh So Clean” as the window washing continues. The din of chants and cheers subsides as she saunters to the mike to give her first public address to students since taking office.

Monday 28 April 2008

Water Fed New Poles

Three reasons why window cleaners need a newly designed pole, is written by Peter Fogwill (pictured) of Aquatec Systems. Peter brought out a rapidly extending pole last year - it is being improved on as we speak & the new version will hopefully be announced soon. The article on water fed poles can be read here. The video shown is of the pole in action. Peter also featured before in this article with his auto-brush & the videos.
If you like the article, you may be interested in: - (click on links).

Brush types

Poles for window cleaning

Window Cleaning water shortages

Water fed pole equipment

Green Cleaning Schools

Knoxville High School custodian Sheila Larkins mops the cafeteria on Thursday morning. KHS is already implementing the use of some “green” cleaning products. The Green Cleaning Schools act mandates all Illinois schools buy certified green cleaning products after May 9. New state law requires districts use certified-green cleaning products after May 9. Source:
“I see a dirty window, and I have to clean it,” said the Knoxville High School day custodian. And she has her preferences when cleaning those windows. A product can’t leave streaks on the glass. Sometimes, she uses paper towels from the restrooms to wipe off the cleaner, equating its effectiveness to newspaper. And just when she thinks she’s gotten it all figured out, a new state law changes the way she works. The Green Cleaning Schools Act, signed into law by Governor Rod Blagojevich on Aug. 13, 2007, mandates all Illinois schools purchase certified-green cleaning products in six categories — bathroom cleaners; carpet cleaners; general purpose and hard floor surface cleaners; glass, window and mirror cleaners; hand cleaners and hand soaps; and paper products — after May 9. Illinois is only the second state to implement such a law. New York was first, with much more stringent stipulations. Schools may use any remaining non-green cleaners they have on hand after May 9, but all new purchases after that time must be green. Many schools, in order to offset the potential increase in costs, have joined cooperatives allowing them to purchase supplies directly from manufacturers. “They don’t clean as well,” Larkins said of the products moving into her storeroom, but “the vendor can come and make them stronger if we complain about them not cleaning as well.

Cleaning Staff: Clean Forgotten?

Finally some fine journalistic reporting but rather lengthy notes from Safety & Health Practioner Magazine:
The people who clean our workplaces make our working lives easier and more pleasant but, laments Dr Chris Ide, precious little attention is paid to the many work-related hazards and risks they face. For a long time, cleaners tended to be typecast as Mrs Mop, whose catchphrase “Can I do you now, sir?’ Cleaning is generally regarded as a task carried out by women. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) tells us that, of the 537,000 employed in cleaning, almost 84 per cent are female, and about 70 per cent are part-time. Men sometimes undertake cleaning duties as well, but tend to be employed as window and street-cleaners, or refuse collectors. According to the LFS, the 61,000 involved in these three tasks are exclusively male and almost entirely full-time employees, although there is a substantial proportion of self-employment among window cleaners. Alternatively, or additionally, cleaning materials may be used to improve the appearance of the surface or object by making it smell more pleasant, disinfecting it, or giving it a shine. The combination of the environment or location that needs to be cleaned, and the chemicals, tools and techniques used to carry this out can present to the cleaning workers involved a wide variety of hazards, which need to be assessed by those who deploy the staff. The cleaners themselves must also receive appropriate training to ensure they understand the nature of these hazards, and the steps they need to take to protect themselves. The plethora of mops, brushes and brooms used by many cleaners can place heavy static loads on their bones and joints, and force them to adopt awkward postures. This, in turn, may give rise to low-back and neck pain and other musculoskeletal disorders, such as work-related upper limb disorders, affecting the shoulders, elbows and wrists, particularly if the task involves lengthy periods of frequent repetitive movements and/or hard gripping, squeezing, or wringing. During the six years or so during which data was collected, the annual incidence of contact dermatitis was 12.9 per 100,000 workers. As well as being more common in young women, it also appeared to hit more men as they got older. About 13 per cent were due to soaps and cleaning agents, and 11 per cent to wet work. A lot of window cleaners seem to be abandoning ladders for water-filled poles, which enable the worker to remain with their feet on the ground. Others use cherry-pickers, aerial ladder platforms, and scissor lifts to help them meet the requirements of the Working at Height Regulations. However, technological sophistication comes at a price – the need for proper training, and maintenance of the equipment. This applies just as much to traditional equipment – ladders should not have broken rungs, for example. Appropriate, comfortable clothing is also a ‘must’, particularly for those who are working outdoors in cold and/or wet weather. Lone-working is also an issue. As previously mentioned, cleaners often go about their work while other employees are at home, i.e. during the night, or early mornings. Thus they often have to work with little or no heating, ventilation, or air conditioning, which is usually turned down or off outside ‘normal’ working hours. In addition, cleaners often work in very small groups or even alone, and so are more vulnerable to harassment. Since cleaning is regarded as a rather lowly job, which is relatively poorly paid, it often recruits those with low levels of educational attainment. Immigrants also form a large proportion of the cleaning community. Consequently, employers must give particular thought to organising appropriate training, covering such things as safe working techniques. There is the danger that such workers can lull themselves into a false sense of security, since they are working with supplies that may resemble those used in their own homes, only to be put into harm’s way because larger quantities have to be used, or the materials are at “industrial-strength”.

