Monday 31 August 2009

Another WFP Backpack -The ROCKET SPRAYER®

Another option for water fed pole backpack sprayers...

Through years of research and development, Taraco enterprises has developed the Ultimate Battery-Operated Sprayer. The ROCKET SPRAYER®! The "highly acclaimed sprayer" on Internet garden, rose and pest control forums. We have held with high regard, our "customer feedback". Many of the features you see now on the two different models of ROCKET SPRAYER’S®, are due to customer suggestions.

NO ASSEMBLY!!! - It arrives ready to spray.
CAN BE USED AS BACKPACK OR WHEELED SPRAYER - Handle retracts for easy conversion from cart to backpack.
POWERFUL!!! - It will spray 20 to 30 feet (depending on the model).
CHEMICAL RESISTANT MATERIALS - The ROCKET SPRAYER HEAVY DUTY will accommodate numerous different types of chemicals.
MOLDED RECEPTACLE’S IN THE TANK - Pump pressure adjustment, battery-recharging jack, are simple to use!!
SPECIAL DESIGNED FILTERING SYSTEM - Two filters - easy to clean.
AUTOMATIC!! JUST THE CLICK OF A SWITCH - Lighted on/off rocker switch.
AWARD WINNING SHURFLO PUMP - Operates quietly on a demand operation, which dramatically increases the length of the battery charge and spraying time!!
HOLDS A BATTERY CHARGE - Will spray 40 to 80 gallons on one charge, depending on the model.
ROCKET FAST - Continuous and consistent adjustable spray pattern.
NEW TECHNOLOGY BATTERY - Non-Memory- Re-charges overnight without worry of overcharging, and no need of totally discharging. BATTERY CHARGER - Comes complete with battery charger - simple and easy to use.


Capacity 5 gallons
Depth 7 1/2" (19.05cm)
Width 18 1/2" (47cm)
Height 26" (63.5 cm)
Weight (dry) 27lbs
Electrical:Battery 12-Volt, 7amp, sealed, non-memory & rechargeable, 6lbs
Battery Charger 12-volt trickle charge... green indicator light when charged
Pump & Motor SHURFLO diaphragm pump operates on demand with an internal pressure switch 20-95 psi (rebuildable with diaphragm, valves, & pressure switch)
Components:Wand Heavy duty with adj. Cone jet tip
Hose 15' flexible black (300 psi)
Handle Zinc plated with hose securing hooks
Axle & Wheels Zinc plated axle- semi pneumatic 8" rubber wheels
Performance:Spraying distance 25 to 30 feet
Spraying time Sprays 75 to 80 gallons with one battery charge
$329 + $24 Shipping

Sunday 30 August 2009

DIY Hot Water Systems for Water Fed Poles

Nat' Jones of the ACS cleaning forums has been playing around with hot water systems since early 2008. Nat' from Ireland runs his window cleaning business called "Avondhu Cleaning Service" in Fermoy, near Cork, Eire. The forum even has its own separate hot water topic pages called "my hot water set-up" within the forum & he posts wiring, plumbing & schematics for the perfect hot water fed system which he has called "Thermoshine."

The Master Guild of Window Cleaners is also available for any window cleaner to join & the "make your own hot water system" pdf file is free for all members. The Master Guild of Window Cleaners is a non-profit organisation founded by window cleaners, for window cleaners. The Guild is not a trade association, but rather a community based professional support group. The Guild is run and maintained on a voluntary basis. The Guild aims to benefit cleaners and their clients alike, by raising standards, improving work practices, ensuring its members are adequately insured and always aware of the health and safety challenges that face them.

The Eccotemp L5 is the hottest portable tankless unit on the market! Endless hot water - wherever you are! The Eccotemp L5 unit is perfect for campsites, cabins, or simply around the house. There is no reservoir to deplete. Wash your car, wash your boat, take a hot shower, wash the dogs or the horse. You can add it to a pressure washer for an even better cleaning!. The 2 "D" cell battery ignition starts the flame only when water is running, so there's no chance of overheating.

