Monday 30 June 2008

High Anxiety for Dangling Window Washers

ANAHEIM -- It was a case of high anxiety for three window washers who were left dangling hundreds of feet above the ground when their scaffolding gave way. Anaheim police Chief John Welter and three of his officers rescued two of three window washers and firefighters plucked the third worker to safety. The emergency at the 11-story Bank of America office building in the 300 block of South Harbor Boulevard was reported about 6:30 a.m., said Anaheim Fire Marshal Jeff Lutz. The building is across the street from police headquarters. The scaffolding "broke loose from an anchor point," leaving the platform tipped in a vertical position, suspended by only one anchor point, Lutz said. The workers were wearing safety harnesses, and two of them "were in the process of climbing up" a rope in an effort to reach safety, he said. Welter and another officer saw the emergency, according to Lutz. They and two other officers went across the street and made their way to the roof of the building. The officers "yanked" on a rope to bring two workers who were one floor below them to safety, said Lutz. The third man was farther down the building and was rescued by firefighters using the department's urban rescue truck. He was "about 125 feet up, which is pretty much at the capacity" of the fire truck to reach the man. The worker rescued by firefighters was uninjured but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Another worker was treated for "moderate head lacerations" and the third complained of minor neck and back pain. They, too, were taken to the hospital. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the accident.

Tower of Power for Window Washer

CALGARY - You couldn't pay most people to stand on a ledge 180 metres above the ground to clean the outside of the Calgary Tower's windows, but Allan Zemp said he'd have done it for free. If not for his age, the 70-year-old said he wouldn't have retired 1 1/2 years ago from his job cleaning Cowtown's iconic symbol since it opened in 1968. "I'd have done it for nothing," Allan said yesterday about the job he held for 38 years. "I just loved to do it." Today, Allan returns to the top of the tower, which opened June 30, 1968, to celebrate its 40th anniversary. He said it seems like only yesterday he first climbed into the wobbling swing stage to begin his lifelong passion of polishing the exterior of the glass windows. Allan had been running ABC Window Cleaners for eight years when he was offered the contract to keep the Calgary Tower sparkling. He said he'd long overcome any fear of heights. "You hadn't better be afraid of heights if you're going to go up there and do that," said Allan. "Even on the calmest day, it's windy." Allan's brother, Chuck Zemp, often worked alongside him and has taken over the business of keeping the tower clean. Chuck, 64, is now teaching the ropes to his 34-year-old son, Grant. The outside of the windows, including the glass floor, are polished six times a year and it takes a two-man team about 12 hours. Chuck recalls being terrified the first time he swung above the city at a dizzying height, despite wearing a safety harness. "The machine rattles and shakes," he said. "Your hands are awfully tired when you get down because you've been squeezing the hell out of everything holding on." Humorously, he added: "If you screw up, you've only got 4 1/2 seconds before you're on the ground anyway." Allan will never forget a terrifying accident that happened while cleaning the observation deck windows about five years ago. He pushed the button that lowers the swing stage and it began to drop uncontrollably - and the emergency stop button wouldn't work. "It was going as fast as it could possibly go," said Allan. After dropping about nine metres, the swing stage crashed onto an area below the engineering room. The force of the impact cracked one of the observation windows, which had to be replaced. But it didn't diminish his love of the lofty career. "I miss the whole job," said Allan.

From Window Cleaning to Soccer

The Soccer/Football EuroCup 2008 was so memorable last night that Spain will be celebrating winning for weeks for what occurred last night. Spain & its public were so desperate to win this one, from the adverts to the slogan - "Podemos (we can do it)." In Mallorca, Spain it was a sleepless night, especially for the resident Germans. Personally we have Germans on each side as neighbours - never was victory so sweet & we celebrated till the early hours with the jubilant fans. The last few days, the lead up to the final has become more intense as a country that has 44 million people has not won the cup for the last 44 years. On the night, the better team won & the dancing in the streets hasn't stopped. The recycling bottle banks have been full for the last few days & even typing now the car horns are going & flags are being flown from car windows. The Spanish media have really put their back into this one: here are a few of the ads that have been plastered over the TV for the last few weeks.

Fernando Torres (otherwise known as "El Niño") the Spanish striker & who also plays for Liverpool during the season, scored the only winning goal out of an impressive side that crushed Germanys hopes. He is such a star for Liverpool football club, Nike even made an advertising campaign for him over in the UK (shown below). And finally I've added the video of the final goal that made it happen for Spain...pure delight.

