Tuesday 23 December 2014

People Donate Thousands For Pedro Perez

Maricela Perez, center, wife of Pedro Perez, a San Leandro man who fell from an 11-story building in San Francisco while window washing, speaks about her husband's recovery with her daughter Gaby Perez, 11, left, and Colin O'Leary, right, a Service Employees International Union organizer, at the SEIU United Service Workers West office in Oakland, Calif.
Window washer who fell 130 feet in S.F. 'wants to get up and run’ - Daniela Perez says her father, Pedro, is a stubborn man. The 58-year-old San Leandro window washer is stubborn about working hard. He is stubborn about passing down his values to his three daughters. And now, he is stubbornly fighting back after suffering extensive brain trauma, a shattered pelvis and a broken arm when he plummeted 11 stories from the roof of a building in San Francisco — and somehow survived.

“He is fighting,” Daniela, 16, said Monday. “He wants to get up already. He wants to get up and run.” It’s going to be awhile, though, before Perez can run — or even walk. He’s been slowly recovering at San Francisco General Hospital since the Nov. 21 accident, when he plunged from the top of 400 Montgomery St. during a job that went wrong. He was hurtling toward the asphalt below when, in an unusual piece of good fortune, he crashed into and crumpled the roof of a passing Toyota Camry.

Perez’s family is now reluctantly asking for help from the public as he embarks on a long recovery. His wife, 37-year-old Maricela, and three daughters — Daniela, 11-year-old Gaby and Monica, 19 — started a crowdfunding site to raise money. Perez, who has worked as a window washer for 15 years, has insurance through work to cover his medical bills and is getting workers’ compensation checks.

But without his full income, the family members said, they are scraping by. Maricela has been working extra hours at a plastic factory, while Monica quit school to take another job. “It’s not easy to be asking for help,” Maricela said through a translator at a news conference Monday in Oakland. Her husband, she said, “was the one helping to make ends meet. We need him a lot. He is our backup.”

A lone shoe of window washer, Pedro Perez who fell 11 stories onto a moving car sits in the gutter of Montgomery and California streets in San Francisco.
When Maricela first learned of the accident, she was told by a relative that her husband had died. It wasn’t until after she had frantically picked up her daughters from school that she learned through authorities he was alive — barely. Along with the brain trauma and broken bones, Perez was hemorrhaging internally from a ruptured artery in his right arm. Maricela Perez also didn’t know the incredible circumstances of the fall. It was around 10 a.m., amid the bustling crowds of the city’s Financial District, when Perez fell 130 feet into Mohammad Alcozai’s 2002 Camry.

Witnesses stepped in to help — calling 911, stopping traffic and urging Perez to hold on — and paramedics were at the scene within minutes, stabilizing Perez and rushing him to a hospital. “I think God wanted me to be there just at the moment that poor man fell,” said Alcozai, a traveling tech specialist from Dublin, who had slowed down and then sped up after his car’s navigation system shut down momentarily. “It was a miracle that he was able to fall in my car, and it was a miracle that I was OK.”

The driver of a 2002 Toyota Camry that was crushed after a window washer fell 11 stories onto its roof talks on the phone.
In the days after the accident, Maricela Perez said, “It was surgery after surgery. The doctors induced a coma because the suffering was so great. Truly, it is a miracle that he is still alive.” When he finally woke up, Perez wasn’t able to speak, his family said. He didn’t remember the fall, nor could he recognize familiar faces. But in the past few weeks, he has improved.

He’s now calling his relatives by name and is out of the hospital’s intensive care unit. Soon he will be moved to a rehabilitation center in Pleasanton, where he will work to regain use of his right side, Maricela said. “At first, it was hard to see him and not be able to ask if he’s OK,” Daniela said. “Now he’s talking. He can tell us what hurts. Before we couldn’t help him. We felt helpless.”

An investigator takes photos of window scaffolding platform after window washer, Pedro Perez fell 11 stories onto a moving car at Montgomery and California streets in San Francisco.
California workplace safety regulators are still looking into what caused Perez’s fall, and said Monday that they could not release details about the case until the investigation is complete. Century Window Cleaning of Concord, the firm doing the job, has not commented. “We have up to six months to complete the investigation,” said Peter Melton, a Cal/OSHA spokesman. “Typically, they are not finished within a month.”

Perez’s loved ones said they will spend Christmas at the hospital. They said he is eager to get back to work, but that his days of washing windows are behind him. “It’s hard not having my dad at home, especially with Christmas and my birthday coming up,” said Daniela, who turns 17 next month. “I hope he gets better, and he gets to come home. I want to be able to celebrate with him.”

Pedro Perez has had several surgeries for the injuries he received when he landed atop a car in the city's financial district Nov. 21 after plummeting 130 feet from the top of the Sterling Bank and Trust. He suffered extensive brain trauma, severely damaged his right arm and fractured his pelvis, and it's not clear whether he'll walk again. Maricela Perez through a translator said “They are saying it’s a miracle.”