Simon from "Yorkshire Coast Window Cleaning" also followed Nat's lead & installed his own L5 heater with video below. Visit his website or click the picture below. The video shows the heater in operation affixed to the back door of his van, eliminating the need for an exhaust.

More options can be found on the internet, but watch out for minimum flow rates of operation as a lower water flow can inhibit function. Although Nat' Jones of ACS forums has ways to get round this. Here is another video for Marey water heaters.

Saturday 29 August 2009

DIY Water Fed Brushes

Brought to you by the good (and Handsome) people at FREE WATER FED GUIDE. AKA Matt & Jeff Brimble! CLICK HERE FOR FORUM/MESSAGE BOARD. There used to be problems with spammers, but now it is a little safer.

VIKAN BRUSH (I use the 10"er)
Vikan to Unger adaptor
TWO FAN Nozzles
TWO Bulkhead Connections (the fan holders)
12" of 6mm pipe
ONE 6mm "T" Connection

Tools you need:
A drill (with a slow trigger start if you have one)
2mm Drill bit
6mm Drill bit
8.5 Drill bit
13mm Drill bit

Lets get Going:
Drill a 2mm Hole Through the brush from the Bristle side.

Note the holes are about 1" from the slot of the brush - see white chalk marks.

You will now have 2 x 2mm guide holes. Now from the "Handle side" drill a 6mm hole straight through. This hole will take the fan Jet.
Take your 8.5mm drill bit and Drill from the Bristle side.
ONLY DRILL ABOUT 6MM DEEP as this is the bigger bit on the nozzle.

SO TAKE IT EASY. Your Fan Nozzle will now sit flush with the brush.

The Fan Nozzle will stick out on the Handle side about 6mm. Not enough to take the Bulkhead connection. So take the fan nozzle out. Take your 13mm Drill bit. ONCE AGAIN TAKE YOU TIME. Now drill From the HANDLE SIDE with your 13mm drill bit. This only needs to be 8mm deep.

Now feed the Nozzle in from the bristle side. Push the Bulkhead connections on the ends of the nozzles. You will feel them lock. You will know when they lock as they will not pull off. Do up the first Nut and line the spray up so its along the brush. You will see the line on the fan nozzle.
then when you are happy with that, just do the 2nd nut up. This will lock the other nut together.

Cut the pipe with a Stanley knife about 5"s long. Make sure its a clean cut & push the pipe into the "T."

Push the other ends of the pipe into the bulkhead connections/fan holders. Screw the Vikan/Unger connection into the Handle space. JOB DONE.

Please Note, you will not be able to remove the Fan Nozzles from the brush. So if they get blocked - Undo the pipe to the bulkhead connection and flush the offending item out.

If you enjoyed this guide, please take your time to visit the DIY Water Fed Pole Forum here. If you have decided to build your own Water Fed Pole System, you should take a look at how to build your own system here. Any questions will be answered on the forum if you get into difficultys.

Friday 28 August 2009

Friday Window Cleaning News

R.I.P Jeff Hardin, owner of Transparent Window Cleaning located in suburban Detroit, died last night. The incident was not work related. He suffered a massive heart attack. Jeff was 46 years old. Jeff had a long resume of trying to help improve our industry by helping window cleaners become educated about industry topics. He had served on the IWCA Glass committee as well as other IWCA boards, committees and what not. One of the things Jeff enjoyed was networking and sharing information with other window cleaners. He even went as far as to host gatherings at his shop for local “competitors” to come together and get to know each other. To those who had an opportunity to interact and talk with Jeff, you know that he was an exceptional guy of great character. The industry has lost an ambassador of professionalism that will be missed. Jeff is survived by his wife and his three children, ages 8, 12, and 14. A memorial fund has been set up to help with the expenses of the funeral and to provide for the children. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions directly to...
The Hardin Family Memorial
C/O Genisys Credit Union
4055 S Lapeer Road
Orion, MI 48359

Information regarding arrangements: Modetz Funeral Home 100 East Silverbell Orion, MI (248) 371-3711
Viewing Saturday, August 29. 3-8 Viewing Sunday, August 30 2-8 Funeral Monday, August 31 11am @ Modetz Funeral Home

