Friday 29 May 2015

World's Longest Glass Bridge - Who Will Clean It?

An artist's concept of people walking across the glass bridge high above the Zhangjiajie canyon in China. The glass bridge spans 370 m (1,214 ft), but who will be doing the window or glass cleaning?
World's longest glass bridge set to open in China next year: In a bid to attract more tourists to the region, Hunan Province in China has commissioned the architectural firm of Haim Dotan to produce a completely transparent glass bridge spanning 370 m (1,214 ft) across the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Dizzyingly high at about 400 m (1,312 ft) above the canyon floor, the span is claimed to be capable of holding up to 800 people at a time.

Dizzyingly high at about 400 m (1,312 ft) above the canyon floor, the glass bridge will carry up to 800 people at a time.
China seems to be enamoured with terrifyingly high, world-beating glass structures. Gizmag recently detailed the world's longest glass-bottomed cantilever skywalk in Longgang National Geological Park, Chongqing, for example, which extends 26.64 m (87.4 ft) over a straight drop of 718m (2,356ft), making it some 5 m (16 ft) longer than the Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona. The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass bridge continues this trend of oneupmanship.

The glass bridge is touted to be a "Wonder of the World" by the Hunan Province.
Funded in part by the Tourism investment cooperation meeting at the Central China Expo in 2012, and slated for opening some time next year, the glass bridge is touted as a "Wonder of the World" by Hunan Province. Set to be constructed between the summits either side of the canyon, the deceptively fragile-looking structure will also have an added thrill for those that find the idea of walking across a sheer drop on a see-through bridge too tame.. a bungee jump. To be located in the middle of the structure, the bungee jump is also said to be another world-first for Hunan province as the highest bungee on the planet, at around 60 m (197 ft) or so higher than the current highest commercial bungee of 233 m (764 ft) on the Macau Tower.

Thursday 28 May 2015

Drones - Window Cleaning Add-On

Ian Kevern, who owns Squeek Ian Clean, recently bought a drone as an add-on to his window cleaning business.
Torrington man launches drone film business: A Torrington window cleaner is planning to make extra cash filming weddings and stag dos – from the sky. Ian Kevern, who owns Squeek Ian Clean, recently bought a drone and started posting his dramatic videos of North Devon’s hills, valleys and beaches on YouTube. “My video of Castle Hill in Torrington really got everyone going,” he said. “There was a massive thick fog down in the valley. “The video was a bit shaky -I’ve got better since then – but I got so many positive comments from people.” Ian was encouraged when his video of a Torrington church “went down a treat” with viewers.

He said people had contacted him to say they were “moved to tears” by his aerial views of the local landmark. Ian was content flying his drone as a hobby until he thought, “Hang on, there’s some money to be made here”. “I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon early,” he said. “Drone businesses are already making good money in the US, filming high-end properties for estate agents.” Ian has had to complete a civil aviation course and apply for legal permission to use the drone professionally. He will be required to adhere to strict guidelines, such as not flying the drone above 400 feet.

Having parachuted and joined his 70-year-old father on his paragliding adventures, drone flying was a natural activity for Ian to take up. “I’ve spent most of my life outside, running and surfing,” he said. “I decided to get a new hobby which wouldn’t involve sweaty clothes lying around the house. I checked out some of the drone videos and thought it was something I could get into.” Ian is planning to test his drone filming skills to the limit at his son’s upcoming wedding at Tapeley Park. “It’s a brilliant thing to work with because it’s so intelligent,” he said. “If I get into trouble the drone will come back and land pretty much where I tell it to.”

You may remember Ian Kevern from his fancy dress - look here & here.

The compact drone flies by itself and follows a tracking device that is worn around the wrist like a watch.
Throw this drone into the air and it'll follow you, filming all the while: Ever worry you're being followed? With the Lily drone, you are. Throw it into the air and it flies, following you wherever you go. And it films too, so you can record yourself mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding and anything else you like. It knows where you are because you wear a tracking device on your wrist. Here's a video showing how it keeps up.

You can choose to have the drone follow, go in front or from the side, so you can make sure you get your best side. When you've had enough, it lands in the palm of your hand, like a faithful bird returning to its owner. It flies for 20 minutes on a single charge and has a range of 100 feet. It's waterproof too, so you can have it film you in the water without worrying about it breaking if it lands in the drink. It films in 1080p HD and can take 12-megapixel stills. You use the remote to snap stills, change the angle it films from and record audio. It's your new best friend.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Scotland The Brave... Stupid

Scotland The Brave... Stupid.
Heartstopping video shows foolhardy window cleaner perching on a tiny ledge four storeys up - without any safety gear: This is the shocking moment when a window cleaner balancing on a top floor ledge - without any safety equipment. Colin Elliot appears to use only his left hand to cling on to the outside of a third floor flat while wiping the windows with his other hand. Witnesses said he left the property through the window before carrying out the dangerous task, branding him 'fearless' but 'stupid'.