Sunday 27 April 2008

The ProCurve® Window Cleaning System

The ProCurve®, made by Mr. Longarm has been around now for quite a few years. I've managed to tackle quite a few "unreachable" windows with it since buying one. Recently I managed to get my hands on the new ErgoCurve™ & what a joy it is. The ErgoCurve™ ergonomic tri-lobal handle has a slightly rounded triangular shape which makes it easier to use and more comfortable with less fatigue. It also causes less stress on the hands and wrists. If you are cleaning difficult to reach internal windows - this tool is a must on everyones list.

When R.D. Newman (pictured above) invented the first aluminum telescopic extension handle in 1958, he was fulfilling the needs of a customer. Now Mr.LongArm produces over 300 hundred products that make life easier for professional and do-it-yourself painters, window washers and cleaners. Mr.LongArm has continued to prosper for over 46 years, due in great extent to its ability to listen to and meet the demands of its markets. The idea for the first aluminum extension handle came to R.D. Newman while he was making a sales call on a paint business in Wichita in 1958. The owner and a paint contractor were struggling, trying to tape a paint roller frame to a piece of regular electrical conduit. Mr.LongArm's telescoping poles have evolved over the years and the research and development departments continue to make great strides in product enhancements using CFT technology: Continuous Fiber Thermoplastics are the first-ever production-capable filaments utilized in the extension pole market. This patented technology is licensed exclusively by Mr. LongArm and its benefits include:- Extremely rigid and smooth tubing with a favorable overall weight. A real world durability and impact resistance & resistant to corrosion and UV degradation. They are easily formed for ergonomic benefits.

Below is another video taken by Alex of Window Cleaning Resource at the recent IWCA show that recently took place in San Diego.

Saturday 26 April 2008

Window Cleaning News Update

Window washer stranded. In Marquette, Michigan - Doug Kitchel, a window washer with All About Services in Marquette, experienced a few anxious moments on Friday morning. He was doing his work outside the third floor of a building at Front and Washington Streets, when the boom's hydraulic line blew, spilling ten gallons of fluid down the street. "Initially I was really scared," said Kitchel, "but as soon as I realized that there was nothing to be scared about, it went away. I was just looking forward to getting down." A crew repaired the line, added fluid, and brought Kitchel down. The Marquette Fire Department cleaned up the leak with an absorbent material. Kitchel spent about 40 minutes in his perch. He said he had a fine view of the Lower Harbor up there. Video can be seen here from minute 19:30.

Blaze killer faces life after killing a window cleaner & a fellow squatter by arson in Oxford, UK. James Cox, 63 a homeless man bearing a grudge was today found guilty of murdering his lover and her friend when he torched a cottage as they slept. A jury of five women and seven men took five hours to unanimously convict Cox of murdering Mrs Sanchez, 36, and Mr Blake, 51, at Redbridge Cottage, Old Abingdon Road, Oxford, on January 2, 2007. Former window cleaner and painter and decorator Howard Blake, 51, was born in Norwich but his family originated from Dublin. He leaves a son, Anthony, 13, who lives with his mother, Elizabeth, in Ireland.