Westview-Fairforest Fire and EMS commissioners plan to interview two finalists for a chief's position the week of Sept. 7-11, the district's board chairman said Wednesday. Chairman David Parks said (alphabetically by last name) that Cowpens Fire Department Chief Jamie Caggiano and Westview-Fairforest Interim Chief Scott Garrett are the two finalists. Each finalist will meet with the five commissioners next month. Caggiano said his father's time as a fire chief in Cherokee County helped him develop a love of providing "community oriented" fire and EMS service. "That fire district belongs to the community. It's not the chief's and not the firemen's," Caggiano said. "I want to provide that service and provide a safe and secure place for 15 or 16 guys or gals working there."Caggiano said he thinks one of his main strengths is his financial background, which includes budgeting for the fire department and owning a small business, Fish Window Cleaning.

What to do? City Hall costs a concern. Maybe there are ways to bring down operating costs, although that's easier said than done. This raises an obvious question: Why didn't someone think of window cleaning for a building that's made entirely of windows? The same goes for such needs as security, elevator maintenance and utilities, which also were over budget.

Newmarket-based ACS is one of the latest companies to join a leading edge scheme, designed to help industry improve its safety record. The firm recently received accreditation from SAFEcontractor, a programme which recognises very high standards of health & safety practise amongst UK contractors. Employing over 350 people and with a £3.4 million turnover, ACS is involved in all areas of the contract cleaning market but specialises in the bio-tech, food and university contracts. It has most recently added major players such as Newmarket Racecourses. The company’s application for SAFEcontractor accreditation was driven by the need for a uniform standard across the business.
“I am delighted that our commitment to health & safety has once again been recognised," says Chris Broadley, Managing Director. "We take our responsibility for protection and wellbeing of all our staff and contractors seriously and we understand that in a modern environment health & safety is not something that any company should simply treat as an inconvenience.” SAFEcontractor accreditation is expected to enhance the company’s ability to attract new contracts and its commitment to safety will be viewed positively by its insurers when the company liability is up for renewal. SAFEcontractor is applicable to most sectors although it is particularly relevant to food manufacture, property, facilities management, retail and leisure sectors, all of which are big users of contract services. Under the system, businesses undergo a vetting process, which examines health & safety procedures and their track record for safe practice.
Darran Hughes, Operations Director of SAFEcontractor, explains: “Major organisations can no longer run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health & safety policies. “More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that ACS has done. The firm's high standard has set an example, which hopefully will be followed by other companies within this sector.” Employer-organisations that sign up too the scheme can access the database on which all approved contractors are listed, which enables them to vet potential contractors before they even set foot on site. These employers agree that, as users of the scheme, they will engage only those who have received accreditation. Over 120 major nationwide businesses, from several key sectors, have signed up to use the scheme when selecting contractors for services such as building cleaning, maintenance, refurbishment or electrical and mechanical work.

Local woman blows whistle on cleaning company: Nobody was supposed to see Gloria Rodriguez. She said she usually arrived around midnight for the overnight shift at a prominent Boston restaurant to scrub floors, tables, and toilets until they sparkled. By dawn, she was gone. But once her paychecks failed to arrive on time - or bounced - Rodriguez suddenly became a public figure in an unusual campaign against the cleaning company Coverall and the restaurants she said they cleaned, Legal Sea Foods and the Cheesecake Factory. She told her story to churches, university students, state officials, and the media, and last month to the general counsel of Coverall cleaning company, who flew up from Florida to listen. As a result, Coverall decided to donate $40,000 to two nonprofits that aided Rodriguez and other workers like her, Centro Presente and the Chelsea Collaborative. The groups said they will use the money to pay 18 workers their lost wages today at a press conference in Boston City Hall. Each nonprofit will get $5,000 as well.
But it also opens a window into the complex world of the cleaning industry, where allegations of worker abuses are causing headaches both for employees of independent contractors and for the businesses that hire them. Complaints of abuses have prompted the state attorney general’s office to investigate the cleaning industry overall, said spokesman Harry Pierre. But legal violations, as the workers found, can be difficult to prove if a subcontractor disappears, making it hard to hold anyone accountable. Rodriguez said she was excited to get a cleaning job nearly two years ago with a local franchise of Coverall Health Based Cleaning Systems, a Florida sales and marketing company that sells franchises nationwide for $10,500 to $32,000 each. The corporation provides a brand name and training and helps franchise holders get contracts - but it is up to each franchise to pay its workers. Rodriguez said she cleaned for a month at the Cheesecake Factory and for more than two months at Legal Sea Foods in the Boston area and was paid less than she earned. Her husband also worked for two months and was not paid at all.