Few would suggest the early morning grind of a Belfast window cleaning round is the ideal preparation for an afternoon attempting to breach the formidable English defensive pairing of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. Stuart Elliott, though, could justifiably beg to differ. Then, while Ferdinand, Terry, et al were eyeing their first lucrative contract, Elliott was shelling out for buckets and chamois leathers as he spent his weekdays hauling his ladders around his home city before turning out for Glentoran on a Saturday. Elliott's early experiences sum up the difference between the two teams as eloquently as the 103-place gap that separates them in the Fifa world rankings. Yet despite having never been to Old Trafford before, the Hull City striker carries with him on to the pitch a growing reputation as a goalscorer of note, underlined by his standing as the joint leading scorer in English football this season. Sharing his tally of 28 goals? Thierry Henry. The 26-year-old established himself at Glentoran before a £100,000 move to Motherwell five years ago provided a more visible platform and 22 goals in 50 League starts earned him a £230,000 to Hull, who were then in the bottom division.
Elliott has maintained his impressive ratio of a goal every other game with Hull, and while his rise has not been meteoric, he admits he has not grown accustomed to his growing fame. "A few years back I was just a young lad from east Belfast cleaning windows and playing for the Glens," said Elliott, a committed Christian. "It is by God's grace that I moved to Motherwell and then on to Hull City. I have been in good scoring form this season and if I get an opportunity on Saturday I would be confident of taking it.

Sunday 29 June 2008

Danish Window Cleaning

The MTV music awards this week go to the Danish company "Århus Total Rengøring." The company who use the Ionics "reach & wash system" also offer total cleaning from graffiti to facade cleaning. Great fun advertising from the company known as ATR.

Altogether now, "mini cruise, nice shoes........."

New Auto-Brush Unveiled

Peter Fogwill of Aquatech has released a video of Auto-Brush 2 (below), a great way of starting/stopping the water flow from the brush head by tapping the frame with the brush head. The new Autobrush features its on & off switch in the vertical position instead of horizontal. The old way can be viewed here. Peter says "For those who thought it a problem with the water switching off accidentally then this has been addressed. The valves are less likely to be damaged as they are far more protected by the positioning. The bars are far less likely to be damaged because of the very small length. In all a much better way of saving water and time. The bad news is there is a 3 week wait for one." One user states - "it is a vast improvement on the old style due to the different switch position, and its much harder to switch off by mistake unless you're in the habit of slamming the brush on the bottom sill,"

More information & video's at Aquatech. Forum talk here in the WFP section.
Previous blog on the autobrush here.

Saturday 28 June 2008

Getting Drunk on WCR Nation

Well, I've just watched the 12th WCR Nation, shared with 6 Corona's & 4 pints of Guinness - trust me, its the best way to watch it! And after a hard days work, it was nice to sit down & watch something constructive & at the same time get hammered.

And while I'm at it, sign the Sörbo petition -Alex & Chris of Window Cleaning Resource, have been trying to stock Sörbo gear for the last upteen months with no result. This is rummoured to be an embargo from other window cleaning gear suppliers who are trying to put the block on these guys. Main features this week are WFP training academy, Greg Coulker, this Blog!, Sörbo (see picture) & Unger. For all you people that haven't seen the daily phone call to Mr. Sörbo from Chris & head-less Alex - shown below.

Friday 27 June 2008

Rent My Husband with Video's

RENT MY HUSBAND: ANOTHER FIRST ANNIVERSARY. Mac and Debbi Story are celebrating their first anniversary with Rent My Husband Window Cleaning Service. They are expanding their window cleaning services, which covers a territory from Quincy to Portola, to include housecleaning and general building maintenance. Mac has more than 15 years of experience in this field.

FALLEN POP STAR STARTS WINDOW CLEANING: John Tovey, Flowered Up, London's answer to Manchester's Happy Mondays had a top 20 single with Weekender in 1992, followed by two disastrous comebacks. Everything took off for us from 1990 to 1992. We were on music paper covers and signed two major deals. I reckon £600,000 went through our band in two years. But it was accepted for bands to get off their heads through drink and drugs, and a lot of us ended up on smack. My body stopped functioning, and I needed to get away. I took off to Tenerife, but it was just before we were scheduled to be the first ever band on The Big Breakfast - when I got back, they'd replaced me with a new drummer. The band fell apart. I had spells in prison, but came out knowing it was suicide or get clean. I've been clean and sober since 2001. In 2005, I noticed that Happy Mondays were playing somewhere. The next thing, Flowered Up were asked to play with them at Clapham Common. I tracked down the rest of the band after having lost nearly all contact for 17 years. Tim [Dorney] was the last to get involved because he thought I'd nicked his keyboards in 1992, which I hadn't. The warm-ups were amazing, but the gig was a disaster. Joe [Maher], the guitarist, swears he didn't take anything, but he played the wrong songs and ended up being carted out by St John Ambulance in a straitjacket. Last October, we lined up another five dates, but it all fell apart. We never got to play, and I feel bad for the fans. There won't be any more comebacks. I'm setting up a window-cleaning business. I cherish memories of blowing Blur off stage at the Reading festival in 1991, and I love the guys. But sometimes I wish I'd never joined a band. I lost the girl I was engaged to, and I deeply regret that we pissed it up the wall.

Health & Safety gone mad: Caretaker wins ladder fall case. A school caretaker has successfully sued Hampshire County Council after he was injured falling off a stepladder. Anthony Gower-Smith, 73, fell off the 6ft (180cm) stepladder at Awbridge Primary School in Romsey in 2004. In court, he claimed his employer had not shown him how to use the ladder. The council denied negligence. But on Friday, Mr Gower-Smith, from North Baddesley, won his case on the basis the council was 75% to blame. His compensation will now be assessed. Mr Gower-Smith, who had made a claim for £50,000, suffered a fractured skull, fractured cheek bone and kidney injuries in the fall, leading to treatment in intensive care. He has not been able to work since the accident. Hampshire County Council said the caretaker was given adequate training and equipment to do the job.