Barry McLauchlan, 22, (pictured) who was working on the opposite side of Caird Drive, Glasgow, recorded the terrifying moment on Monday morning. The labourer, from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, said: 'I was just working away and looked across the street. I noticed this window cleaner. He said: 'I thought nothing of it, but the more I stared I noticed he wasn't wearing any safety equipment. There was no harness or safety aids. 'I was shocked. I was fearing more for his life than he was. 'I saw him climb out of the window. He closed it behind him and washed the window as if it was a ground floor and nothing had happened. 'Except from his hand holding on to the window, there was nothing keeping him there.'

Witnesses branded the daredevil "fearless" and "stupid" as he dangled from a window with just his hand for support, nonchalantly cleaning windows.
The daring window cleaner was named as Colin Elliot from the Partick area of Glasgow. Mr McLauchlan and his colleagues believe he must be self-employed or just a member of the public. He said: 'I work in the construction industry and know how important it is to stick to health and safety. 'He's a braver guy than I am. But there is fearless and then there is stupid. 'You've got to think about health and safety. My thought is that this guy is self-employed because any company's insurance would not have paid for that.'

Barry McLauchlan, 22, who was working on the opposite side of Caird Drive, Glasgow, recorded the terrifying moment on Monday morning.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which regulates the workplace, said it could not comment as the man may have just been a member of the public. But a spokesman added: 'Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries, and we would hope anyone working at height took necessary precautions to prevent an incident.'

Mr Elliot, 56, said he has been cleaning windows for almost 34 years without incident.
However, Colin Elliot said he is the window cleaner captured in the footage. Mr Elliot, 56, said he has been cleaning windows for almost 34 years without incident.  He said: 'No, I don't use safety equipment - it's not like I do the Empire State Building.' Mr Elliot said the tallest buildings he works on are three storeys high. Commenting on those who had questioned his working with no safety
equipment, he said: 'It's just from their point of view. I wouldn't recommend they go out on a window ledge. 'If you're fearful of the activity you shouldn't do it. I have an exceptional head for heights.

Mr Elliot, pictured said: 'Having survived it for 33 and a half years I must be bloody good at risk assessment'.
'I guess I assess the job quick enough and if I thought it was pushing it safety-wise, I say I want to get those windows hinged before I do it. 'I would tell them if they were beyond the pail. I know when a window is too dangerous. 'I never go out on a window ledge if I don't need to. If I have got a bay window I open each of the windows in. My advice is you never take any needless risks. 'Having survived it for 33 and a half years I must be bloody good at risk assessment.' One local resident, who did not wish to be named, said: 'He's a great window cleaner and does a great job, very thorough. He's a very interesting character and has been working in the west end for a very long time.'

Tuesday 26 May 2015

The Cold Weather Safety Jacket

The Cold Weather Safety Jacket - what will it look like?
The Cold Weather Safety Jacket ...provides built-in safety and insulation for ample warmth in cold weather climates.

LINDEN, NJ—Attention outdoor workers! Tradesmen/women who work at certain elevations will view this new Cold Weather Safety Jacket with deep appreciation recognizing the need for such a garment. It is both warm and safe for the user. The Cold Weather Safety Jacket is the first of its kind to offer the security of a safety harness and warmth of a jacket all-in-one. The Cold Weather Safety Jacket is more than just a jacket. 

The webbed nylon safety harness is triple-stitched to be directly incorporated into the jacket. Designed to be both lightweight and durable, the jacket is made from a strong, flexible, water/flame resistant canvas and thermal insulation with a removable interior zipper lining. It has four exterior and two interior pockets conveniently placed for easy accessibility, along with two additional lower interior pockets to store the leg harness when it is not in use. The Cold Weather Safety Jacket was designed with the worker in mind. Results from a previously completed televised marketing test have indicated exceptional consumer interest in the Cold Weather Safety Jacket.