Monday 22 December 2014

Pedro Perez Rehabilitation

On November 21, 2014 San Francisco high rise window cleaner Pedro Perez fell from the top of an 11 story building at the corner of California and Montgomery Streets in San Francisco.
Family Of San Francisco Window Washer Who Survived 11-Story Fall Asking For Donations To Cover Hospital Bills: A donation fund has been started for the San Francisco window cleaner who survived an 11-story fall last month. The family of 50-year-old Pedro Perez has asked for donations to help pay for his recovery costs and mounting family bills after he fell about 130 feet while washing the windows of 400 Montgomery Street on November 21st.

“Our dad’s life is the best gift we could’ve received this holiday season,” says his 19-year old daughter, Monica Perez. “But our family just lost its main breadwinner, and we need help staying above water as we navigate a difficult recovery process.” Perez suffered internal bleeding as well as a broken arm and fractured pelvis, according to his daughter. In a televised interview, she said he is off a breathing machine and he is talking. His family is expected to give an update on his condition in Oakland on Monday. Donations for his rehabilitation fund will be accepted online here.

Damage left on a Toyota Camry after window washer, Pedro Perez fell from above California St. in San Francisco.
Pedro Perez Rehabilitation Fund: On November 21, 2014 San Francisco high rise window cleaner Pedro Perez fell from the top of an 11 story building at the corner of California and Montgomery Streets in San Francisco. Miraculously, by the grace of God, the power of life or what one chooses to believe, Pedro survived the fall by landing on the back of a moving car. He was gravely injured, however, suffering extensive brain trauma , fracturing his pelvis, breaking his arm, rupturing an artery in his right arm, and deeply hemorrhaging internally. 

Pedro’s recovery has begun, and despite the sheer miracle that he has begun conversing with others and that the strength of his memory is returning, his road to recovery will be a long and arduous one. Pedro, age 58, is unable to work and support his family and it is unclear when or how he will even be able to walk again. Yet he was the principle bread winner of his family in the ever-increasingly expensive Bay Area. His wife works a night job at a factory in the East Bay and his eldest daughter, 19, has quit her college studies in order to support the family. His other daughters, ages 16 and 11 cannot and should not be expected do the same. 

The Perez family is in urgent need of financial assistance during his recovery. It is unknown whether he will be able to return to work at all, and though it is a miracle that this would even be a prospect, it will be a long time until the future is certain. Pedro and his family are asking for donations so that they can weather this difficult period amongst ever increasing expenses and ever increasing uncertainty so that a brighter future for the entire Perez family can be created from this very dark and difficult situation.

Friday 19 December 2014

The Eco Window Cleaning Unit - Reinventing The Bucket

The Eco Window Cleaning Unit - reinventing the bucket. Click to enlarge. It is predicted that a  competitive price will be around around £65.00 + VAT. The unit is a single module.
The Eco Window Cleaning Unit  - A Window Cleaning Unit That Saves Water and Cleans Better! We all love admiring the beautiful views through our apartment and house windows but most of us are unaware of the impact which window cleaning has on the environment. With millions of windows being cleaned daily, the amount of water wastage is phenomenal – until now. With the creation of the Eco Window Cleaning Unit, we can all play a small part in reducing the amount of water used during window cleaning, reducing the impact on the environment. The Eco Window Cleaning Unit still uses the traditional window cleaning squeegee and applicator, but with clean water and a fraction of the amount used before. It really is Window cleaning done the smart way and your windows will be even cleaner than ever!

Why It’s Better Than a Bucket…  It Saves Water! Using the traditional method of cleaning windows, you ‘dip’ an Applicator into a bucket to absorb the water, and then you can either wring it out with your hand and get soaking wet hands. …Or do what most cleaners do and pull it out of the bucket with all the water on it and slop the water all over the window. Wasting about 250ml of water every time! The Eco Window Cleaning Unit uses less than a teaspoon, as the excess water is removed from the applicator before it gets anywhere near the glass.

It Saves Time! The Eco Window Cleaning Unit can hold 6.5 litres of water. You’ll be able to wash 64 glass panels of between 0.5 and 1 sq metre approximately. That’s enough for a window cleaner to last a whole day without a water change! The specially fitted pump and micro-jets mean that only the right amount of clean water is delivered to the squeegee when you need it. All you have to add is one teaspoonful (a quick squirt) of fairy liquid to break down the grease and that’s perfect!

It Cleans Better! With just an Applicator and a bucket, you end up cleaning dirty glass with dirty water because after a couple of panes the water WILL get dirty as it removes dirt from the earlier windows. In fact, it’s not just ‘dirt’, it’s called settlement and is comprised of the sand and dust that sticks to the applicator; over time it will damage the glass leaving a permanent haze and you just won’t get a clean finish. The Eco Window Cleaning unit solves this with it’s patented water flushing mechanism.

And It's Eco Friendly: The Eco Window Cleaning Unit changes the way water is being stored and used during window cleaning. The Unit reduces the amount of water wasted during window cleaning by keeping the dirty water separated from the clean water. The Unit is designed for both left and right handed users, and is light and easy to transport from job to job or around office areas and the house without worrying about spilling water. The Eco Window Cleaning Unit is really great for cleaning at heights, whether it’s used by industrial rope access or ladder work. It has lanyards which attach the cleaning applicator and squeegee to the unit and the way in which the cleaning equipment is positioned on the Eco Cleaning Unit prevents the cleaning equipment from getting tangled. And of course, it’s easy to use at ground level too!