A woman told a court she has been put off sausages for life after seeing her neighbour pleasuring himself in his back garden. Denise Woodage complained to police after she allegedly saw Paul Darlow rubbing his genitals, mowing his lawn and cleaning his windows several times completely naked – apart from a pair of boots. Following complaints of similar behaviour in March last year, police installed a CCTV camera at Ms Woodage’s home, which overlooks Darlow’s back garden, which captured the incident. Darlow, 53, a married stepdad-of-two, was at his home in Churchwood Walk in Calcot on November 7, when he was charged with indecent exposure with intent to cause alarm or distress.
Giving evidence at Reading Crown Court yesterday, Ms Woodage said: “I would see him two or three times a month, naked, mowing the lawn or cleaning the window, always naked apart from a pair of boots. I saw him twice pleasuring himself, it made me feel sick, he has put me off men. “Put it this way – it has put me off my sausages for life.” But Darlow said the November incident was a one-off “moment of madness”, not realising anyone was watching him, and he was embarrassed and ashamed. Asked why he did it, he told the court: “It was lax judgement.” The court heard he told police in interview he swore at his neighbour because he saw her looking into his garden when he went downstairs in his boxers to chase a pair of cats away. He denied ever being naked or touching his genitals. But in court yesterday he said: “I did not know anyone was watching. Up until yesterday I was sticking to my story I gave in my police interview that I never did it, but when I knew there was CCTV I had to change it.” Darlow, on conditional bail, denies the offence. The trial continues.

When Donnie Clark was cleaning the windows on an East Manteca home Tuesday afternoon, the process meant much more to him than just another job. With his Five Star Window Cleaning business taking up the majority of this time, Clark – who worships at Manteca’s Place of Refuge (formerly First Assembly of God) and just recently enrolled his sons into class at the affiliated Manteca Christian School – the task of sprucing up the country estate that has for the last several months been the home of Pastor Richard Brown was more of an honor for the local resident than it was a chore.
After all, it was Brown who that planted the seeds for what would eventually become Manteca Christian School when it was he who was at the helm of First Assembly – an institution that has a special place in the heart of the father who recently sent his son to attend classes there. “My son has what a lot of people would call attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, and he had nothing but problems when we had him enrolled in public school,” Clark said. “Once we put him in Manteca Christian School we noticed a marked improvement, and he really started to take to the faith-based curriculum that the school offers its students. “I’m eternally grateful for how much Manteca Christian School has helped my son.” And in a sense, he’s eternally grateful to Brown for laying the framework for what would eventually become his saving grace.
Tuesday’s free spruce-up session was a chance for Clark to say thank you to the man – who moved back to Manteca last year to deal with the debilitating Lou Gehrig’s disease clinically known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – who moved back to Manteca to live in-home where rent is being paid by the members of the First Assembly congregation as a thank you for the time he put into building the church into what it is today. With the mercury creeping up, Clark and another member of his crew spent the latter part of Tuesday morning going over all of the windows in the rural country home as a way to honor the man who inadvertently affected his life greatly through his actions when he was at the helm of the church – something he couldn’t have been more proud to be able to do.
With his tools in hand, Clark continued with making sure that Brown gets a clear view out of each of the windows inside of his new home, and has big plans on helping out other families in the community that might need assistance as well – knowing that nothing he does in the future will compare with helping a man that had such a big impact on his own family.“It feels good to be able to make a family happy, especially when it’s somebody like Pastor Brown that has done so much for this community,” Clark said. “We’re planning on continuing this and making sure that those who need assistance can receive it.” Five Star Window Cleaning is a licensed operator here in the Central Valley and is searching for needy families who could use their expertise. To contact them call 450-2756.