The Patent Pending Cold Weather Safety Jacket was invented by Enrique Zuniga of Linden, NJ who said, “I manage a construction company and realize how important safety is for the men or women on the job. The Cold Weather Safety Jacket was designed with the safety of workers in mind and is perfect for all those whose work requires them to be at elevated heights, sometimes facing the most severe weather conditions, including roofers, construction workers, Linemen/Power-line Technicians (PLT), window cleaners and more. This jacket provides the convenience of safety and warmth all in one. At the end of the day we all want to go home to our families.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Development of this product is being handled by Invents Company. For more information about licensing or sale, contact the Licensing Department at Invents Company, 450 7th Avenue, Suite #1107 New York, NY 10123. Tel: 212-620-2629

INVENTS Company — 450 7th Avenue, Suite #1107 — New York, NY 10123
Contact: Jeanne Nelson   Media Dept: 8812   Tel: (212) 620-2629

Monday 25 May 2015

Inside Ettore

The squeegee started in Oakland - And just so you know, Oakland is where the squeegee was invented in 1936 by the late Ettore Steccone, an Italian immigrant and window washer. Tired of using old tools and rags to wipe glass clean, he came up with the rubber-tip squeegee and changed window washing forever. Steccone could have carried himself as Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell, two other important inventors, but he played down his place in history. "He was a pretty humble person," says daughter Diane Steccone Smahlik, chairman of the board of Ettore Products. "He had a thing on Friday where he'd sweep the back of the factory in a jump suit. If someone came looking for him, he'd say, 'What do you want him for?' He was just a guy sweeping the floor."

Steccone grew up in Mongiardino Ligure in northern Italy. One of 10 children, he served in the Italian Army during World War I as a machine-gunner before migrating to America in 1922 as a carpenter. Settling in Oakland, where his daughter and son-in-law live, he found more work as a window washer. He was a sight to behold going to his jobs. "He had an Indian motorcycle," said Michael Smahlik, "and he carried a ladder on one arm and a bucket on the other arm." And somehow managed to steer.

"He didn't wear a harness while standing on a ledge, washing windows three, four stories high," said Diane. And never fell. He started his own company in Oakland in 1936, the same year he conceived of the squeegee, and received a patent for his invention two years later. Then he lost the patent because of a scheming former employer. "I don't think most people would have gone through what he went through, a lot of ups and downs," said his daughter. "During World War II and Korea, he couldn't get brass for his product. But through a friend in the military, he was allocated enough brass to continue his business."

Ettore Steccone didn't finish grammar school, but he earned a pilot's license while becoming one of the world's wealthiest window washers. This past September, he was honored in his hometown of Mongiardino Ligure. The plaza of the church of Saint John the Baptist was named after him. A plaque was placed there in his name. His daughter, an only child, attended the event. And like father, like daughter. "When someone calls here, I'm just a customer service person," she said. "They don't know who they're talking to. I don't think anyone here is egotistical."

Friday 22 May 2015

Window Silly

Mary Bodrova, 45, seen hanging from the window of her ninth floor flat in Lviv, Ukraine. Click to enlarge.  
Window silly! Woman risks her life clambering out onto a ninth storey window sill so she can clean the outside of her Ukrainian apartment. A fearless Ukranian woman has been filmed balancing precariously from her ninth storey apartment and cleaning the outside of her windows. Shocked witnesses watched as Mary Bodrova, 45, clambered onto the window ledge and started scrubbing the outside of her home. The jaw-dropping footage was shot in the city of Lviv in Western Ukraine.

Ms Bodrova was seen hanging from the window frame with her left hand and cleaning the glass with her right, without a safety rope. Witness Ivanna Rudenko, 23, said: 'I think the housewife was so exited about the washing process that she doesn't realise the danger. 'If I only imagine myself outside the window, I feel sick.' Yuriy Popenko, 45, added: 'What a woman. She must work in the Cirque du Soleil.' 

Thursday 21 May 2015

Employer Fined $12,000 In Window Washer’s Fall

A 2002 Toyota Camry is crushed after Pedro Perez, a window washer fell 11 stories onto its roof at Montgomery and California streets in San Francisco last November.
In total, there were five citations with proposed penalties of $12,765 issued in this case: three general, one serious and one serious accident related citations. 

A general violation is cited when an accident or illness resulting from the violation of a standard would probably not cause death or serious harm, but would have a direct effect on the health of employees. In contrast, a serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious physical harm could result from the violation.

In 2008, Cal/OSHA cited Century Window Cleaning $2,720 for four violations, one of which was serious, following a complaint-based investigation.

An investigator take photos of a cable that allegedly snapped, causing a window washer to fall 11 stories onto a moving car at Montgomery and California streets in San Francisco, Calif.
Employer fined $12,000 in window washer’s 11-story fall: The company who employed a window washer who miraculously survived an 11-story fall from a San Francisco office building last year was hit with five citations and more than $12,000 in fines for violations related to the accident, officials announced Wednesday.