Twenty-two years ago, Mikhail Fridman could be found wandering the streets of Moscow offering to wash windows. Legend has it that if you said your windows weren’t dirty when the young Ukrainian student first visited, they often were by the time he came round to ask a second time. Now, after rising to become one of the world’s richest men with a fortune estimated at between $12 billion and $17 billion (£6-8.5 billion), Fridman is leading a group of four oligarchs who are using strong-arm tactics with oil giant BP over its lucrative Russian business. The joint venture TNK-BP accounts for about a quarter of BP’s global oil reserves. BP owns half of the company; the four businessmen, through their Alfa Access Renova (AAR) consortium, own the other half. The feud between the two sides has become increasingly acrimonious. Two weeks ago, BP chairman Peter Sutherland accused Fridman and his partners of resorting “to the corporate raiding activities that were prevalent in Russia in the 1990s” in a bid to take control of the business. “This is bad for us, bad for the company and, of course, very bad for Russia,” Sutherland said. Previous story here.

And finally: I don't know if this guy is part of the English National Heritage or if he still uses vinegar in his solution? For all you old timers who are still window cleaning: this is how it used to be done. Does it bring back the memories? Happy days....

And another example of really bad window cleaning in so many ways. This guy has all the equipment but doesn't know how to use it!

More Info' on "Wedgie" in Australia

Window cleaner's miracle plunge.
AN abseiling window cleaner survived a seven-storey plunge from a Surfers Paradise high rise yesterday. Walter Torres, 20, was cleaning windows at the Solaire apartments on the corner of Ferny and Cypress avenues when he fell, hitting and dislodging a steel beam on the way down but failing to hit the ground. The accident came after two construction workers fell 26 floors to their deaths on a Broadbeach high-rise development on Saturday. Andrew Horchner, operations and safety manager for All Industrial Abseilers, the company Mr Torres works for said it appeared a problem with the abseiling ropes had caused the Robina man's accident. "It seems it was a procedural problem where the ropes got caught up on a higher anchorage and was not able to be seen by him or others on the job," said Mr Horchner. "Once he weighted the ropes it actually pulled through and he fell about seven stories and hit a piece of structure after the rope took up his weight, so his safety system worked because if it didn't, he wouldn't be here now."
Mr Horchner said company representatives had gone over safety issues with their workers following the accident. "We went through a full safety brief on Monday so they were more than aware of safety issues," he said. "Everyone was extra careful and extra sharp on the ropes so this is an unfortunate accident." Tony Clark, who is on holiday from New Zealand, said he rushed to help Mr Torres after hearing a loud bang and seeing him dangling from his harness. "We just heard the steel beam come down and we looked over from across the road," said Mr Clark. "I thought, 'He's dead' but then he put an arm up and I thought, 'He's all right'. "He was up about 10 feet and we couldn't get to him of course. "He started lowering himself down and we said (not to) and once he got to about eight feet we helped him down." Mr Clark said Mr Torres had blood on his face and neck and was whimpering in pain and complaining about his leg. Police from the nearby Surfers Paradise Police Station as well as ambulance crews attended the scene. A Queensland Ambulance spokesman said Mr Torres was taken to Gold Coast Hospital with neck and spinal injuries and was last night in an unstable condition. Workmates who gathered around Mr Torres as paramedics attended to him said he remained in high spirits, joking that he received a 'big wedgie' from his harness. Another man, who was working on the building and asked not to be named, said abseilers were well trained and it was a safe job. "It will be interesting to see what's happened," he said. "We all know exactly what we're doing, you're never scared." "We have a buddy system. We all check each other before we go over so it's really quite a mystery. "If you do everything right, there's no danger." Workplace Health and Safety are investigating the accident.

Thursday 26 June 2008

Bronx Scaffold Fall - Window Cleaner Holds On

No One Injured (3 hours a go) When Scaffold Falls in the Bronx. A window washer wasn't injured when his scaffold fell 11 stories outside Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx Wednesday morning, reports say.Witnesses say the washer grabbed a rope at the last second to stop himself from falling, reports say, and other workers were able to pull him to safety through a window.The scaffold knocked out some bricks on its way down, reports say, and no one on the ground was hurt.

