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Safety is a major issue in window cleaning.
Window cleaning in the traditional way, with a portable ladder, bucket and squeegee, remains one of the most dangerous jobs that anybody can do in the UK. Up to ten people die each year, usually, as a result of a fall, and usually, but not always, from a portable ladder.
Fortunately, the number of accidents involving window cleaners is decreasing, mainly because the Work at Height Regulations of 2005, which have the force of law, effectively removed many of the elements of risk that window cleaners face, if they simply follow the law. You can find a great deal of information on the Work at Height Regulations at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.pdf. For window cleaners, these regulations did not actually ban the use of ladders, as is often suggested, but they did make it clear that the use of a ladder should be only a last resort, when safer (and usually more modern) means of reaching the job simply cannot be used.
Instead of ladders and buckets, most commercial window cleaners and an increasing number of firms that do domestic window cleaning, now use water-fed poles. Water-fed poles can be used to reach as high as 65 feet, (typically, second floor windows), with the operator safely standing on the ground. They clean the windows with a nylon brush fed with pure water from a reverse osmosis pure water generator, which pumps the pure water to the brush and the window. The pure water unit is usually either mounted in a van or on an easily mobile trolley.
No residue on the windows
The advantage of pure water from a reverse osmosis pure water generator is that the process removes all the dissolved salts present in tap water, so that the pure water dries without leaving deposits on the glass. In fact, it is a characteristic of pure water that it inherently acquires whatever soluble salts it encounters, as it tries to return to a naturally impure state. As a result, whatever remnants of detergents or other cleaning materials left on windows or window frames by previous cleaning are automatically removed, leaving the windows sparkling clean. A window cleaner using a water-fed pole does not have to dry the windows, because the result is better if they are left to dry naturally.
The fact that window cleaners operate water-fed poles from ground level also protects the customer’s privacy it reduces the likelihood of window cleaners randomly appearing at your bedroom or office window.
Excellent, effective and reliable as they undoubtedly are, water-fed poles are not without risk, and the law requires that a window cleaner utilising one must produce a written risk assessment before undertaking a contract to clean a given property’s windows on a regular basis. In consultation with the customer, the window cleaner or his manager should answer the following questions:
If you need advice or information about the safe use of water-fed poles and pure water generators for window cleaning, or for cleaning fascias, signage, profiled metal cladding or anything else, why not talk to Window Cleaning Warehouse on 0845 521 4848 or take a look at www.windowcleaningwarehouse.co.uk. The Window Cleaning Warehouse team will give you detailed information and practical advice. We await your call and will be happy to help.