Century Window Washing of Concord was cited for “failure to secure the roof with fall protection equipment and inadequate training on the proper use of the victim’s personal fall protection equipment,” officials wrote in a statement, both serious violations of workplace safety regulations.

Pedro Perez, 58, was moving an extension cord around the corner of the building at 400 Montgomery St. around 10 a.m. Nov. 21 when he disconnected the lanyard on his fall protection equipment from an anchor point as he moved toward the edge of the roof. Perez lost his balance and tumbled over the edge, falling roughly 130 feet before landing on the roof of a passing Toyota Camry on the street below.

“At first all I saw was, out of the corner of my eye, a blue streak falling,” said retired Army Col. Sam Hartwell, a banker who witnessed the fall. “Then I heard that loud crash, the shattering glass and a thud. It wasn’t until the man rolled over onto the pavement and landed on his back that I realized it was a person.”

Passersby rushed to his aid, and he was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with serious brain trauma, a shattered pelvis and a broken arm. The driver of the car, Mohammad Alcozai of Dublin, got out almost immediately after the impact. The victim hit the roof and back window of the 2002 four-door Camry, totaling the car. A split-second difference in timing and the worker might have landed on the windshield, with potentially terrible consequences for Alcozai.

“It was a miracle,” Alcozai told The Chronicle the day of the accident. “While it is miraculous that this man survived a fall from this height, his fall is an essential reminder that employers are required to provide protections from the hazards of high elevation work,” said Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations, a Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA.

Of the five violations Century Window Cleaning was cited for — with fines totaling $12,765 — three were general and two were considered serious, according to Cal/OSHA. The company was cited by regulators once before in 2008 for four violations totaling $2,270 in a complaint-based investigation.
A woman who answered the phone at the company said they would not be commenting on the citations, which can be appealed.

In the days after the accident, Perez’s wife Maricela 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. Because he was unable to work, Maricela was forced to work extra hours and his 19-year-old daughter, Monica, stopped going to school so she could pick up an extra job.

The family set up a GoFundMe site and — through more than 1,200 individual donations — was able to raise more than $80,000, more than quadrupling their original goal of $20,000. “Thanks to all the donations we have gotten in these past days, it will be possible not only for me to go back to school in the summer,” Monica Perez wrote on the fundraising page around New Year’s. “But it also gives my father a piece of mind to know that we won’t have to struggle any longer with the bills.” A union representative who has been in contact with the family said they would not be making any statements to the media.

A Redwood City window washing company was hit with $12,765 in penalties Wednesday for five safety hazards that led to a worker plummeting 11 stories in San Francisco’s Financial District late last year, according to the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Cal/OSHA announced its investigation into Century Window Cleaning ended with five citations, including two serious citations, along with the proposed penalty. Century has the opportunity to appeal the citations.

Cal/OSHA found the company had failed to secure the roof with fall protection equipment and provided inadequate training for using the equipment. It’s not the first time the company was cited. Complaints against the company led to penalties of $2,720 for violations in 2008, according to Cal/OSHA. “While it is miraculous that this man survived a fall from this height, his fall is an essential reminder that employers are required to provide protections from the hazards of high elevation work,” state Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker said in a statement.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

A Client Talks

David Wright, founder and owner of Mr. Wright’s Window Cleaning LLC. A clients appraisal..
This guy bats a thousand at cleaning windows (by Jerry Zezima) - I do windows. Unfortunately, I do them every couple of years, which gives the windows plenty of time to get dirty, and even then it is clear that I don't do them very well because I have always considered the job a pane in the glass.

This year, I let a professional end my losing streak, which was, of course, in each window. Enter (through the front door, not a window) David Wright, owner of Mr. Wright's Window Cleaning of Centerport, N.Y.

Not to be confused with the New York Mets slugger of the same name ("He doesn't do windows as well as I do, but I can't hit a baseball as well as he can"), Wright was a lawyer, a financial analyst and a monk before devoting his life to letting the sunshine into the lives of others by cleaning their windows.

"I want to make people happy," Wright said. "And a lot of people are happy when their windows are clean."

I knew I would be happy if my windows were clean because it also would give happiness to my wife, Sue, who had been after me for the past two years to use Windex and a roll of paper towels, not to mention a little elbow grease, to clean the windows.