Who Can Use The Eco Window Cleaning Unit? The Eco Window Cleaning Unit is perfect for anyone who has to clean windows, but is especially useful for window cleaners working at height, whether on ladders or using rope access. It works great inside an office with furniture and computers because you can just walk around without disturbing the occupants and with no risk to their work.

For janitors working internally on stairs, lifts and communal areas, the same benefits apply; easily transportable and no spillage. It just slips over your shoulder and you’re good to go!
There’s no need to refill the water and the pump, microjets and flushing mechanism mean that you’ll be cleaning windows with less water, clean water and getting a better finish. You can even use it at home, flush it out and store it in the cupboard easily. This really is window cleaning for the 21st Century.

About the inventor: Clyde Jordan has been a commercial abseiler for the last 10 years; these are the guys you see abseiling down the sides of tall buildings doing whatever work they have been contracted for. Commercial abseilers have to be multi-disciplined by the nature of their work and may be called upon to repair masonry and brickwork, welding, painting, installing glass panels and more, but window cleaning is a big part of the work as there really isn’t a more practical solution, particularly nowadays as building shapes and sizes are becoming more adventurous! Clyde became acutely aware of the problems facing the “rope access” technicians when it came to window cleaning, and he set out to to solve the problems.
  • A standard bucket isn’t made for working at height
  • It uses a lot of water
  • The water gets dirty, so you end up cleaning glass with dirty water
  • The equipment (applicator and squeegee) are always getting tangled up
  • It’s just plain uncomfortable

Clyde decided there was a better way of doing it. From initial idea, home-made designs, concepts and prototype testing has taken 7 years.

Clyde Jordan at work in London, with 30 St Mary Axe behind aka "the Gherkin."

The Story Behind The Eco Window Cleaning Unit: I made the first prototype by hand, making my own holster, using bottles and copper tubes to see what worked and through relentless testing, I found what worked…but it was too bulky so I needed to scale it down. Once I found one that I was confident in, I sent it off to a design company who came up with some further enhancements. This company helped me through the patent process and they made the first prototype. We had to change the whole design before coming up with the current system; for instance, one of the things we’d not considered in the early stage was the ease of use whether someone was right or left handed. The final design addressed this.We still needed a few things tweaked but it gave us enough to get a price for manufacturing in bulk. The manufacturers suggested some more refinements with their experience of tooling, manufacturing and shipping and we got another prototype made. 

The whole process including prototypes, design, patent attorneys, has taken 7 years. I’ve even had to buy products so that I can use different components. For example, I bought a hoover for £80 just to experiment with a spring inside! There are so many things I bought just to get stripped down parts because I had to get a working prototype for myself before I could even look at using a professional design company. I tested it myself on a window cleaning round initially and then a few of my friends working in rope access caught up with what I was using and asked if they could try it so I made a few for them.

They came back with great feedback such as “This isn’t quite balanced” or “You’ve got a problem with this not sitting right” so I was able to change it and give it back to them, tweaked to their requirements. In fact, a few of them are still using them a year later! The best story I have is their use on the Shard in London. I’d been working offshore and I was asked to help clean the glass panels on the Shard They had problems cleaning the windows on The Shard because it was a new building and all the glass had been kept in the yard so it was pretty dirty when it was installed. The way the building is constructed, it was only possible to clean one panel at a time, and with a long transfer time between panels including changing water, one guy managed 3-4 daily, which equated to £30-40 – not a lot of window cleaning income. Then there was the problem of guys dropping their tools because the applicator and the squeegee were getting tangled.

So I spoke to the man who was in charge of the contract, and I showed him what the unit does and he asked me for some right there! I made 15 units and sold them to him and it improved the job so much that he actually won the window cleaning contract because he included details of the unit in his risk assessment. The clients were blown away by the safety aspects as you can imagine from a Health and Safety perspective, objects falling from a building can have dramatic consequences. From a efficiency point of view, the amount of window panels cleaned daily per man went up from 3 to 4 to 20! That’s a massive timesaver because there was no need to stop and change the water.

I truly believe the Unit can transform the working practices and livelihoods of those window cleaning at height.

Clyde Jordan
Inventor and Founder

Thursday 18 December 2014

Mike Rowe Says Safety Third, Here's Why..

Mike Rowe - safety third
‘Dirty Jobs’ host responds to ISHN editorial - Mike Rowe says Safety Third is "a conversation worth having': This letter by the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe is in response to a May issue editorial written by ISHN Chief Editor Dave Johnson about Rowe’s comments on workplace safety.

First segment is an article by ISHN Chief Editor Dave Johnson talking about Mike Rowe, the second segment after the video is the reply by Mike Rowe..