Cillit Bang used in clean-up at Dounreay: The BBC has today covered the use of Cillit Bang in the clean-up of the Dounreay Site. The press release issued by Dounreay Site Restoration Limited can be found below. Nuclear sites across Britain are showing interest in the discovery by workers at Dounreay that one of the country's best-selling household cleaner removes plutonium stains more effectively than many industrial clean-up products. The discovery came when a decommissioning team found their normal cleaning fluid was slowing down work to dismantle an experimental chemical plant used in the 1980s to recycle plutonium liquor.
One of the team suggested trying Cillit Bang, after watching a television advert that suggested it could strip grime instantly from a 2p coin. The idea was taken up by managers who ordered tests on the £1.99 household cleaner. These confirmed its effectiveness and the product is now playing a key role in keeping on the track the clean-out and demolition of the plant,a test-bed for the giant THORP reprocessing plant at Sellafield. The nuclear site in Cumbria is among those who have been in touch with Dounreay to learn more about the discovery.

‘I’ll run till my leg drops off’: A WINDOW cleaner aged 65 who has completed 45 marathons for charity says he will keep running until one of his legs drops off. Tony Bell, of the Bramleys, Rochford, has done all the races in the past 14 years. In that time, Tony has run as many as four marathons a year, as well as completing countless other charity runs. He has also taken part in several ultra marathons – the longest a gruelling 50-mile event in South Africa, which he took almost 12 hours to finish.
Tony credits his window cleaning, as well as a tough exercise regime, for his incredible fitness. He said: “My job has supported the running as it has kept me active and outdoors. “Sometimes I’m dead on my feet at the end of a hard day and the last thing I want to do is go for a run, but I always go.” Over the years Tony has raised money for a number of charities.
His brother died of leukaemia aged just four and his sister died of cancer aged 36, and he said their deaths have helped motivate him. He said: “They both died young and that sort of gave me the spark. “Their memory is always in the back of my mind and I think it pushes me along.” His next undertaking is the Run the Beat Half Marathon in London, on September 27, and at just 13 miles it should be a stroll in the park for Tony. He is running in support of Little Havens Hospice children’s hospice, in Thundersley, and anyone who wishes to make a donation should e-mail Tony will also run the London Marathon next year, fitness permitting, and has no plans to hang up his running shoes. He said: “I will take each run as it goes. “You know in your heart when to pack something in, but I think I’ll keep on running until one of my legs drops off.”

WCR Nation Season 4 Episode #2 from chris wcr on Vimeo.

Thursday 27 August 2009

Window Cleaning Related Videos

Don Marsh - Networking with Other Services: Once in awhile I get a job for someone else who does some other service. It happens because a customer asks me if I know a painter or electrician or a plumber. I give them a name and number and that person mysteriously gets a phone call from someone who is ready to spend money. In a nutshell, that is how networking referrals work. At this very moment, someone is looking for a window cleaner in your town. She is hesitant to just call someone in the Yellow Pages because she wants someone who is known and trusted by her friends or another service person whose judgment she trusts. Today, some baby sitter or dog groomer or nail tech is thinking of who she knows who cleans windows; or who she has heard another customer talk about. Everyone is drawing a blank…because not one of those people knows who you are. More....

Don talks about self employment...

Two domestic workers (aka house maid) cleaning a second floor apartment window in Jordan, risking her life in the process. This is a very common sight in Jordan. Window cleaning is considered a required chore in many households, and if the worker refused she could be coerced, chastised, or fired. In some cases where the maid falls and dies or is injured, it's reported as an attempted suicide and the victim's family is denied any compensations.

Mr Squeegee of "A New View window cleaning" brings you the 6th & 7th episodes in the summer series of "weather or not." In the first video, Tony shares his ideas on add-on services during the slowdown. In the second video, Tony gives his thoughts on scheduling jobs around the heat. The third video shows you Tony utilising his backpack with a wfp on a balcony. See other videos here.