"Elbow grease is a prime source of smudges and streaks," I told her. Sue wasn't buying it, which is why I ended up buying a reasonably priced cleaning package (10 windows for $49) so she could finally meet Mr. Wright. "I'm David," he said, introducing himself to Sue. "I'm here to clean your windows." Sue swooned. "Thank you," she replied. "They could use it."

Wright started on the outside, where he told me that his wife, Joanne, likes the way he does the windows at their house but wishes he would do them more often. "I'm working seven days a week," he said, adding that he started the business last year and will be joined next year by his son Collier, a U.S. Army Ranger who is serving in Iraq. "So I don't have the time to do our windows too often."

"That excuse isn't going to work for me," I said. "You'll have to think of another one," Wright said as he used a water-fed pole with a nylon brush to clean the outside of the windows in the living, dining and family rooms. "Nylon?" I said. "Theoretically, I could clean windows with my wife's stockings."
"Theoretically," Wright responded, "it wouldn't be a good idea." What would be a good idea, he added, is to use resin instead of soap. "I'm using it now," he said. "It's much more effective."

As he worked, Wright, who is 53, told me that he started out as a lawyer ("If you go to the bathroom, bring work with you so you can bill your clients"), then got into financial services before giving up all his material possessions and spending time in a monastery, where he decided he wanted to make people happy for a living.

"I am doing my second-favorite thing," he said, referring to cleaning windows, which allows him to meditate while he works. "What's your favorite thing?" I inquired. "I'd like to be a professional poker player," Wright said. "But my wife doesn't think it's a safe bet."

When we moved inside, Wright said that customers always kid him about having the same name as the Mets star. "They'll say, 'When you finish with my windows, are you going to Citi Field?' Maybe I should give them my autograph," said Wright, who cleaned the windows with a long razor blade encased in a scraper. He also used a squeegee and a scrubber made of lamb's wool and AstroTurf.

"And I use Dawn," he said. "Who's she?" I asked. "The person you can get to clean your windows," said Wright, though he really meant the dishwashing liquid. "Don't tell your wife, but most windows are dirtier on the inside than they are on the outside."

I didn't tell Sue, who was nonetheless amazed when Wright was finished. "Wow!" she squealed. "These windows have never been so clean." "The trick," Wright said, "is to keep them that way." "I'll do my part," I said. "In two years, I'll give you another call."

I’m David Wright, founder and owner of Mr. Wright’s Window Cleaning LLC. We provide professional, hand washed window cleaning services to fine homes and businesses in New York’s Nassau and Suffolk Counties, particularly in the North Shore (“Gold Coast”) area of Long Island.

People often ask me when I’m on a job how long I’ve been cleaning windows. I actually started cleaning windows over 25 years ago to put myself through Indiana Law School. I was raising my family at the time- both my sons were born while I was in Law School. When I graduated, I practiced corporate law in a leading large law firm before eventually becoming an in-house executive and Chief Legal Officer for a financial service firm client. Eventually I started my own financial service firm, which quickly grew into a national company. After the sale of that company, I started a few more ventures before semi-retiring for a number of years. In 2014, my wife and I decided to downsize our home when the last of our combined 6 kids were either married or in college. We sold the home in Manhasset and moved further east to Centerport.

I spent February and March of 2014 developing lists of various business ventures I could pursue. The list was quite long, and, surprisingly, window cleaning was my second choice. Of all the jobs and businesses I’ve had in the past, I enjoyed window cleaning the most. Being in a position to do almost anything I wanted, I chose to do the thing that most appealed to me. When I tell my customers this story, they always want to know what was first on my list of potential things I wanted to do. Actually, it was to become a professional poker player, but my priest advised me that my second choice might be better for me!

I’m building this business now with the intention of having my oldest son join me in it in 2016. Right now he is serving in the US Army, currently deployed throughout most of 2015 in Iraq. When he moves back to Long Island with his wife and my grandson, we intend to grow the business together into the most successful window cleaning and home service company on Long Island.

No other window cleaner on Long Island provides the old fashioned service at a price you can afford like our window cleaning system. Our window cleaners will meticulously clean your windows inside and out using advanced squeegee window techniques and sophisticated water fed pole technology and tools. If I am not doing the service myself, then I am personally supervising another of our window cleaning professionals, all of whom have been trained in our window cleaning system.