He’s nobody’s safety model - Mr. “Dirty Jobs” debunks some safety myths By Dave Johnson -

Is this any way for America’s number one blue-collar guy to talk?: “Of all the platitudes embraced in the workplace there is none more pervasive, erroneous, overused and dangerous than ‘Safety First!’”
“In the jobs I have seen thus far, I can tell you with certainty, that safety, while always a major consideration, is never the priority.” “Never. Never, ever. Not even once.” “Making money is more important than safety — always.”

Calling out the emperor: Perhaps only macho Mike Rowe is man enough to call out the emperor for forgetting his clothes. Lots of people say this heretical stuff under their breath. Mike lowers the boom. It’s a dirty job but he’s used to it, having hosted the show, Dirty Jobs, on the Discovery Channel since 2005. Seems Mike has been caught out of compliance, not wearing the proper safety gear, more than once on his show. (So have we on the magazine cover.)

One viewer posted this comment on www.mikeroweworks.com: “My husband works on the oil rigs as a well tester. We watched you folks do so without any eye protection! Are you crazy? Drilling a hole with no protective eyewear? Between him, a well tester, and me, a workers’ compensation lawyer, we’re cringing! Somebody could LOSE AN EYE! Seriously — Safety First fellas!”

Mike the non-conformist: Rowe’s response might make a safety pro cringe: “It is not the objective of “Dirty Jobs” to conform to any particular set of safety standards, other than those dictated by the people for who I happen to be working at the time. I take my cues from them.” So Mr. Blue Collar is a non-conformist who plays follow the leader. He’d make for an interesting subject in a safety orientation session.

Mike comes in, grabs a chair, and tells you about his own safety orientation. (The following come from Mike’s own writings.) “Safety is important,” he says, “but not more important than getting the job done.” You know,  many companies would hire him on the spot. “This guy gets it!”

Unmitigated nonsense: It’d be a good idea to hide your “Safety First” posters if Mike comes to your dirty job site. He calls the “Safety First” slogan “a load of unmitigated nonsense.” We’ll let Mike elaborate: If an employer tells you safety is the most important thing, don’t believe it. That causes workers to become complacent and careless, he says. Which is a problem, because in Mike’s world it’s every man for himself. No one has your back. You gotta suck up your own responsibility.

Back to the safety orientation session. You tell Mike all about your company’s emphasis on safety, how you want him and every other worker to go home at night safe and healthy. That this is a core cultural value.

I see Mike leaning back in his chair, grinning that friendly, slightly goofy grin, shaking his head, and breaking out laughing. After all, he has written that “When a business tells you that they are more concerned with your safety than anything else, beware. They are not being honest. They are hedging their own bets, and following the advice of lawyers hired to protect them from lawsuits arising from accidents.”

Let’s get real: I’ve never heard a public figure be so… blunt about safety. Thanks, Mike, you’re nobody’s role model but you cut through decades of safety BS. But be careful about blanket generalizations, buddy. Every business is lying about its safety intentions? I’ve talked with CEOs who sure aren’t lying when they say never again do they want to make a midnight phone call to the wife of a worker just killed in an accident.

Rowe says he wears safety belts and motorcycle helmets not because it’s the law, but because it seems like a reasonable precaution to him and “the only one responsible for my own safety is me.”

Go observe someone else: Here is where Mr. Blue Collar lets too many folks off easy. Senior leaders have no responsibility for his safety. Supervisors, forget ’em. Safety managers, you don’t have to worry about Mike Rowe, go train someone else. Just watch out because Mike might play fast and loose with safety laws if that what he sees people around him doing.

Don’t try to hook Mike up with a safety coach or mentor; I doubt the conversation will go far. And Mike is not your best subject for an observation and feedback session. You probably won’t like the feedback you get from him. And by all means, keep the “Brother’s Keeper” and “Actively Caring” stuff away from him.

Comments on Mike’s website replying to his post about safety are refreshingly politically incorrect. For instance: “You very clearly pointed out that your employer (everyone’s employer) simply does not make our safety their priority. Thank you for that bit of truth-telling.”
“Safety is never the first priority and all these laws and rules and BS are intended to minimize statistically insignificant risk while ignoring major risk.”
“In business, business always comes first. An employer cares more about lawsuits and their workers’ comp rates than your safety. We always say: Safety Third.”

There is truth in some of what Mike Rowe has to say about safety. Thankfully Mike goes on to make some generalizations about attitudes toward safety that cross the line of reason and remind you that, yes, he’s not a model, he’s acting,

Dave Johnson

‘Dirty Jobs’ host responds to ISHN editorial - Mike Rowe says Safety Third is "a conversation worth having'

Hi Dave -

Mike Rowe here, Dirty Jobs, etc.

I’m writing to thank you for your article in May’s edition of ISHN, and for sharing with your readers a few of my comments on workplace safety. Over the years, I’ve learned that some Safety Professionals do not always welcome criticism, especially from a smart aleck TV Host. I don’t blame them. No one likes to be second-guessed by a wise guy who needs a bath and has no credentials. Thanks for keeping an open mind, and providing some context for my comments. Here’s some additional background that you’re welcome to share with your readers, if you think it would be of interest.