Walter, the Window Washer (Honolulu). The job of a professional high rise window washer takes nerves of steel and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Andrew Tanaka of World Wide Window Cleaning gives me some advice, "The most important thing is probably really knowing your knots." He says, "I mean, that's our life line... If you don't know how to tie a knot, you're just going to go down the building." Then, they show me the tiny 18 inch seat i'll be dangling from, and the nerves start to kick in. Andrew Tanaka says, "My office view is better than anybody else's corner office. He adds, "I get to be outdoors everyday, and it's always something new no matter what." Watch video here.

Maid day, Chicago. Leave your spring cleaning to the pros—it’s not as expensive as you might think. Many female cleaning teams to choose from, including Merry Maids, Raquel’s Cleaning Specialists, Dust Bunnies (pictured) & Sparkle Queen. Dust Bunnies are a new company that sends scantily clad young ladies—they clean in lingerie, in French maid attire or topless—to your (presumably bachelor) pad.

Window cleaner’ makes triumphant return. To generations of Dubliners he is known simply as the ‘Window Cleaner’. However, Sonny Knowles, who is enjoying every minute of an unbelievable return to live performing, may have to change that nickname to ‘Lucky’. A new CD that has sold tens of thousands of copies, TV appearances and sold out gigs at Cork Opera House, the National Concert Hall, Gaiety Theatre and the Civic Theatre, Tallaght, has proved that Sonny is as popular, if not more popular, than ever before. Suffering from ill-health, Sonny is known as the window cleaner due to his trademark mannerism of moving the palms of his hands in a clockwise motion while belting out a tune, bringing smiles and chuckles from every Irish person young and old.

Friday 25 April 2008

Wedding Proposal

Reported today in Lawrence, Wilmington, Delaware. Matt Boucher, a 23-year-old, who washes windows for extra cash, whipped out white shoe polish and scribbled "Abby, will you marry me?" on the diner's glass-paneled door. Abby Dyson, a waitress at the Broadway diner, said yes. Carleen's Coffee Shop staff kept the proposal on the door all weekend, giving customers something to talk about. Boucher, a Lawrence native, had recently started washing windows at Carleen's once a month as a part-time gig besides his job with Textron Systems in Wilmington. Dyson, 22, of Methuen has been a waitress there on weekends for three years while she finishes her degree.

It nearly all went wrong for one fellow at the Signature Room restaurant, Chicago on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center, when he noticed a window washer on a scaffold just outside. This gave the fellow an idea for his pending marriage proposal. He later called to make reservations for the big night, and talked with the staff to plan specifics - including a window washer to help him pop the question. The Signature Room offers a romantic ambiance. The 8,000-square-foot restaurant is framed by windows overlooking Chicago and the lake. When a gent makes a reservation requesting the proposal package, Signature Room staff help him customize the experience. To accommodate this gent's request, "We called the window washing company," said Angela Roman, the Signature Room Marketing Manager, "And a window washer came during the reservation." The washer was dressed in navy blue coveralls as his scaffold rose outside their window. He held a sign that read "Will you marry me, Sarah?" Nearby diners took notice as Sarah gave the window washer a double take, and her face turned white. She had such a horrified expression, it seemed she were going to say no. "I swear I never met that guy," she finally spoke to her sweetheart. "I don't know why he's proposing to me." It took a beat for him to understand her shock, and he sighed. He explained that he hired the window washer, and that he was the one proposing. With that clarified, Sarah responded with delight. Everyone around broke into applause.

In Kunming, China - two Chinese window washers tie the knot, whilst suspended in the air...

Thursday 24 April 2008

Window Cleaner Kills Other

Mark Robey stood on Fred Tucker’s kitchen counter last fall with his shoes drenched in Tucker’s blood, leaving behind the bloody footprints that lead to his arrest. Tucker’s girlfriend said Robey was looking for cash – the reason he brutally stabbed Tucker, 58, to death – to fuel his drug habit. Robey, 40, pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder. In addition to being neighbors, Tucker also employed Robey in his window-washing business. Robey also fathered of two of Tucker’s grandchildren.