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Scaffold Malfunction For Wilmington Window Washer

59-year-old Grayling Bolston was cleaning the 8th-floor exterior windows of the Bank of America building Tuesday morning when his scaffolding had a power failure and gave way. The dangling worker -- a veteran washer -- had spent about 25 minutes hanging off the building as about 100 onlookers watched firefighters make the high-angle rescue.
Window washer rescued after dangling from eighth story (Wilmington) – A mechanical failure left a window washer dangling by a rope Tuesday morning from the eighth story of a downtown building. City firefighters responded to an 8:53 a.m. 911 call from the Bank of America building at 1100 King St., Battalion Chief James R. Jones said at the scene. The block was closed to traffic as rescuers arrived, with Fire Chief Anthony S. Goode activating the fire department's high-angle rescue team to respond. A crowd gathered across the street, watching the drama unfold.

As crews went to the building's roof, preparing to rescue the dangling 59-year-old when the scaffolding operator managed to reengage its motors and bring up the scaffolding under his partner, Jobes said. As he was rescued, onlookers applauded and cheered. "He was suspended by only the rope for about 15 minutes," he said. The unidentified window washer, from Cassidy Painting, was evaluated for injuries and found to have none, Jobes said. He declined additional medical evaluation. 

"He's OK," said Derek Payne of Cassidy Painting, who said the window-washing job would be "suspended while we check the equipment out." The stranded employee, whom he did not identify, had engaged the "down" button when the mishap occurred, he said. "When he released the 'down' button, it didn't stop," Payne said. "One side came down, which left him dangling," he said, showing with his hand how the scaffold first was horizontal, then was left vertical. "It was a definite equipment failure," Payne said. The Cassidy crew was hired through Bellvue Holding Co. to clean the windows of the Bank of America building, he said.

Scaffolding gives way, window washer clings to rope 8 stories high in Wilmington - At approximately 8:53 a.m., on the 1100 N. King Street, Grayling Bolston was cleaning the 8th floor exterior windows of the Bank of America building when his scaffolding underwent a power failure and gave way, officials from the Wilmington Fire Department said. There, he hung by a rope for approximately 15 minutes while firefighters responded and prepared to rescue the man. 

Bolston said it felt longer. "30 minutes, it might've been longer, I wasn't keeping time at that time," said Bolston. "Upon arrival of fire department units, they witnessed the window washer suspended from 8th floor without the scaffolding near him," said Wilmington Fire Department spokesman James Jobes. "Talking with the operator of the scaffolding, they had a mechanical issue...which allowed the scaffolding to free-fall approximately two floors below the window washer."

Bolston, 59, said this wasn't the first time he's been stuck hanging from the side of a building. "I've been through this before," said Bolston. "It happened on a 30-story building. This isn't the first time." 
As the fire department was about to launch a rescue mission, Jobes said the operator was able to remedy the power issue, and conducted his own. "The operator of the scaffolding was able to reengage the power," Jobes said. "(He) went up and made a self-rescue." 

"It brought a crowd, I tell you that much because you don't see that everyday--a man hanging from a building, suspended with nothing underneath him, just hanging from a rope," said Bolston. "It can be scary for somebody that's never done it before." 

The window washer, was evaluated by emergency medical responders on scene and refused any additional treatment. He even tried to go back to work, but his supervisor sent him home for the day to relax. "You don't go home for that," he laughed. "You just continue to work man."

Monday 18 May 2015

EnduroShield Does It In Hawaii

EnduroShield does it in Hawaii
EnduroShield does it in Hawaii: Pacific Guardian Center (PGC) is a distinctive landmark building located in Honolulu’s Central Business District with over 630,000ft² (58,500m²) of quality office and retail space.  As one of Honolulu’s finest business locations,  PGC is dedicated to continually improving the experience for its tenants and visitors, while simultaneously using the latest in green technology to uphold its high Energy Star rating. The management team at PGC were faced with maintenance issues in relation to The Mauka and Makai Towers’ distinctive glass facades, indicating the need for a low maintenance protective coating. Due to the glass facade’s close proximity to  PGC’s air conditioning cooling tower, the glass was suffering from build-up of over 20 years of heavy staining caused by runoff from the air conditioning unit onto the glass.

World Wide Windows, who featured on The Discovery Channel’s  TV program “Dirty Jobs”, are the largest window cleaning company in Hawaii and were selected by PGC management to complete the restoration and protection of the glass facade using the EnduroShield Restoration System and EnduroShield Protective Coating for Glass. EnduroShield uses state-of-the-art nanotechnology to create a permanent* coating and seal the porosity of the glass.

World Wide Windows partnered with Certified EnduroShield Applicator Nano Tek-On to apply EnduroShield to over 30,000ft² (2,800m²) at the PGC glass towers to protect the restored glass against future staining and to reduce ongoing maintenance time and costs. "We tested all the options from the major coating companies, however nothing worked and they all failed in a matter of weeks.