The comments you attributed to me first appeared in a blog called Safety Third, which I wrote for my website back in 2008. Safety Third told the stories of my various encounters with over-zealous Safety Officers. The first one I recall, involved a very cranky gentleman who demanded I wear a harness while working on a scaffold that was maybe four feet off the ground. When I pointed out that the safety line attached to the harness was longer than the distance between the ground and me, he said, “Don’t argue! Safety First!” Later that same week, a Safety Officer with The Department of Natural Resources interrupted our shoot to insist I put on a life jacket while installing a culvert in a run-off pond. The water in the pond was less than a foot deep. When I asked him to explain the need for a grown man to wear a life jacket in ten inches of water, he offered the same words of wisdom -“Safety First!”

I have never understood the point of ranking virtues and values in order of their importance. If Safety is First, what is Second? Or Fifth? Or Ninth? In the Boy Scouts, we used to say “Safety Always,” which made a lot more sense to me. Safety Third became my default reply whenever someone acted as though my Safety was their responsibility. On Dirty Jobs, I met many such people. And for a while, I actually believed them.

From 2004 to 2008, the Dirty Jobs crew visited more hazardous sites than any other crew in the history of television, from crab boats to coal mines the very tops of the tallest bridges, to crocodile infested swamps. During that time we sat through close to a hundred mandatory safety briefings. We all became intimately familiar with all the basic protocol - lock out tag out, confined space, fall hazards, respiratory precautions, PPE, the endless checklists, etc., etc. Through it all, trained professionals were on hand to remind us, (and our cameras,) that our safety was their top priority.

For a while, it worked. We managed to deliver three seasons of Dirty Jobs with no accidents. Then things started to unravel. Stitches, broken bones, sprains, contusions, falls, a damaged eardrum, second and third degree burns, and many more near misses…it was weird. The job sites were no more dangerous than they’d always been, but the mishaps among my crew were skyrocketing. Then one day, a man was killed while we were shooting in a factory near Pittsburg. He was crushed by the door on a giant coke oven. In the break room, where I was told of the accident, a large banner said, “We Care About Your Safety!” That got me thinking about things like unintended consequences, and the dangers of confusing compliance with real safety.

I found a study on traffic accidents that claimed the most dangerous intersections were those with signs that told you when to walk and when to wait. Intersections with no such signs were statistically safer, apparently because people were more likely to look both ways before crossing the street if there was no blinking sign to tell them when it was safe to do so. According to the theory of Risk Compensation, people subconsciously maintain their own level of “risk equilibrium” by adjusting their behavior to reflect the changes in their surrounding environment. Thus, when the environment around us feels unsafe, we take fewer chances. And when that same environment feels safer, we take more chances. That got me wondering – if companies and Safety Professionals tell us over and over that our safety is their priority, wouldn’t that tend to make us feel safer? And wouldn’t that in turn, prompt us to take more risk, therefore making us…less safe?

I’m no expert, but I think that’s exactly what happened to my crew and me. Over time, we had become convinced that someone else was more committed to our wellbeing than we were. We became complacent. We were crossing the street because the sign told us it was safe to do so. But we weren’t looking both ways.

In 2009, Discovery agreed to air a one-hour special called Safety Third. On Safety Third, I talked candidly about mistakes we’d made on Dirty Jobs, and the unintended consequences of putting Safety First. I argued that many compulsory Safety programs discouraged personal responsibility in favor of Legal Compliance. I asked viewers to consider all the amazing progress that would have never occurred had Safety been valued above all else. (I also pointed out that if big companies really believed that Safety was First they would wrap their employees in bubble pack and send them home.) I concluded by saying that Safety Third was a lot more honest than Safety First, but ultimately, too important and too personal to be reduced to a platitude. But if we had to have one, my vote was for “Safety Always.”

Well, hell. I might as well have suggested that we replace steel-toed boots in favor of flip-flops. Or outlaw hardhats. I got a nasty letter from OSHA, and a flood of angry mail calling me a “bad role model.” NASA was pissed. So were several Labor Unions, and dozens of Fortune 500 companies who took exception to my “irreverent tone.” I even got a snippy letter from PETA, though I’m still not sure why.

Safety Third had ruffled a lot of feathers, but I was thrilled by the response.  I answered all the angry mail, and went to speak personally to those organizations and companies who were most offended. For the most part, skeptics came to agree that the underlying concepts of Safety Third – common sense and personal responsibility – were still worth talking about, and conceded that any resulting conversation which might lead to heightened awareness would ultimately be a good thing. Your piece, Dave, is now a part of that conversation, and I’m grateful.

As for the rest of your article, there is one thing I need to address directly. While it’s true that I am “macho” far beyond the accepted definition, I am not as you suggest, “America’s number one blue-collar guy.” I have no “blue collar bona fides” to offer, and no permission to speak for anyone but me. It’s important to be clear about that, because my opinions are not necessarily those of Discovery, Ford, Caterpillar, Kimberly-Clark, Master Lock, Wolverine, VF Corporation, or anyone else with whom I may do business. In fact, I should thank all those companies for their patience with me, as many of my comments on this subject have been taken out of context, and have no doubt caused some internal discomfort.