A Guide to Plastics

Besides all the go-green items that number hundreds by the day now (Earth day was 2 days a go if you missed it), usually in the form of window sprays or eco-this or that. I came across a guide to plastics.
Somewhere on most – but not all – plastic containers is a recycling symbol and a number or acronym in or below the triangle to indicate the type of plastic. In general, only containers marked 1 or 2 are easily recycled.
1 Polyethylene terephthalate ethylene (PET or PETE) is used in disposable water, juice and soda bottles. It presents no known health hazards, particularly if used only once.
2 High density polyethylene (HDPE) is used in opaque milk jugs, bleach and shampoo bottles, and some plastic bags. No known health hazards.
3 Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or V) is used in cling wrap, some squeeze bottles, peanut butter jars and window-cleaner bottles. Many chemicals are added to PVC to make it soft and flexible. Some of these compounds are suspected toxins or endocrine disrupters.
4 Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is used in grocery bags, most plastic wraps and some bottles. No known health hazards.
5 Polypropylene (PP) is used in longer-lived plastics, straws and some baby bottles. No known health hazards.
6 Polystyrene (PS) is used in egg cartons, carryout containers, disposable cups and opaque plastic cutlery. It is made from styrene, a suspected carcinogen, and other chemicals believed to be endocrine disrupters.
7 All other plastic resins, including polycarbonates (PC), which are used in clear baby bottles, 5-gallon water bottles, food can linings and dental fillings. Polycarbonates contain bisphenol-a or BPA, which has been linked to a variety of maladies.

National Medalist Skier is a Window Cleaner

By profession, Taylor Sundali is a window washer, however someday he hopes to become a professional Cross-country skier. Growing up in the Wood River Valley he quickly became an "outdoor junkie." Climbing every mountain he could and biking all of our magnificent trails, he was bound to eventually end up on the Sun Valley Nordic team.

R. T. Services was created by Ryon Campbell and Taylor Sundali. In the highly competitive winter sports that we partake in, the supposed off-season (summer) is actually very crucial to training. Unfortunately, this is also the time where we are expected to rake in money to fund our expensive endeavors. Attempting to hold a regular job while training 20 hours a week is nearly impossible, so this is why we’ve created our own versatile summer job. A job where we’re the bosses so we can achieve the best possible schedule for training and pay. We have the equipment and resources required to do a fantastic job, the only thing we need now is an abundance of houses to sustain work. If you’re going to get your windows washed, you might as well get it done by us. We’ll do a better job for the same price, and at the same time, you’ll be helping out local athletes in need!

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Window Cleaning News Round-Up

A WINDOW cleaner cheated death when he fell 10ft from his ladder and brushed spiked railings at a Cambridge hotel, UK. The 42-year-old suffered a flesh wound to his leg but an ambulance worker said: "If he had fallen at a different angle it could have been a lot more serious. "The man was working as a sub-contractor cleaning windows at the De Vere University Arms Hotel when he appears to have slipped from his ladder. "He was awake and alert but complaining of numbness in his legs. "A spokesman for the hotel said: "We are investigating what happened and will be working closely with environmental health. "We have all the necessary risk assessments in place, and are satisfied it was a genuine accident." "We will also be speaking to the person who was injured and the company he works for to ensure they also had the correct safety procedures, such as non-slip shoes, in place." Note: This event was reported to have occured in Regent Street, London (incorrect).

In Virginia, USA: One side of a window-washing rig slipped from its anchoring near the top of a downtown Richmond office building this morning. The worker in the rig was able to right it and lower himself to safety. Richmond firefighters were called to an 11-story building at the James Center complex at Ninth and East Cary streets shortly before 10 a.m. for a report of a rig dangling near the roof. Firefighters closed off a portion of Ninth Street while the worker righted the misaligned side of the rig and slowly lowered himself to the sixth floor, a process that took about 30 minutes. At that point, the worker left the rig behind and rappelled safely to the ground. The worker was identified as Alejandro Alvarado, an employee of Universal Building Services.
LONG BEACH - As if leading the government of the fifth-largest city in California weren't enough, Mayor Bob Foster now does windows, too. On Monday morning in the lobby of City Hall, Foster demonstrated the use of new environmentally friendly cleaning products that soon could be used in all city buildings. Pictured: Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster cleans a City Hall window with a Sun Valley Green cleaning product under the eye of company founder Teresa Cochran. Foster announced a pilot program to give the firm's green cleaning products a trial.