Pacific Guardian Center (PGC), Hawaii.
We then learnt of EnduroShield through their new applicator in Honolulu Nano Tek-On. It was field tested on a section of glass exposed to the heaviest contamination, and it worked. This is an incredibly harsh environment and EnduroShield not only worked, but was the only option strong enough to last more than a couple of weeks!" - Dino Pertzoff, Principal, World Wide Windows, Hawaii.

EnduroShield requires only a single application and comes complete with a 10 year limited warranty. EnduroShield is environmentally friendly and does not require any revitaliser products, nor any special maintenance to retain the warranty.

After extensive in-field testing of numerous protective coatings, EnduroShield was the only coating that surpassed expectations and provided the superior protection that the management at PGC were looking for. The restoration and application of EnduroShield has resulted in glass that now looks as good as new and is much easier to maintain, staying visibly cleaner for longer. EnduroShield is the smart choice for exterior glass surfaces providing a permanent*, ultra-thin, transparent coating that completely adheres to the glass surface.

*Independently tested and certified for durability to simulate a lifetime of 10 years on interior and exterior use by TÜV Rheinland, Germany. 

More product videos here.

Friday 15 May 2015

Three For Friday

Debris scooped out from Dane Mitchell's gutter goes in to an Ettore window cleaners bucket.
Recent rain means big business for gutter cleaning services  (DALLAS) -  Dane Mitchell has been meaning to clean out the gutters of his North Dallas home. Take one look at his roof, and you'll understand why he's been putting it off – it's tall and steep. "I'd get me a ladder from Home Depot and do it myself, but here I am three years later and I've never touched it," Mitchell said. Thursday he brought in a professional. Mark Brown of Brown's Painting and Window Cleaning is a tough get these days. "It won't stop ringing, I've got 20 calls, I'll go spend a whole day doing estimates and I've got another 15 to 20 calls," he said.

Brown's company has been around for 22 years. The most recent storms have produced the most water he's ever seen. He's one of a half-dozen cleaning crews we called that's all booked up. "Some people have even told me, they've never even thought about cleaning their gutter until all this rain," Brown said. Mitchell admits, he's one of those people. He's watching safely from the ground as Brown carefully scales a two story ladder to investigate. "When it shoots past my gutters and doesn't even stop and doesn't collect and doesn't go down the downspouts, then I'm kind of concerned that there is some blockage there," Mitchell said.

Mitchell was right, and the proof is in the yellow bucket. "And this is just leaf debris and stuff that comes out of the gutters, that was just across four or five feet," Brown said. Debris that Brown says will eventually weigh down the roof and damage the gutters. And standing water isn't good either, it provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes. When Mitchell's gutters were clear, Brown was off to the next house with weeks of backed up drains ahead of him.

In 1915, a small window cleaning company was cleaning the dirt and smoke generated from gaslights off of buildings in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. 
Happy 100th birthday... how a small Grand Rapids window cleaning company grew to one of the largest cleaning operations in Michigan: In 1915, a small window cleaning company was cleaning the dirt and smoke generated from gaslights off of buildings in downtown Grand Rapids, MI.  Now, that same company, Grand Rapids Building Services, is turning 100 this year. How did a once modest company turn into one of the oldest and largest custodial contractors in the Midwest?

Versatility:  GRBS has always demonstrated an ability to serve a wide range of clients. The facilities in their repertoire are quite diverse, ranging from universities and K-12 school districts to office, government, medical and light industrial buildings. The custodial team has prevailed over a century by proving they can meet the challenges of the most demanding industries.

Customer Dedication: The company knows they would not be in business if not for their faithful customers - some of GRBS' clients have trusted in their services for over 50 years, notably 5/3 (Old Kent) bank and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. You cannot retain decades-long patrons without making dependable customer service a top priority, which is exactly how GRBS approaches every client – old or new.

Employee Care: The people of GRBS think of their employees as family. They believe the key to a successful team is through respect and constant collaboration. Employees are team members, not subordinates. GRBS has only become a better company by believing everyone is integral to their success.

Life Long Learning: Whether it is the always-changing landscape of cleaning technology, equipment or chemistry, GRBS has stayed ahead of the curve by keeping an open mind. By keeping up with contemporary practices, the company has not only been able to succeed for a century, but also expand. They currently service over 30 million square feet throughout Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, and have a team of over 1,300 employees.

This little company out of Grand Rapids has grown to be a custodial force in the Midwest. And it is these core beliefs that have allowed Grand Rapids Building Services to become the model for longevity and success. Yes, they have set new standards for the custodial industry, but any small business with large goals can learn from GRBS' dedication to keeping an open mind, and most of all, treating clients and employees like friends and family.