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Window Cleaner Robs Neighbour Bookies With a Pruning Saw

A Window Cleaner has been jailed for five years for robbing the betting shop next door to his home. Stephen Hewitson, 22, recruited a 14-year-old boy for the raid when he was facing eviction for £200 rent arrears. The pair were caught on CCTV wearing balaclavas, and Hewitson escaped with £900, most of which he claimed was later stolen from him. The two male staff at Chisholm's bookies on Bowesfield Road, Stockton, were bagging up the day's takings when Hewitson burst in waving a pruning saw and demanding: “Give me the money.” The second robber stood by the door armed with a hammer in case anybody came in, said prosecutor Colin Harvey. Mr Harvey said that they were quickly recognised, and one of the reasons was that Hewitson lived next door to the betting shop. Hewitson used the money to pay off his rent arrears, and another young lad stole some of the remaining cash from him. The schoolboy robber, now 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to three years detention in a young offender’s institution. He made a full confession and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. Stephen Constantine, defending Hewitson, said his client had no previous convictions but he was desperate for money to avoid eviction from his home. While on bail he set up a business as a window cleaner in Hartlepool. Peter Wishlade, defending the boy, said that the robbery was Hewitson's idea and the youngster got nothing from it.

Window Cleaner Looses Parrot

Lost singing parrot 'walks alone'. The search is on for a much-loved parrot which sings the Liverpool fans' favourite You'll Never Walk Alone. Yozzer, an African Grey, spread his wings and flew out of his home in Newtown, Powys, when the front door was opened. The parrot has been missing for more than a week - but there have been three sightings around the area. Liverpool fan Ivor Thomas said as well as singing the terrace anthem, Yozzer sometimes watches the football on TV. Mr Thomas, a window cleaner, said he has driven hundreds of miles to search for the bird, which went missing on 15 June. Mr Thomas, who is offering a reward, said: "I let him out of his cage and I went to another room to do some book work - I forgot he was out. Then the bell rang and my sister's little girl was at the door." "I heard his wings beating and he was straight out of the door," said Mr Thomas. Yozzer, named after the character Yosser Hughes from 80s TV drama Boys From The Blackstuff, normally eats sunflower seeds, nuts, fruit and the odd bit of white milk chocolate. "He's such a character. He's bound to be a bit hungry now," added Mr Thomas. "He sings You'll Never Walk Alone. And he says 'apples' in the morning when I ask him what he wants - and he normally watches football with me. "He has got such intelligence, Yozzer learnt how to speak quicker than a child - by the age of 18 months he was talking really quickly." Mr Thomas said he saw Yozzer after he disappeared and nearly reached him but a dog came running nearby and he flew off again. "I have been looking everywhere for him, I have been on top of Treowen, put flyers around the villages," he said. Mr Thomas said there have been three sightings of the grey parrot, the last one was on Monday by someone who spotted him just walking by the side of the road. He added: "I go to my flat now, it's like an empty space - I am living in hope he is surviving and there will be a happy ending." He has asked anyone who sees Yozzer to feed him, and report the sighting. The police have been informed, said Mr Thomas.

Not a Back Street Boys Fan then?...

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Surfers Paradise Fall

A WINDOW cleaner has escaped a nine storey fall from a Gold Coast tower with a fractured arm and a broken pelvis from the super "wedgie" from his harness. Police said the incident happened next to the Surfers Paradise police station. Witnesses, including police officers from the station, reported hearing a thud and seeing the man suspended limp in the air hanging from his harness. The man, 20, an abseiler from Robina who cleans windows, fell about 25m until his feet hit an awning on the side of the Solaire building in Ferny Ave. He appeared to have ankle injuries and was in a lot of pain, but he retained his sense of humour, telling co-workers that he had "a big wedgie" (from his harness). The force of his impact dislodged a 5m steel beam, which crashed to the ground. Fellow window cleaner David Luke said he was on the roof when he heard "three big bangs". "He's lucky to be alive," Mr Luke said. "We have no idea how this happened." Another of the men's co-workers said the accident was bizarre. He said the man was well-trained and very experienced. The man was taken to Gold Coast Hospital in a serious but stable condition. Workplace Health and Safety Inspectors are on the scene. Today's accident comes just three days after two men died at Broadbeach when a window cleaners swing scaffold collapsed.

Monday 23 June 2008

Bogus Window Cleaner takes on Pensioner

A BRAVE Airdrie (Scotland) pensioner took on a sick thug who snatched her handbag while she sat at home with her 107-year-old mother. The plucky 84-year-old, who does not want to be named, struggled with the heartless yob after he grabbed her handbag and it was only when the strap snapped that the ned managed to get away. The thief pretended to be a window cleaner in a bid to get into the woman’s Forrest Street home last Thursday. He got into the building at around 7.30pm by buzzing one of the other flats and had already been turned away after offering to clean another elderly resident’s windows for an unusually low price. And when the “innocent” looking thug knocked on the great grandmother’s door she also said she didn’t need a window cleaner. But he insisted on giving her a fake name and number in case she changed her mind and when the pensioner went inside to get a pen, he followed her into the living room. The bogus cleaner spotted the handbag sitting next to a chair and grabbed it. But he hadn't bargained on the plucky pensioner putting up a fight. She grabbed the strap of her bag and furiously fought the thug as he tried to run off. When the handle broke, he ran off with the bag containing a three-figure sum of cash, the woman’s bank card and bus pass.