Shawn Gavin of Reach Higher Ground shows us the clamps & operation of the Gardiners SLX pole in the next 3 videos. RHG was started in 2006 by Shawn Gavin, a window cleaner with a vision. Shortly after getting into the window cleaning industry Shawn discovered pure water window cleaning. In his day to day operations of his window cleaning business Shawn found a need for products that were not currently available. As a result he sought out those products from other markets and began to utilize them in his own business. Since then, he has become committed to making those types of products available to other window cleaners. Shawn still operates his window cleaning business and his passion is to educate his fellow window cleaners about the benefits of pure water and help them incorporate it into their business. Reach Higher Ground, manufacturers in Colorado and distributes to many countries around the world. Check out the new website here.

Another new video series in the making from Window Cleaning Resource, this one titled "WFP's on WCR." Hosted by Micah Kommers of "We Wash Windows" from Greenville, South Carolina. Also shown is an exterior gutter cleaning video utilising a pressure washer.

The North West Window Cleaners BBQ was the gathering place for all window cleaners in the North west territory & was a resounding success. Here is the video below to show what happened on the day. Look out for the world's biggest squeegee "the Slayer." Tim Hunter of "Gleaming the View" showcased Networking, Demos, a Swap-meet & a BBQ. Click here for more details & pictures.

Finally....I think the heat has finally got to this window cleaner.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Window-Action in New York Not Just for Window Cleaners

High Line hotel staff insists free peepshow a rule, not exception: The staff at The Standard hotel in the Meatpacking District insists that they too get involved in indecent acts in front of the ceiling-to-door windows to draw attention to the hotel. The raunchy hotel has attracted fury of neighbours and people coming to the High Line urban park opposite it.

The staff insists that's the rule- not the exception. "We don't discourage it. In actual fact, we encourage it," the New York Post quoted a friendly bellhop as saying. After the hotel opened late last year, the bellhop said, naked and semidressed staff members were encouraged to pose in front of the windows. He said the point was to create a buzz with the unexpected peep show. "One of the managers even got naked in a room, and filmed it -- they were considering a live feed for the Web site. She's an exhibitionist too," the staffer said.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has warned The Standard to tone down the sexcapades. The hotel's management responded by saying it would make "a concerted effort to remind guests of the transparency of the guest room windows." However, there was no "reminder" when reporters checked into a room. The only warning to guests was a letter, left in the room, from manager Ian Nicholson- and outlining the month's window-washing schedule.

The plush Standard hotel in New York has become a tourist attraction as more people are flocking to catch a glimpse of randy guests performing sex acts in front of the floor-to-ceiling hotel windows. People strolling in the newly opened High Line urban park near the hotel are witnessing a free peep show, reports the New York Post. Guests at the hotel have been spotted romping, drying off and even pleasuring themselves in full view of onlookers.
Andre Landeros Michel, 34, a Chelsea designer, who regularly ventures over to view randy Standard guests having sex in front of the massive floor-to-ceiling windows in full view of the park, said: "It's a little peep show -- but instead of being on 42nd Street, it's down here at the High Line. A Parks Department worker said that plenty of people come to the park specifically to watch the erotic exhibitionism. Harlem resident Aaron Lipman, 34, a media research analyst who works near the park, said: "I think it's healthy and fun -- it's flirtatious. It's like 'Wild Kingdom.'

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Window Cleaning on Worlds Tallest Building Set to Start

A tall order - Burj Dubai all set to come clean: Cleaning of Burj Dubai exterior will begin soon to prepare for the expected September soft opening of the tallest building in the world, XPRESS has learnt. An Emaar spokesperson said on Sunday that “Burj Dubai will open this year as scheduled” but declined to confirm if the schedule still includes September or a later date. Cleaning an 818-plus metre tall icicle-shaped shard that seemingly reaches into the heavens is easier said than done, said Mick Atkins, Project Director of Cox Gomyl in Dubai.