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Men in Kilts blow into Houston and they're ready to do some heavy-duty cleaning: Making household maintenance fashionable and fun, an all-male crew of professional cleaning technicians, Men In Kilts, hits Houston today. They not only do windows but, in a nod to company founder Nicholas Brand’s Scottish ties, all employees do their chores while rockin' a tartan plaid kilt.  Men In Kilts enters the Texas market thanks to Houston oil and gas entrepreneur — and kilt enthusiast — Bob Cavnar (pictured), who is often seen wearing the Scottish garb at black-tie events around town.

“Three years ago, I saw it (the company) on the national news and really liked the entire concept. First off, because of my own affinity for wearing kilts, and also because of my family’s Scottish background,” Cavnar tells CultureMap. With his interest peaked, Cavnar flew to Vancouver to meet with the founder. “I really wanted to have a piece of the action because I thought it would be fun. But at the time, I was still heavy in the oil business and didn’t have time. Now I do, so I bought the Houston franchise and plan to expand to all the major metropolitan areas in Texas.“

As for putting together his merry band of kilted men, Cavnar says, “My target employee is military veterans (via organizations such as the Lone Star Veterans Association) and young guys looking for direction. This gives me a good platform to provide good steady jobs to guys who need them. Anyone who is good shape and doesn’t mind climbing on ladder, I will hire.”

Men In Kilts offers a range of household maintenance services.
The Canada-based franchise, with U.S. outposts in Boston, Jersey Shore, Bucks Montgomery, Pa., and Raleigh, offers services including window cleaning, gutter cleaning and pressure washing for residences and commercial businesses. Prices vary according to the size of the job and such factors as the number and type of windows (large pane, divided, high surface requiring a ladder, etc.), window treatments and screens; when we called to asked about the price for a two-story house with 18 windows (half high surface), the estimate came in at around $350.

Cavnar believes Men In Kits has another advantage in that all workers are fully insured. “We have employees, not contractors, and we do background checks. Everyone who works for Men In Kilts is accountable to me.” As for what the men are wearing underneath those pleated wraparounds, Cavnar says, “We never answer that question. No peeking!”

Thursday 14 May 2015

Crocodile Craig To Carry On Window Cleaning

Not quite as bad as the picture presents, but Craig said: “I could feel the bone in my little finger crack and then blood started dripping everywhere.”
Croc victim snaps back, Benidorm break for Crocodile Craig: Craig Hamilton, a 38-year-old window cleaner and boxing enthusiast from Milton Keynes, and his girlfriend Suzie Maxfield, 32, have been enjoying a break in Benidorm this week after a traumatic experience at London’s Regents Park Zoo. Animal lovers Craig and Suzie, visiting the zoo in mid-April, looked in at the Reptile House, where a keeper was entertaining the crowd with a baby crocodile tucked under his arm. “Can I stroke it?” asked Craig. “Certainly,” said the keeper.

As Craig reached out his hand, the crocodile snapped round, biting deeply into Craig’s left hand! Craig said: “I could feel the bone in my little finger crack and then blood started dripping everywhere.” Craig was given emergency First Aid treatment by zoo staff and then taken to hospital where it was found that his finger had been snapped in two. He required an emergency operation that involved having a metal pin inserted into his hand and plastic surgery to repair damaged ligaments and tendons.

On his return home he must face extensive physiotherapy for months and doctors predict it could be a year before Craig’s hand is back to normal. He said: “Imagine if it had been a child or an elderly person. I have good strength in my hands but it could have been disastrous for someone more vulnerable.” Suzie said: “Everyday tasks are almost impossible - I am having to help Craig wash, dress and eat.”

Craig, who dubbed the baby crocodile ‘Snapper’, said this has not put him off reptiles but he will be wary of them in the future. Unable to work, he has had to borrow cash from his brother to avoid cancelling the family’s planned holiday to Benidorm. Previous summers at the resort he enjoyed water-sports, volleyball and jet-skis but this year Craig, Suzie and mum Jan had to settle for less strenuous activities.

At Benidorm’s Sol Pelicanos Hotel Craig has become something of a legend, his plastered arm earning him the nickname ‘Crocodile Craig’. London’s Regents Park Zoo has been contacted by The Euro Weekly News but at the time of going to press no comment has been received regarding Craig’s unfortunate experience in the Reptile House.

Left to right - Suzie Maxfield, Craig Hamilton and Jan Hamilton

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