The truth is, Safety Third has caused me all sorts of headaches over the years, but I still think it’s a conversation worth having. Everyday, workers fall through the cracks of a one-size-fits-all safety policy. Complacency is the real enemy, and I’m pretty sure the way to eliminate it will not involve more rules and more soothing assurances that an individuals safety is someone else’s priority. Workers need to understand that being “in compliance” is not the same as being “out of danger.” That’s not going to happen by repeating the same dogma that’s been out there for the last hundred years, and forcing people to watch thirty-year old safety films that would put a glass eye to sleep.

I realize that Safety Third sounds subversive and irreverent. It’s supposed to. But it’s not a call to completely dismantle accepted procedures and protocols. It’s an attempt to improve upon them, and generate a conversation around a topic that really does affect everyone; hopefully, a conversation that will lead to fewer injuries on the job. A few ruffled feathers seem a small price to pay.

Thanks again,

Mike Rowe

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Soft Bucket On Belts

The Original Soft BOB.
The Original Soft BOB or bucket on a belt is a unique accessory, the first of its kind. Able to hold up to an 18" strip washer, two squeegees and detailing towels or scrim this soft bucket on a belt is made from durable vinyl. The pouches for the strip washer, squeegees and towel loop are held together with heavy duty stitching and adhesive. The construction of the is soft BOB eliminates swinging and banging on the users leg, potential scuffs to furniture or walls and will not crack like plastic hip buckets.

The Wagtail Hip Dipper is a soft version of the popular strip washer holsters.
The Wagtail Hip Dipper is a soft version of the popular strip washer holsters. Easily hold your Wagtail squeegee, Filpper, Whirlwind or Combi at your side in the soft and durable Hip Dipper. Made of thick plastic, you don't have to worry about banging into things or scratching delicate surfaces while working in tight spaces. Replacement Hip Dipper bags are available.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Mystery Window Cleaner Rescues With Phone Call

image of the scene earlier this morning in Park Road
Mystery window cleaner rescues elderly Timperley woman from house fire: An elderly woman in Timperley had a lucky escape when a heroic mystery window cleaner dialled 999 after noticing a fire inside her flat. A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said the 94-year-old was ‘lucky’ to escape after a blaze engulfed the Mayfair Court property in Park Road. Fifteen firefighters and three fire engines from Stretford, Sale and Wythenshawe were dispatched to the address at 10.23am this morning, Tuesday, December 16.

Cover jets were used inside and outside the property to bring the blaze under control, which was well developed on arrival of the emergency services.  A GMFRS spokesman said: “The fire had started in the bedroom. It has left quite bad fire damage and the rest of the property is smoke damaged.

“A window cleaner happened to see smoke and flames through the window and called 999. “While he was on the phone, the smoke alarm triggered and the woman managed to get out of the flat herself.
“She had a lucky escape.” The woman was treated for minor smoke inhalation but did not require hospital treatment. The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.

The fire service has put her survival down to a working smoke alarm and the quick-thinking actions of the mystery window cleaner, who they have been unable to trace. Residents can get a free home safety check and smoke alarms for their property by visiting manchesterfire.gov.uk

Are you the mystery window cleaner, or do you know their identity? Get in touch at sam.editorial@messengergrp.co.uk

Monday 15 December 2014

Window Cleaner Witnessed Sydney Siege

Window cleaner David Wilson witnessed police descend on the cafe with guns drawn from his perch across the street. ‘We were on the outside a building on a ledge cleaning the windows…but we were quite high up.’
Sydney siege over, gunman dead: Three people are dead after police stormed a Sydney cafe overnight, ending a dramatic 16-hour siege in the city centre. The dead include the gunman in the Lindt cafe, self-styled Iranian cleric Man Haron Moris. At about 2.10am on Tuesday a "confrontation" occurred between police and a man who had taken a number of people hostage inside the Lindt cafe at Martin Place in the CBD, NSW Police said in a statement. Shots were fired.

A 50-year-old man was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. Another man, 34, and a woman, 38, were also pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. Four people were injured, including a woman with a gunshot wound to her shoulder and a male police officer, who suffered a non-life threatening wound to his face from gunshot pellets.

The crisis, which began about 10am (AEDT) on Monday at the popular Lindt cafe, escalated dramatically about 2am on Tuesday when five hostages ran from the cafe. Minutes later, shots were fired and police stormed the premises. Paramedics quickly followed with stretchers and ambulances took the most seriously injured to hospitals around the city. Window cleaner David Wilson witnessed police descend on the cafe with guns drawn from his perch across the street.

Window cleaner, David Wilson, managed to get a birds-eye-view of police swarming into Martin Place as he and a colleague cleaned the windows of a building across from the Lindt Chocolate Café. ‘We were looking around and there were cops running around and guns drawn. Some people came out & they looked like your usual coffee drinkers and that was about all we saw,’ Mr Wilson said, adding that his colleague’s initial response was to get out his phone and start filming.

At least two gunmen were involved in the siege but dozens of armed police sealed off the streets surrounding the site.

Friday 12 December 2014

Someone Give This Guy A Squeegee!