And finally, monks in Bangkok, Thailand were reported to have cottoned on to the benefits of using water fed poles.....

Tuesday 22 April 2008

Beautifying the Valley for 27 years

The Mail Tribune have started a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon. Above: Jan and Don Lockett (Both 53) wash the windows of Medford City Hall Saturday.

How long have you lived in the Rogue Valley? I've been here 40 years and (Jan) is a native. What inspired you to go into this line of work? I worked at Med-Ply, SWL and Roseburg Lumber Co., and my brother-in-law had started a window cleaning business; I was looking to do something other than work in a plywood mill forever. What decision or action would you change if you could do it again? I would probably build the business faster. We didn't advertise in the Yellow Pages for about 10 years and we could have taken on employees from the beginning. We choose a different route for expansion rather than employees. We have expanded by starting a franchise system. By doing that, we've enabled to let a lot of people build their own business and do a quality job with our name. Who are your competitors? Long-time competitors would be like Mountain View in Ashland and Daley's Window Cleaning. Sometimes we are our own biggest competitor because of our franchising system. We showed up to bid a job once in Grants Pass and pulled up along side one of our franchisees who was making a bid at the same time; usually we don't directly compete. What's your advice for budding entrepreneurs? Keep your overhead low and be confident. Lots of times you second-guess yourself and a lot of times you don't take the opportunity to grow. Whenever you come back to the customer for a second time ,you've got to look at them in the eye and know you did a good job the first time.

Window Cleaning NASA

NASA awards Johnson Space Center cleaning contract to small business.
Integrity National Corp. (INC) won a contract with NASA to support the Johnson Space Center complex in Houston. Company officials call this a landmark contract, although financial terms were not disclosed. "This NASA award is our most substantial customer acquired by INC in our 10-year history," says INC President Antoninus H. Hines. "In 2007, the NASA contract was the most sought federal services contract in our industry amongst small businesses." Integrity National Corp. will provide janitorial, solid waste removal, recycling, exterior pest control and exterior window cleaning for the entire three million square foot complex. In addition to the NASA contract, INC has hired Richard Terrell as the new regional operations manager. He will oversee the NASA contract as well as business development in the San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston and South Texas markets. He will be based in San Antonio. INC is a Maryland-based company that has more than 500 employees grouped in four business areas: janitorial; grounds maintenance; facility operations and maintenance; and construction.

Window Washers Work in Rarefied Air

Andy Bierman's (pictured left) office has the best view in the city. What separates his tableau from those of the top floor-dwelling high-powered executives downtown is simple: a pane of glass. Bierman has been washing high-rise windows for Bob Popp Building Services for eight years, after picking up with the crew following a short-lived career in criminal justice. "This is just more exciting," Bierman said as he adjusted the mounds of rope on the roof of the Denver Newspaper Agency building April 2. "It was the best move I ever made." Crews from Bob Popp clean nearly every high-rise window in the state, including Republic Plaza, the Qwest building and Wells Fargo "cash register" building twice, and sometimes three times, per year, Bierman said. Most people think that to be a window washer, you must be some kind of daredevil, but Bierman said that isn't exactly how it goes down once you're on the building. "We use so much equipment and it gets replaced so often that sometimes I feel safer up in the air than standing on the roof," he said. A building like the DNA building, 101 W. Colfax, takes about 295 man-hours to clean, or roughly 2 1/2 weeks for a two-man crew, Bierman said. "The window washing is easy, it's moving all the stuff around on the roof that takes the time," said Andres Sifuentes, a Bob Popp supervisor assigned to the DNA job. "But it's not speed that's important - it's efficiency." An average day for a window washer runs from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the spring and summer, to avoid the afternoon heat made worse by the reflecting glass, during which time each man should wash about 250 windows. Working on the other side of so many windows over the years has resulted in some interesting moments. "I've seen some stuff," Bierman said with a smile, "but mostly we just end up scaring a lot of people." "We did get accidentally flashed at a radio station once," Sifuentes added. "She covered up pretty quickly." As for what is in the buckets, Sifuentes said, "Everyone thinks there is something special in there. It's just soap and water, whatever's on sale."

