Every single day thousands of men and women plunge—or more accurately, climb—into the unknown. Window washing is far from a glamorous profession. Intensely physical, and not suited for the faint of heart. Window washers use scaffolds and swing sets to scale immense buildings on a near daily basis. While recognition for their courage goes widely overlooked, we depend on window washers to keep our skylines looking their very best.
With that said, it seems important to take pause and recognize the incredible courage it takes to keep the facades of our cities looking the way that they do. After all, accidents do happen.
Just one week ago two window washers suffered the scare of their lives. In the process of cleaning one of New York City’s most prominent and monumental structures, the scaffold from which they were working became destabilized. The term ‘destabilized’ does not even begin to describe what occurred. One side of the scaffold dropped down to a near vertical angle. In consequence, the two men were left hanging in midair for the next two hours. To say that they were terrified does not even begin to articulate the emotional impact of this experience. It was only after these two hours, hanging sixty nine floors above stable ground, that the men were finally able to climb to safety through a hole made in a window.
In light of this terrifying and indeed shocking occurrence, concerns about safety run rampant. The scaffolding company that designed this shoddy scaffold is now under investigation, and window cleaning companies everywhere are reviewing safety standards.
It goes without saying that safety harnesses are an absolute must. Without being secured to the exterior of the edifice, window washers have absolutely no way of being secure lest a scaffold or boatswain malfunction. In addition, companies far and wide are going to begin bearing down on enforcing the proper safety regulations attached to the equipment they use: from ladders all the way up to scaffolds. Regardless of a building’s stature, window washers can be hurt on the job. Indeed, following the tragic death of a fifteen year old window washer—in Washington DC, back in 1998—the safety regulations of this trade have become a matter of the utmost importance. The building on which this young man was working was only four stories high. This simply demonstrates the attendant dangers of this profession: a profession that we deeply depend on, and which we should thus deeply respect.
You’ve seen them up on high buildings before, window cleaners. The people who keep those buildings looking nice and windows clean! Do you realize just how much danger they can be in each and every day? Most likely you don’t even think about it, maybe a passing thought of how you would never do it. But it’s a really dangerous job and one that they must be trained to do, and have the right equipment and know just how to operate the equipment properly.
Just recently there were two guys who were hanging off the side of The Hague building in Holland. They were up 800 feet in the air, just hanging by a rope. This is because the swing stage platform malfunctioned and left them in a precarious position. Thankfully since they were trained, they were able to keep themselves relaxed enough not to fall and die.
As you can imagine this is not a position for a person who is scared of working at high heights. One place that works at these heights every day is Waterproofing Contractors Inc. They are the premium provider in American for exterior building restoration, and commercial waterproofing. In business since 1978, they have over 37 years of experience and are highly trained.
They have offices located in Sarasota, Los Angeles and Atlanta, and can provide services to companies all over the US, along with Mexico and the Caribbean. Workers of Waterproofing Contractors Inc., are highly trained on the two-point swing-stage apparatus that is used by window cleaners.
It’s not an easy job, and often one that is thankless, but if you find a company like Waterproofing Contractors Inc., you can be guaranteed the job will be done right and there will be no accidents on the job site.
Operation of the swing-stage scaffolding is not something that just anyone can do; you must be trained to know how to work it properly. One wrong move and the scaffold will move to one side, and possibly have the window cleaners hanging just like those two at The Hague in 2013.
Though you may think it’s not a difficult position to do, really think about what they do each and every day when they go to work. They go up to the highest heights on buildings that people can’t even see the windows from the ground, and make sure those buildings are clean and look great!