Someone give this guy a squeegee!
Watch Jetman fly in formation over Dubai - The future is here, & it's handing out Jetpacks: Dubai is an unreal city, where the buildings are gigantic, the police drive lamborghinis, and drones rescue window washers. And, very rarely, home to aerial acrobatics from brave people in jetpacks.

To infinity and beyond.
Previously, pilot Yves “Jetman” Rossy flew his custom-built flying wing with jets on it over the Grand Canyon. He's able to propel himself through the sky at upward of 190 mph, controlling his jet suit with a throttle in his hand. He can go as high as 12,000 feet. Here, he leaps from a helicopter, dances with an airplane, and then meets up in the sky with a jetpacked pal. Watch the video, captured in glorious high-definition 4K, below:

Just for you Jeff Brimble!

Thursday 11 December 2014

Mount Everest Window Cleaner

Nick said: Cleaning windows day in day out does help you keep fit.
Knaresborough window cleaner treks to Everest base camp in Nepal in aid of Henshaws Society for Blind People: A Knaresborough window cleaner more used to going up ladders has been experiencing dizzy heights, clambering up Mount Everest.
Adventurous Nick Brown took on an arduous 14-day trek in Nepal in aid of Henshaws Society for Blind People, as he cleans the windows of the charity’s Arts & Crafts Centre in Bond End, Knaresborough.

The challenge was extra tough for Nick, as he had absolutely no experience of hiking. Despite being struck down with food poisoning six days into the trip to Everest Base Camp, the 51 year old, of Park Avenue, Knaresborough, crossed the finish line safe and sound during the trip of a lifetime to the Himalayas.

Nick learned about how Henshaws helps blind, visually impaired and disabled people and their families when he began cleaning windows at the centre in 2010. In 2011, he raised £200 in sponsorship for Henshaws when he took part in the Great Yorkshire Bike Ride. This July, Nick raised £250 for the charity when he agreed to wear a yeti outfit at the Benfield Skoda car dealership in Knaresborough Road, Harrogate, when the Tour de France was on.

It was Nick’s friend Patrick Linnane, a 49-year-old builder, of Knaresborough, who suggested to Nick that they take on the Everest challenge and they booked their trip in July 2013. Despite having 16 months to prepare for the adventure, Nick did not do any extra exercise, but said his regular window cleaning rounds helping him get ready. One of the ten trekkers in Nick’s group had to turn back due to altitude sickness, while Nick himself dug deep to battle on despite suffering from food poisoning.

Nick said one of the highlights of the trip, which took place in November, was meeting Nepalese people, including porters, guides and others. Nick has so far raised about £3,000 for Henshaws and is still collecting donations. The Knaresborough branch of Halifax, in Market Place, is collecting donations and branch managers have kindly agreed to double the amount raised. You can also donate by visiting this link.  Nick said: I am so grateful to those who have supported me with fundraising.
To reach the magic £5,000 mark would be a dream come true.”

Nick said: It was an unbelievable experience and something that I will always remember. The scenery is mind blowing and photographs and documentaries simply cannot do it justice. I am delighted to have done it in aid of such a great cause. Nick said: Cleaning windows day in day out does help you keep fit. It was a very difficult trek though – seven days up and seven days down.
It was hard, but I just had to go on. There was no way you could just stop because you felt sick. I just tried to put it out of my mind.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Detroit Ladder Rescue

Scary moments for a window washer who ended up dangling by his feet on the side of a building near downtown Detroit.
DETROIT - Scary moments for a window washer who ended up dangling by his feet on the side of a building near downtown Detroit. The man was washing windows on a building in the 900 block of Henry when something happened to his gear. He slipped and got stuck hanging by his feet.

Detroit emergency crews responded and were able to free the man within a matter of minutes. His coworker was preparing to go up with him to help wash windows when he looked up and saw him dangling.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

WCP Magazine Christmas Edition

Latest xmas edition - read it now!
WCP Magazine Christmas Edition: Window Cleaning Page (WCP): Mark Munro from Dorset brings us the latest window cleaning news. Go to this link to read or download the magazine. You can also find the "window cleaning page" on facebook here.
Featured this month:

  • Sean Honking Kelly - firefighter/window cleaner
  • Making your own space saving trolley
  • Unger 2 in 1 scraper
  • Scott the gutter man
  • Cable & electrical system maintenance

plus much, much more!

Monday 8 December 2014

Window Cleaners Float Their Boat

Why window cleaners may have to float in the future to clean solar panels.
Clean Solar Solutions have completed the solar panel cleaning at the UK's very first floating solar farm in Reading, Berkshire, UK. It was installed by Floating Solar UK Ltd.  Here, shown in the video, window cleaners are cleaning 800 floating solar panels and the company also fit bird deterrents on the UK first ever floating solar array. The video shows how they did it. It is recommended to go to the youtube link to see the video.