Monday 21 April 2008

Window Cleaner has Broken Leg for 50 Years

After suffering terrible pains in his leg for 50 years, pensioner Roy Calloway thought it was about time for a proper check-up. During a 35-year career in a local steelworks, he often had to lean on a broom when the agony got too bad. But when doctors finally X-rayed his right leg, they made a shock discovery – he’d been walking around on a badly broken leg for half a century. The retired steelworker was shocked to discover his leg had remained broken in several places since he came off his new 350 Enfield bike on a twisting mountain road in the Brecon Beacons in the late 1950s. He cracked his femur, tibia and fibula bones in the accident and spent six months in Tredegar Hospital. Doctors worked to re-set his bones with steel pins and a traction set up of weights and pulleys. After spending two years hobbling around with the help of crutches and walking sticks, he returned to work sweeping floors at Ebbw Vale Steelworks, where he remained for 35 years. When the pain got too much, brave Roy would never complain, but just lean on his brush.
The dad of two, who also worked as a window cleaner, went to his GP a few years ago about his leg. They found it was an inch shorter than the left and gave him a special shoe to walk around with. But when it became unbearable again, he decided to go back. A further investigation showed the two broken sections of his femur, the thigh bone, did not knit and were joined only by the bone marrow. The same happened to the bones in his shin. “I had an X-ray which showed the leg was still broken and it had never healed up tidy,” said Roy.

Sunday 20 April 2008

Window Cleaner of the Month

Tim Hunter, of Gleaming the View window cleaning, was named Window Cleaner of the Month for March by the Master Window Cleaners of America. The award, with its associated prizes worth about $350, puts Hunter in line to compete for Window Cleaner of the Year.

Jeremiah Hickey - featured previously has made headlines again:
It’s been called the Olympics of window cleaning — an international competition to determine the speediest window washer and one local man is a medalist. Competitors travel from around the globe some dressed in jumpsuits in their country’s colours to compete for the best score in the International Window Cleaners Association event and to earn the coveted glass trophy. Jeremiah Hickey of Grover Beach came close, placing third at the competition in February in San Diego. He considers himself America’s fastest window washer. The first and second-place finishers were from Japan. “We take it seriously, to the extent that we want to win,” Hickey said Thursday. “But it still is mostly friendly.” Competitors must clean three 45-inch square glass panes with a mop and squeegee in a matter of seconds. Hickey did it in 13. He said he actually had the best time but was penalized for a couple of drips of water left on the clear glass.

Concrete Cleaning

On my travels through the realm of new cleaning methods, I came across Concrete Cleaning Technologies. Its a business that provides a variety of hard-surface cleaning services, including a waterless method of removing oil-based stains from parking lots and driveways. These dry powders seem to be selling well due to the 'green' issue & laws concerning run off down storm drains.
The Bio-Dry product employs a blend of micro-organisms that eat, liquefy and crystallize grease molecules. Before applying the bioremediation product, you spread the Bio-Dry cleaning powder on heavy grease spots and scrub them with a wire brush. The microorganisms create grease bubbles, which blow off the surface. Then apply the Bio-Dry over the entire surface and leave it on to allow the microorganisms to consume the rest of the oil and grease. The oil or grease contaminants are reduced to organic compounds such as carbon dioxide, water and fatty acids. If it doesn't rain, the Bio-Dry residue will remain in place and continue working on any new stains for as long as a month.

I also found another called Oil-Away, apparently 'the original,' out of the many out there. You could always do it the old way.

Saturday 19 April 2008

Breaking Book News

Kevin says "I've decided to put my money where my mouth is, and assume all the risk. Hopefully it'll inspire more guys to at least take advantage of the risk-free 60-day preview!"

The window cleaning business coach has just changed his offer. That is anyone can get the book FREE, simply by signing up for a two month free trial of the dossier. If you want to cancel the dossier anytime, that's fine, all you need to do is cancel before the two months are up, and the books still yours. So, basically, anyone right now can get a FREE 2-month subscription to the dossier, and then also receive the brand-new book as a bonus, whether they decide to keep their dossier subscription active or not!

The other option is to buy the book & if you sign up to window cleaning resources - you get 50% off the book price! For those that don't want to try out the dossier risk-free, and receive the book for free as a bonus, they can still order the brand-new book under an even better arrangement! Now, they can order it for $0, I'll ship it to their door, and they'll have 2 months to preview it before they even have to decide if they're going to keep it or not!