Sunday 22 June 2008

Heating Water with Sound

Just another post about how technology could be advancing the water fed pole world for the future in the form of heated water: New Zealander, Peter Davey may be the image of determination, and it seems to have paid off for him. The former Spitfire pilot aged 92, has spent the last 50 years finding a way to get sound to boil water, and he believes he’s worked it out. As usual scientists are sceptical, and they have to be. If a device like was real, it would be revolutionary and create a whole new green power concept. The device looks like a desk lamp, and doesn’t feel hot to touch. When the bulb is inserted it water, the water begins to boil. This brilliant idea came to him when he would listen to the saxophone and notice different objects around his house vibrate at different notes. Professor Arthur Williamson has never seen anything like it, but believes there may be electrodes inside the boiler heating the water. He said he would love to try the device, but at the moment Mr Davey isn’t ready to release it to the public. From my knowledge this isn’t impossible. Microwave ovens send frequencies out that cause atoms (mostly water) to get excited and heat up , and stories have told of the Tibetans using singing bowls for transformation of self and of matter. It has taken him 50 years to get this far, I doubt he is in any hurry.

Painter Poles Become Water Fed Poles

In much of the on-forum news in the UK at the moment, a new pole is making some waves using a common painters pole in place of the water fed poles made for the job. This is not new news - a lot of people have been replacing the manufacturers option with there own due to either finances or lightness. Having Jeff Brimble introduce me to the concept of the fishing pole, led manufacturers to copy his idea for themselves in other forms of the modular wfp. The "Harris painters pole"from B&Q, is the latest pole to be re-utilised, most popular being the 5 meter item (16.5 feet). This can be also re-engineered by turning it into a clampless pole by utilising the hose for keeping the pole at its jumped height: as invented by Peter Fogwill (video) & well known on his Window Tool website & forum. Jeff Brown of "Reflections Window Cleaning" & also from the WFP academy put heat-shrink on his Harris pole to give extra grip & a more professional look to his wfp (pictured above). Here are a few videos of "groundhog" showing just what can be done with a Harris pole, the second 2 videos are shown using the pole clampless. For all the Americans out there watching these video's: these windows are cleaned on a monthly basis, hence the speed at which the wfp can be utilised.

Friday 20 June 2008

Reverse Osmosis Membranes & Deionisation Regeneration

For all you water fed pole users out there who haven't got a clue why you're paying what you're paying for your membranes & your regenerated resin, heres a few insightful video's.
In the first video the "Nitto Denko Corporation" explain what going on inside your reverse osmosis membrane & how they work in the form of a 3D animation. The second video: Bill from window cleaning resource does a great job to show you a real life version & unfolds the membrane in front of your eyes. In the third video you get to see Bill doing an inspection of a membrane before cleaning. Lastly, the fourth video you get to see how deionisation resin is regenerated on a semi-industrial scale. Thanks to window cleaning resource for taking the time to put these video's together. If you're wondering why I'm posting so many video's from window cleaning resource, its the only company out there producing video's on a regular basis for us window cleaners!

Window Cleaning Package UK

Former dancer makes buying first home a waltz. Rumba down to Redrow's ‘Debut' development in North Cornelly and their nimble footed sales advisor can offer all the advice you need to buy your first home. Former professional dancer Paul Gilbert (pictured), 42, is Redrow's new sales consultant at the Debut @ Dôl Gorwel development, which is aimed specifically at first time buyers with prices starting from under £60,000. Prices of Redrow's multi-award winning Debut range at Dôl Gorwel start from less than £60,000. Purchasers have the option to defer 10% of the initial purchase price for up to 10 years as an interest free fixed sum; and there's also a single monthly service charge that covers gas, water and electricity bills as well as external maintenance, to make budgeting easy for first time home owners. "The monthly service charge makes it easy for buyers to budget for household bills - and even includes the window cleaning. It's home ownership made simple, as well as affordable."

Thursday 19 June 2008

Window Cleaning Snippets

Broken Window Closes Street. A street closure in downtown Regina (Canada) yesterday is being chalked up to a damaged window. Lorne Street south of 12th Avenue was closed down for several hours Wednesday night after a window-cleaning aparatus cracked one of the SGI buildings large plate glass windows. There was concern a strong wind could blow broken glass into the street below. It was patched overnight and traffic re-opened afterwards.

R.I.P. Dale David Schlosser, 46, Jamestown, died Monday, June 16, 2008, at Jamestown Hospital, Jamestown. He attended school in Edgeley. He married Lisa Graves in 1985. They lived in Jamestown, where he started his own business, City Wide Window Cleaning, which he operated for 23 years. He married Carla Helm in 2006. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping, playing frisbee and riding his motorcycle.

Robots at this year’s Hanover Fair. Autonomous robots capable of finding their own way around and performing various tasks were the theme of this year’s Hanover Fair. They ranged from industrial robot fork lift trucks for car factories to robotic jelly fish, programmed to keep clear of each other in water. Applications, or intended applications, were mostly in manufacturing. But there were also robots to inform the public, look for intruders, survey rough terrain, clean windows – and play football. Some worked better than others, but there were none that posed any kind of threat to humans working in the same environment. However, already fully in production and working were the window, solar panel and oil tank cleaning robots developed by Niederberger-Engineering in Oberdorf, Switzerland. Gabriel Strebel states that his company’s machines use GPS navigation and can clean up to 240 square metres per hour, day or night, using suckers to attach themselves to the surfaces they are cleaning. Mostly, the company makes models for cleaning flat areas, but also has models for areas where the panes change angles.