The Australian design and fabrication company was subcontracted by cladding firm Arabian Aluminium to build on behalf of Emaar owners a custom cradle for window washers. The first of 18 tailor-made Cox Gomyl buckets is now being tested on the south side of the Burj Dubai at Level 40, Atkins said. “Normally you would drive around a track on the roof,” Atkins said.
However, with the Burj’s tri-floral petal exterior shape, he said that they have to drive “around the outside of the building”.

To wash most of the 160 floors of habitable space of the structure, a horizontal track has been installed on the exterior of Burj Dubai at three levels - 40, 73 and 109. Each track holds a 1,500 tonne bucket machine which moves horizontally and then vertically using heavy cables, he said. “The cradle drops vertically and cleans that strip,” Atkins said. The very top of the spire, however, is reserved for specialist human window cleaners who brave super heights and high winds dangling by ropes to clean the top panels.

Daniel Hicks, Business Development Manager of Megarme Rope Access, is bidding for the contract to clean the spire using rope access technicians who abseil or rappel along the facade.
Despite 15 years of expert experience in Dubai hanging from some of the tallest buildings in the Gulf, Hicks said maintaining the top 111 metres of the Burj Dubai will be a first. Unlike climbing Mount Everest, for example, where there is secure landscape nearby for a climber to maintain his bearings at a super high altitude – on top of the Burj Dubai, there’s mostly air. “There’s no natural feature that you could relate this to,” Hicks said. “This is like a chopstick jutting out of the ground compared to a mountain.” Also see previous news.

Monday 24 August 2009

The UK Ladder Association issues the "Ladder Card"

The Ladder Association is a modern, forward-looking organisation with 55 member companies. Committed to progressing safety and best practice step-by-step, the association is adapting to the challenges facing the industry by positioning itself as the clear and acknowledged focus for ladders and stepladders in the marketplace. It is a major contributor to UK and European standards setting, works closely with the HSE and is the UK’s leading provider of ladder training.

The Ladder Association is the only trade body dedicated to providing ladder users with the information and skills they need to use ladders and stepladders safely and productively. Working in collaboration with manufacturers, policy makers and key influencers, including the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), it uses the collective experience and expertise of its many members to fulfil a number of distinct roles.

With its new name, re-styled logo and revised constitution, the Ladder Association, formerly the British Ladder Manufacturers' Association (BLMA), aims to set a new agenda for the ladder industry in the UK. The Ladder Association is the voice of the industry and its message is clear and precisely the same as the HSE….. Ladders are not banned in the workplace, so if it's right to use a ladder, use the right ladder and use it safely.

Be ladder competent...get a LadderCard. Demonstration of competence is key, which is why the association operates a national training scheme for users, supervisors and managers wanting to equip themselves with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to use ladders safely and productively. Completion of a Ladder Association training course provides the proof of competence demanded by the Work at Height Regulations. Courses are delivered only by association approved training centres. The Ladder Association training course ensures that delegates have an understanding of the legislation and regulations affecting work at height, product standards and classifications for ladders and stepladders, and hazards affecting the use of ladders and stepladders. With the introduction of the Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 in January 2009, and the widely publicised court case in which a school caretaker successfully sued his local authority employer for lack of formal ladder training, the imperative for professional training has never been greater. Newsletter here.

Sunday 23 August 2009

Is Cleaning a Window Worth Your Life?

The online "building magazine" provides this Sundays viewing with some unbelievable examples of window cleaners with no respect for health & safety or people around them. Although the examples on the website deals mainly with construction working errors, many of the examples are of bad window cleaning practice.

The new Spiderman movie... will probably not, on balance, look much like this. Peter Whitbread captures this example of extreme window cleaning. That man is clearly on the lookout for trouble.

Fact: window cleaners will fall through skylight windows however gingerly they tread across the glass. Hornagold & Hills's director Henry Lamb spotted these "two herberts" cleaning the basement skylights outside his office window in Waterhouse Square, London.

Toes like talons: The only way is down when you've reach the heady heights of a safety blunder of this calibre. Thanks to Gordon Paterson who sent in these snaps. He wrote: "This is a window cleaner we witnessed climbing out a window six stories from the ground in the centre of Edinburgh. There was no evidence of him clipping on and no signs of any harness. The ground to roof ridge height in a similar building we were surveying was in the region of 23 meters!"