Window Washer had kindest soul

By Eliot Fiks of Whole in the Wall Restaurant:

"Freddie Goodall was my friend. Then again, you'd be hard-pressed to go anywhere in Broome County and not find someone who called themselves a friend to Freddie Goodall. His heart was so big, it's hard to believe it could fit inside the body of one man. He always had a smile tucked away just for you. No matter how bad I felt, he could always make me smile. You can't buy that. I told him he was the best man in Binghamton, and there is not doubt in my mind that he was. No man truer of heart, no man purer of spirit, no man with a deeper twinkle in his eye, walking the walk, rain or shine. One day I said to him, "Freddie, if there ever comes a time you can't wash windows anymore, you just come anyway, and I'll pay you just to see you smile." He just smiled and said, "Alleluia, praise the Lord. "Freddie, you are sorely missed but never forgotten. Your spirit lives in my heart, always coaxing me to be a better man."

"It has been a long time but if I am right this Freddie used to wash windows at Dunkin Donuts in the early '90s. He was a sweet heart and a beautiful soul. I always loved being able to talk with this man, it was like an honor to have him touch my life."

"I remember Freddie from the time I was a little girl. He used to wash the windows at the Crystal Tea Room. There was never a sweeter,kinder man known to man. I became a nurse and had the opportunity to take care of him. He was just as delightful and kind. His wife is a gem also. What a beautiful family. The world lost one of the few gentleman in this world. His children should be so proud!"

How will you be remembered?

Friday 18 April 2008

Window Cleaning Resources Join Forces

Mark Henderson of Window Cleaning Resource UK has joined forces with Alex Lambrinides (featured above) of Window Cleaning Resources USA! In joining together they hope to expand the knowledge base between the two continents. In the above message, Alex welcomes all you new potential members from "Yurup" to join the forum.


'Porridge' for Rape Window Cleaners

Judge called Michael Aberrici's violent actions abhorrent. A window cleaner was jailed for seven years today (Thursday) for the violent rape of a woman while her daughter slept upstairs. The victim said Michael Alberrici searched her home in Sandy before raping her and giving her love bites to mark her as his territory, Luton Crown Court was told. Giving evidence, the woman said when she opened the door at 10pm the 38-year-old window cleaner pushed his way in and started searching the house. Mr Albericci, of Hitchin, denied raping the woman in July last year. He said what happened was consensual. But Mr Misner said: "The crown say this was rape. He was marking his territory with the love bites to her chest and the bruising to the back. He showed contempt, scorn and disdain for the woman. "Jailing him, Judge Richard Foster said the rape of the woman and the violence used on her was "abhorrent."

'Lenient' rape sentences doubled for Simon Foster (L) and Keith Fenn (R) above. They were both jailed in 2007. Two men convicted of raping girls have had their "unduly lenient" two-year prison sentences doubled by the Court of Appeal. Devon chef Simon Foster, 26, raped a 12-year-old girl, and Oxford window cleaner Keith Fenn, 25, raped a 10-year-old girl. Attorney General Baroness Scotland argued in court their original terms should not be allowed to stand. In both cases, defence lawyers said the men thought the girls were older and they did not have to force them to have sex. Director of the Victims of Crimes Trust, Norman Brennan condemned the new sentences. "The original sentence was disgraceful, the new sentence is woeful," he said "I believe the sentence should have been in double figures. "Baroness Scotland, the government's most senior law officer, said "Sentences in cases such as this need to punish offenders for the harm they cause, protect children and act as a deterrent to others. "Baroness Scotland told the judges her concern was that in both cases "too great a discount has been afforded to the offenders by the judges who sentenced them, for the ostensible consent of the victim and the offenders' belief as to the victim's age".

Thursday 17 April 2008

Tower Stories

Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 Jan Demczur relates & features in this book on its re-release how he used his window washing tools to save himself and an elevator full of people.

The men knew they had to break through the wall, but no one had a knife or any other tool. That's when Mr. Demczur thought of his squeegee. He took off the handle and started scratching the wall. "He kept working at it with this squeegee," said Alfred Smith, one of the occupants of the elevator. "It was like he was meant to do that… like he had a willpower that we are going to get out of here." The four men took turns and finally dug deep enough that they were able to kick through the wall to a 50th floor bathroom. The men then fled the building, only five minutes before it came crashing to the ground.