Nick Murante has made a living helping people clean up their acts. Two years ago, Murante had no customers when he created, a one-stop shop that sells, cleans and repairs window coverings. Today, he said his West Caldwell-based business has more than 300 consumers. " thought it was a great idea to sell window treatments as well as clean them and service them. This was something retailers don't have. Most people wind up replacing their window treatments because they don't know how to properly take care of them.Is there a big demand for your services because of people's more hectic lifestyles?I have noticed that people will invest in good window treatment; it looks good. People are always doing some kind of work in their homes -- changing paint color or maybe getting new furniture. Once that is done, a person will change their window treatments to match their new style."

Cleaner gets MBE. The Commons Speaker Michael Martin's cleaner has been appointed an MBE. I will admit to being a little puzzled by the glowing testimony to Gloria Hawkes, 64, who also cleans the Serjeant-at-Arms department. She is “utterly discreet”, it reads, in a job where the demands are “uncertain and occasionally unpleasant”. It makes a pleasant change from yet another government crony quietly trousering a peerage. Why not give cleaners even more kudos and make them the special advisers to MPs and ministers? The average cleaner is infinitely more in touch with reality than most politicians in the Westminster oxygen bubble could ever be. Some Tories object to a House of Commons cleaner being appointed MBE when there might be other people in the community more deserving.

Brooklyn Restaurant came about from window cleaning: Tio Pio, a popular MetroTech-area eatery in Downtown Brooklyn, has moved and expanded with the help of the MetroTech bid. Owned and operated by three brothers — Carlos, Patricio and Javier Espinosa and long-time friend Luis Valverde, the Bridge Street restaurant re-opened last week at their new location, 78 Willoughby St., between Bridge and Lawrence streets, the former home of a Shaky’s Pizza. Hickey said the brothers’ were virtually raised in their family’s cheese factory in Ecuador and know how to run a successful business. “Javier moved to New York City in 1994 and began working in restaurants around the city until his long time friend Luis convinced him to join him as a window cleaner in 1997. While cleaning windows in Downtown Brooklyn, Javier says he ‘was looking for something to eat and there was nothing I wanted to eat.’ The lack of restaurants prompted him to put together a plan.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Firm fined over employee fall, UK

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning bosses they must do everything in their power to protect workers from falls when working at height.It comes after Darlington magistrates' court fined building firm Bussey and Armstrong £15,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £3,193 for a breach of section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 when a member of staff suffered serious injuries.On March 29th 2007 an employee fell into a stairwell and 5.4 metres to a concrete ground floor when he lost his balance carrying out joinery work.The worker was using a saw horse to reach some roof joists and was working next to the stairwell, which was unguarded, and he suffered crushed vertebrae and a fractured pelvis.HSE inspector Jonathan Wills said the case illustrated why risk assessments are a necessity for work which is to take place at height."All companies must assess the risks from work that they are undertaking at height, ensuring that the work is planned properly and appropriate measures are taken so that workers are not exposed to risk of falling," he stated.Tasks which may involve a risk of falling from height include cleaning gutters, roof work and window cleaning, according to the HSE.

Dubai embraces WFP

Innovative cleaning system unveiled at over 165 service stations across Dubai. Demonstrating its commitment to environmental protection, ENOC (Emirates National Oil Company) recently signed a two-year deal with Clearwater, an innovative cleaning solutions provider, to offer ENOC/EPPCO service stations with a new innovative cleaning system. The company uses chemical-free products and techniques that render the cleaning process completely safe and eco-friendly. Clearwater's cleaning formula is 100 percent chemical-free and essentially consists of processed water, which is an effective cleaner for all surfaces from glass to stainless steel. Commenting on the partnership, Saeed Abdullah Khoory, Group Chief Executive said, "As an environmentally-responsible organisation, ENOC is committed to spearheading initiatives that will help protect the planet and promote sustainable living. Through this partnership, we endeavour to safeguard natural resources and help maintain balance in the eco-system." "We are delighted to be offering this service to ENOC and I am sure that this initiative will lead the way for more organisations to explore an eco-friendly cleaning methodology. Our cleaning formula also contains an invisible shield that helps windows stay cleaner longer than standard window washing. The pure laboratory graded water used is safe enough to drink and therefore poses minimal risk around children or people with sensitivities," said Peter Manzi, Manager, Clearwater. One of the techniques introduced by Clearwater is called 'Reach and Wash', where specially treated water is pumped through lightweight telescopic poles with soft bristles reaching heights up to 60 feet, eliminating the need for ladders and cradles, and making the process safe, fast and highly cost-effective. The new cleaning system will be available at over 195 ENOC/EPPCO service stations in Dubai.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Son Slays Window Cleaning Father