Window cleaner shopped: Never has shopping for spectacles been so potentially dangerous. Spotted by John Williams in Prague.

From ledge to hedge: This blunder is more impressive when you consider the window has been shut behind him. The the man rubbing down his windows in Muswell Hill, London was spotted by Matt Cayton.

Paul Shilling of Cluttons sent this photo of “window cleaners opposite our office”. But hang on, this looks more like a cleverly planned heist to us. Criminal mastermind No 1 is already halfway across the ledge. Criminal mastermind No 2 is taking a bit longer to make his escape, presumably because of the bulging swag bag he’s about to heave out of the window.

Don't worry, that bollard will break my fall. More daredevil window cleaning antics. Location: Cheadle Hume, Cheshire.

On the precipice: A cleaner on the Talgarth Road gets caught on the wrong side of a sash window. Picture taken in West London by George Long.

Extreme window cleaning: This chap seems to want to live on the edge or perhaps he hasn't realised he's just a few inches from disaster. Thanks to Richard Burgess for this photo. He says this "window cleaner on the first floor window ledge about 15ft off the ground in Jermyn Street London, opposite our office. "He obviously has no regard of where he is or an issue with heights."

Multi-tasking? The man on the van seems more interested in what's on the other end of his phone. David Durrant sent this picture to Building from the Algarve in Portugal.

Cleaning... calling... falling? This window cleaner must suffer from the opposite of vertigo. Invertigo? Spotted by Mark Eardley on a trip to Bristol. "Our intrepid window cleaner has put aside all safety protection such as long pole cleaners, safety harnesses or any other PPE to a clean this third storey window. The PPE would have not been of much use should he have slipped and become impaled on the spiked railings approximately 10m below!"

Cleaning with soul: The grip on a dirty sneaker is all that's keeping this window cleaner from the pavement below.

Get a grip! Taking your sandals off so you can get a firm grip on the top edge of the stepladder with your toes doesn't really count as proper safety procedure, we suspect. Having lunch in Dubai, Cor Benjamin spotted this worker cleaning bird excrement from the lamp posts. "His ladder wasn't quite high enough," comments Cor – well, apparently it is, if you count the very top edge of the stepladder and (of course) leave your sandals at the bottom.

This London window cleaner spotted working several storeys up without any safety equipment is obviously no vertigo sufferer. A Burgess, who took this snap, was less sanguine about such foolhardy working practices: “Cleaning windows earlier this week on fourth-floor building in Mayfair with no harness, PPE – nothing!” he remarked in horror.

Definitely not a safe bet: As this chap is clearly a gambling man, it's handy that there's a betting shop just below. Then when he's finished gambling with his life, he can go and have a little flutter on the horses for light relief. Thanks to QS Adam Ball for spotting this window cleaner working above central Manchester's busy Portland Road with, as he points out, “no harness or head protection” - and clearly no sense, either.

Standing in the gutter is handy – if hardly safe – for cleaning that particular storey, but how's he going to do the next one up? David Johnston was most alarmed to glimpse this windowcleaner through the window of his central-London hotel. "He spent about 20 minutes outside on the narrow ledge oblivious to any risk; no doubt he will be back in a couple of months to clean them again – I just hope I am not there to witness it should he fall."

Kevin Sansbury was admiring the Flatiron building in New York when he spotted this chap appreciating the view. But surely it’s just as impressive from inside the building?

Crouching tiger, hidden drop: Actually not such a hidden drop – a blatantly obvious three-storey drop – and not a tiger at all, but a rather reckless window cleaner. This window cleaner was spotted three storeys up at a building in central London, on the corner of Coleman Street and Basinghall Avenue.

Klingon spotted in the West End: Sorry, we meant 'cling-on'. Oh, and did we mention the spiky wrought-iron railings three storeys beneath, and the rain? Since this chap apparently requires all four limbs to cling to the window frame, we are rather wondering with what appendage he is planning to clean the glass. Perhaps he could lick it clean?

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