1. Conserve valuable land and turn unused and non-revenue generating bodies of water into profitable solar power plants.
2. Floating solar panels protect ecologically-sensitive areas and conserve precious land for farming, mining, tourism and other land-intensives activities. Land-use conflicts are avoided and the environmental impact is minimized.
3. Increase power production and improve return on investment.
4. PV Panels and marine cables installed on water stay cooler, generate more electricity and have a higher ROI than rooftop or ground-mount systems of the same size.
5. Minimize water evaporation, conserve water.
6. By lowering the water temperature and reducing the size of the water area exposed to air, floating solar panels can reduce water evaporation by up to 33% on natural lakes and ponds, and by up to 50% on man-made facilities.
7. Improve water quality and cut maintenance costs.
8. By shading the water, floating solar panels help reduce algae growth.
Floating solar systems can also be outfitted with solar-powered aerators/circulators that oxygenate the water and reduce organic pollution naturally. These solutions minimise the need for harsh chemicals and reduce maintenance costs.
9. Preserve existing ecosystems.
10. No excavation work or concrete foundations are necessary to install floating solar platforms. Floating solar systems are 100% recyclable and are easy to dismantle. Made of HDPE plastic, they can safely be installed on drinking water reservoirs.

The world’s first floating photovoltaic system was installed in 2007 by SPG Solar on a pond at Far Niente Winery in Napa: 1,000 floating panels linked to 1,300 stationary panels on land to produce a total of 4 MW.
Floating PV systems: Photovoltaic systems have been successfully deployed on land and in space for many years, so it was only a matter of time before water-based PV systems emerged on larger scales. Over the past five years, a myriad of floating systems have evolved in varying degrees for use in ponds, reservoirs, canals, rivers and oceans.
Among the benefits of using floating PV systems is the water-cooling effect on silicon solar cells, the natural reflectivity of the water surface, the potential reduction in algae growth due to reduced sunlight penetration, and a lower water temperature in the areas below the arrays.
What was claimed to be the world’s first floating photovoltaic system was installed in 2007 by SPG Solar, of Novato, California, on a pond at Far Niente Winery in Napa. Land in Napa, famous for its wines, can cost US$300,000 per acre, so land use is at a premium. The 1,000 floating panels in the system were linked to 1,300 stationary panels on land to produce 4,000 kW total, utilizing Sharp flat panels and a proprietary mooring system.

Floating solar panels are saving vineyard land, many more are being built, some are even motorised. 

Friday 5 December 2014

Scottish Window Cleaning License Clampdown

Licences are approved and issued by the council while Police Scotland conducts background checks on applicants.
West Fifers warned after four window cleaners are charged: West Fifers have been warned after four people were charged for operating as window cleaners without licences. Fife Council took enforcement action against the four after a complaint was made bout unlicensed window cleaners operating in the West Fife area.

Councillor Bob Young, chair of the regulation and licensing committee, explained, “We place a lot of trust in those we employ to carry out work at our homes. "They are often working while we are away so it’s very important that they are fully trustworthy. “Our enforcement officer recently took action against four individuals in West Fife who were charged by police for operating as window cleaners without licences.

We will continue to work closely with Police Scotland and other agencies in the coming months to ensure the public are protected from any unlicensed traders.” West Fifers are now being urged to be wary of unlicensed window cleaners operating across Fife. The council is highlighting the risks of employing people who are unlicensed and is encouraging householders and businesses to look at their window cleaner’s licence.

Licences are approved and issued by the council while Police Scotland conducts background checks on applicants. To protect householders and in case of accidents, it is a condition of holding a licence that window cleaners have adequate public liability insurance. They are also required to carry their licence ID at all times. A council spokeswoman said, “Window cleaners, as part of their application for a licence, must show that they have public liability insurance to cover them while operating. "When you are checking a licence it should have a photograph of the holder, the Fife Council logo and a hologram along with dates of its validity.”

Beware of unlicensed window cleaners: FIFE Council is asking people in the Cowdenbeath - Lochgelly area to be aware of any unlicensed window cleaners operating across the Kingdom. The Council is highlighting the risks of employing people who are unlicensed and is encouraging householders and businesses to look at their window cleaner’s licence. Licences are approved and issued by Fife Council and Police Scotland, conducts background checks on the applicants.

To protect householders and in case of accidents, it is a condition of holding a licence that window cleaners have adequate public liability insurance. They are also required to carry their licence ID at all times. Councillor Bob Young, chair of the Regulation and Licensing committee explained, “We place a lot of trust in those we employ to carry out work at our homes. “They are often working while we are away so it’s very important that they are fully trustworthy. Our enforcement officer recently took action against four individuals in West Fife who were charged by police for operating as window cleaners without licences. “We will continue to work closely with Police Scotland and other agencies in the coming months to ensure the public are protected from any unlicensed traders.”

Fife Council issues licences for a number of business sectors to keep the public safe and to make sure the right people are providing services safely to the public. These include Taxi Driver Licences, Street Traders, Second Hand Dealers, Skin Piercing and Tattooing and Charitable Collections.

The Scottish Licensed Window Cleaners Network (SLWCN) was launched on the 1st March 2006. We are an independently run, self-funding, internet-based network. The SLWCN is dedicated to raising the profile and standard of the window cleaning industry in Scotland. 

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