A Bristol man cut his father's throat after being taunted as a paedophile for having a 14-year-old girlfriend, a court heard. Billy Hunter, aged 21, launched the sustained knife attack on 47-year-old Ian Hunter after a row at the older man's maisonette at Brandon House in Hotwells, Bristol Crown Court was told yesterday. A jury heard the window cleaner suffered 31 cuts, 25 to his head, neck and shoulders, one of which completely severed an artery in his neck. Billy Hunter, of Highbury Road, in Bedminster, denies murder in November last year. Peter Blair, QC, prosecuting, told the court Hunter was staying temporarily with his father. Mr Blair said tenant Anthony Warrener had gone to bed but woken up at 3am to use the toilet. Mr Blair said when Mr Warrener crossed the landing, he noticed a light had been left on downstairs and went to turn it off. "When he went downstairs, he saw Ian Hunter lying on the living-room floor with what appeared to be his throat slashed," Mr Blair said. Mr Blair said police later pieced together what had happened.


In the frame to clean up.

KEEPING the windows clean at a large north west hospital will continue to be a major operation for an Oldham firm. Techserve has signed a further two-year deal with the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust. The window cleaning firm won the initial tender in 2007 for the 1,300 bed trust, now its contract has been extended for a further two years, making it worth £186,000 to Techserve. The company uses a combination of abseiling, reach and wash and powered access techniques to clean the hundreds of windows across the site, and have a five-strong team working on site full time. Techserve was founded by window cleaner Peter Whalen in 2005. It employs 11 and other customers include GMPTE, Laing O'Rouke and Carillion. Peter said the company is absolutely delighted to have won the contract. "It's a major deal for us and we are very proud to be associated with the trust. Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust boasts the fifth largest A&E department in Europe and its core building consists of two 12-storey tower blocks housing wards and theatre facilities - so keeping the windows clean is a major operation. Earning this extension says a lot about the standard of our work there. "Jacqui Pennington, hotel services manager at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen, added: "We were initially impressed by Techserve because it was able to demonstrate high levels of health and safety expertise, technical competency and professionalism across all criteria." "Whilst the contract had teething problems, ultimately they were resolved and standards have improved. "We are confident that improvements will continue to be made by awarding Techserve an extension to their existing contract."

Monday 16 June 2008

Fiji Window Cleaning Day

The Fiji times online reports that there are quite a lot of anniversaries taking place on its Pacific Isle. Last week they had their annual Window Washer Day, when everyone is supposed to clean their windows to celebrate the work of professional window cleaners who risk their lives swabbing the glass on multi-storey buildings. I have fond memories of Fiji, where everyone was friendly & said a quick "Bula bula" to each other & getting drunk on Kava tea - a lip numbing experience! Most of the men wore hibiscus flowers in their hair & wore loin cloths/skirts. If you don't believe me - check out the Fijian man maid, which was about the only reference to cleaning in Fiji I could find!

Anyhow, I reckon because this is such a weak post: I should add this photo of another Window Cleaner at work in China, this picture was narrowly beaten by another for photo of the year! Someone buy him a suction cup! Go on - click the link & have a laugh.

Death in Denver at the same building!

Plunge kills man at Denver apartments.
A man plummeted to his death from a balcony at Brooks Tower in downtown Denver around noon Sunday. "There is still an investigation to make a determination whether the death was accidental or suicidal," said police Detective John White. The man is believed to be in his 20s, said White, who didn't know whether he was a resident of the apartment complex. In 2006, Brian Thompson fell to his death from a balcony at Brooks Tower. Police ruled that death accidental. 9News reported that a window washer suffered minor injuries Friday in a 30-foot fall at the building.

Sunday 15 June 2008

Simpole Product Close Up

Phil Alexander of "We Dew Windows" & maker of the water fed pole: the Simpole has made a few more videos for our enjoyment. The first video shows you the system in action & the second gives you a view of the parts that the pole is made up of. You can also view Alex & Chris - the guys at window cleaning resource opening the Simpole packet as it arrives. The Simpole features in their WCR Nation broadcast which you can download here. Be warned, its a big file. You will be able to purchase the Simpole soon from the WCR shop here. Phil also featured in a previous blog here. I've also added the third video of Alex showing more detail.

Saturday 14 June 2008

Cleaning Thailand

Pattaya Park Beach hotel had a confidence in Property Care Service (Thailand) Company to clean up their glass windows on the 55th floor for better panoramic view from the revolving restaurant. On June 13, 2008, at 10am, Mr. Nopadol Bua-thong, Executive Assistant Manager, hosted reporters at Pattaya Park Beach hotel, and had revealed that the hotel has the height of 55 floors above sea level, probably the highest view point of Thailand. They provide various activities for tourists, especially for height lovers to would like to play Bungee Jumping. The 360-degree panoramic view of Pattaya city at the revolving restaurant is suitable for friends or lovers who would enjoy the new exotic experience of dining, including panoramic games to challenge the courage of height seekers. These three activities are the prominent points of the hotel. In order to improve and renovate the highest tower of Thailand, the hotel had hired Property Care Service (Thailand) Company who has had experience in cleaning up high-rise buildings for more than 20 years to take care of the cleanliness of the glass windows of the tower from floor 52 up to floor 55. Nevertheless, it is to provide the clear panoramic view of Pattaya city so that the tourists could enjoy the view of Pattaya city. Mr. Sebastien Anthony Power, General Manager in the East for Property Care Service (Thailand) Company, revealed that the company has run the business in cleaning service for high-rise buildings and condominiums in Thailand for over 20 years. Especially, in Pattaya city, there has been a big growth in property, and that has made the company to expand the service to the East in order to support the potential customers who are in need of experienced window cleaning service for high rise buildings. So far, the customers had been satisfied with the service and the good work of the company. Mr. Power said.