Demczur couldn't have imagined he'd tell this story to so many, or that his squeegee handle and uniform would become a part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Where only today, a window cleaner has fallen at least 50 feet to his death. D.C. Fire Department spokesman Alan Etter says rescuers were called to the museum on the National Mall about 10 a.m. Thursday. It's not clear whether the man's safety harness failed or whether it had been engaged properly when he started work.

Ladder Fall

Here's a webpage written by Alan Cardozo detailing the accident he suffered through using a Werner ladder & in particular the reasons he felt the accident happened due to the design. Alan suffered the breaking of both wrists and shattering of the left kneecap into seperate pieces from around an 18 foot drop. Here is a picture of the Shu-lock foot & the milled groove that Alan claims caused the ladder to tilt. Its a four year old story, but I'm sure any Werner/Keller ladder owner would be interested, just in case they have had similar slipping problems. Consumer Reports just completed an evaluation on dozens of ladders here, especially telescoping ladders that extend for higher jobs, along with multi-use ladders, which can work as both an extension and a stepladder. Some models of Werner & Little Giant were listed & were judged unacceptable.

In the UK, every month nearly 100 people fall off a ladder at work and suffer serious injuries costing the economy £60 million each year. The HSE has promoted ladder safety messages through a ‘ladder exchange’ which aimed to remove 4,000 ‘dodgy’ ladders from workplaces in Great Britain. In 2005/06 a total of 46 workers died and a further 3,351 employees suffered major injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace. This campaign lasted for three months.

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Window Cleaning News Round-Up

The impact of higher oil, product prices on US economy deepens. Both major and independent retailers are closing outlets as a result, he continued. "Liz Claiborne is shuttering 54 Sigrid Olsen stores. Ann Taylor is closing 117 of its 921 stores. Talbot's has closed all of its men's and children's clothing stores along with 22 women's stores. Even Target and Starbucks are seeing a slowdown. Each of these chains are served by countless small businesses that provide window washing and custodial services, paper products, deliveries, alterations and many other services."

Earth day is getting nearer (April 22nd). Almost four decades ago, with the help of college students, staff members and activities coordinator Denis Hayes, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first Earth Day. Earth Day 1970 was a grassroots effort to raise environmental awareness. Since then, Earth Day has evolved and expanded into an international day of awareness and activism.

More window cleaning robots are needed in Michigan. If you have a design, you're a student - then you'll need to construct this window first. The 2008 ASME Student Design Competition is under orders for the Winrobo—an automated window washing robot.

Procter & Gamble is giving its Mr. Clean a new job to tackle: washing cars. The company is moving the iconic brand beyond kitchens and bathrooms and is testing its appeal on car washes. P&G has opened two Mr. Clean Performance Car Washes in Ohio, and plans to open up to seven more in Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, and in Kentucky, according to news reports. The car wash features a waiting area with wireless Internet access, flat-screen TVs and a convenience store area, which sells snack and drinks, including P&G¹s Millstone coffee. Mr. Clean car care products are also sold in the stores. A basic wash costs $7.51 and rises up to $16.90 for a gold shine package, according to the Web site Visitors can pay $24 for a full-service interior and exterior cleaning, which includes a car wash, window cleaning, vacuuming, polish and fragrance.

More window washers Stuck on Building! Atlanta fire and rescue crews came to the aid of a window washing crew in Buckhead Monday afternoon. The crew was working on the 16th floor of a building at 3350 Peachtree Street, when the motor on the scaffolding blew out. Emergency crews worked to get the scaffolding pulled down. No injuries were reported.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Stategy for Business Mastery

Kevin from Toronto of 'Paneless Perfection' has out done himself again. If you've been following his on-line podcasts of how to market yourself professionally, he has now written a book entitled the "naked window cleaner." It takes you through the steps and shows you the "POWER" strategy for Window Cleaning Business Mastery.

Every Monday evening from 6:00 - 6:15 pm EST, you can tune in to discover “live” weekly video tips, tricks, and strategies to take your window cleaning business from wherever it is right now to where you wish it could be, faster than you ever dreamed possible. The new time is 11 p.m. on Mondays in the UK. Kevins stuff is that good, I've featured him previously here & here.

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