You have to ask - Where is the squeegee?

Juju at Ropetech

Juju rides for fun — and for a change:
Juju Jullien likes to ride his bike. He likes the whir of the wheels, the way the ground recedes behind him, the reel of the hills and rivers, the mountains and sky passing by. So when Jullien and his wife, Laurel Robinson, moved to Norwood in early May, Jullien decided to make his daily commute to work in Telluride on two wheels. Jullien began the daily commute on May 14. With a round-trip of 70 miles, six days a week, as well as a fair share of adverse weather, the task hasn’t been easy. But one month and 1,500 miles into it, what started as an individual pledge has grown into a mission to make the region’s roads more inviting for cyclists and safer for everyone. At the same time, Jullien’s commitment serves as an inspiration and a reminder of what incredible tasks a little passion can fuel. Jullien has pledged to give 20 cents from his snowclearing/window washing company Ropetech per mile he rides for the campaign. So far, 1,500 miles have translated into $300. He hopes that this pledge will start momentum. Anyone who is inspired to add a few cents can chip in. He’s going to be handing out educational flyers to drivers at Society Turn on several afternoons in June, talking with them about giving cyclists room. He has successfully requested that a representative from the Colorado Department of Transportation come to town and check out the need for more “Share the Road” signs (there are currently five in the county.) And he is working with Rick Repola, of Repo Graphics, to come up with some signs or stickers that educate drivers on road-sharing etiquette. “I just want to say, ‘Do it when you feel like it. Ride your bike as much as you want to because it’s fun. When you jump in your car, think ‘do I really need to drive?’” he said. Anyone who wants to pledge money per mile that Jullien rides can do so through the non-profit Sheep Mountain Alliance. Juju Jullien is the contact, call him at 708-9368, or sent him a check at PO Box 313.

Friday 13 June 2008

Denver Dive

Window Washer Falls from Skyscraper: DENVER - A window washer fell at a skyscraper in downtown Denver Friday morning. The Denver Fire Department said the window washer fell about five stories at Brooks Tower (pic above), 1020 15th Street. Officials say his emergency equipment worked, and saved him from hitting the bottom. He went to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, but doctors expected him to be okay. A witness said he saw water falling outside his window, and heard the window washer fall. The man reportedly is an employee of Shawn's Sparkling Squeegee Services, Inc. Pictured below: Officials investigate the scene where a window washer fell at Brooks Tower.

Fire Crew Rescue in Mississauga, Canada

Fire crews rescue window washer: Mississauga Firefighters were called to the Eagle Ridge condominium complex at Burnhamthorpe Rd. and Erin Mills Pkwy. this morning to rescue a window washer. The rigging of a window cleaning stage became tangled and stranded the worker outside a fourth floor window on the north side of the building. Firefighters used an aerial unit to lower the worker safely to the ground.

Land's End trek for the love of Muriel

Classic car mission to raise cash:
AS Nick Bradley drives his 1952 Austin A40 Somerset from Elland to Land's End he will be thinking of his late wife, Muriel (pictured). In 2000 Muriel died aged 53 from stomach cancer. She was given just two months to live but bravely battled the disease, which spread to the rest of her body, for two years. Window cleaner Nick, 64, of School Close, Ripponden, will tackle the 1,000-mile round trip from Overgate Hospice, Elland, to Land's End, Cornwall, on July 1 in her memory. His three-week journey will avoid busy motorways in favour of scenic country lanes through Derbyshire, the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire. "My wife wasn't in a hospice but I think it would have been good for her during her final weeks," he said. "Her mum Kathleen recently died in a hospice near Warrington and it was there I found out that hospices are only funded by the Government for 12 weeks of the year. "For the rest of the time they are reliant on public donations. "I thought it was shocking and wanted to do something about it. "In preparation for the challenge, Nick is practising his navigation skills. The father-of-three has also bought a tent and plans to stop off at places of interest along the way. He will be travelling between 60 and 80 miles a day at a cruising speed of 50 miles per hour. "I'm looking forward to it, especially as friends have rallied around to help with preparing the car and me for it. "The car is 50 years behind the times, so I shall have to concentrate when driving. I don't want a puncture. I plan to travel lightly and fill the car with spare parts instead. "I don't want to get to Cornwall on the back of an AA truck. "I have always wanted to go back to Cornwall as we enjoyed our family holidays there. I'm bound to be thinking of Muriel along the way. "Nick hopes to raise as much cash as possible for Overgate Hospice. Laura Ramsden, Overgate community fund-raiser, said: "It's a new and exciting idea and I'm sure he will have lots of adventures along the way."

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