Commercial window cleaning
Commercial window cleaning
Window cleaning abseiling

Window Cleaning Abseiling

This is a skilled profession that is definitely not for the faint hearted. Window cleaning abseiling involves being suspended from harness attached by ropes to the tops of tall buildings. Unlike a cradle system, abseiling does not offer the reassurance of a platform beneath the window cleaner and is certainly not suited to people with a fear of heights.

Although more traditionally utilised by stone cleaners and steeplejacks, abseiling has its roots in mountain climbing, and now window cleaning abseiling has become an accepted and more financially competitive alternative to erecting scaffolding around high rise buildings. Some estimates place the cost of using window cleaning abseiling solutions at around forty percent of the cost of scaffolding.

Naturally, these high flying workers need to be highly trained in window cleaning abseiling. Indeed the skill-set they need to develop only differs from the abseiling steeplejacks in the work that they have to perform, while suspended high above the ground. One technique that these professional cleaners have to develop is the art of staying in place, cleaning a window, while being buffeted by gusts of wind.

One measure that allows for this is the use of eye bolts and safety anchors. These allow the window cleaning abseiling crew member to attach his or her harness to a securely fixed anchor point. In addition to providing stability against gusting winds, they are also a vital arresting mechanism in the event of a plummet caused by rope or other equipment failure.

A window cleaning abseiling professional will be certified by the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association to varying levels of expertise, depending on the work they will undertake. The worker will be fully aware of the safety checks, maintenance and correct use of their equipment. But in addition to regular checks by the window cleaning abseiling workers, this equipment has to be inspected and re-certified according to the 1993 Personal Protective Equipment against falls from height mandate BS EN 365.

Along with the IRATA certifications and SAFE PASS training, window cleaning abseiling professionals are expected to be fully aware of the comprehensive regulations and recommendations issue by the Health and Safety Executive dealing with “Safety in window cleaning using rope access techniques”.

This document also outlines the duties and level of experience that is expected of Rope Managers, Supervisors and operatives, by reading this carefully, workers at all levels can learn not only what they can do, but also what they cannot.

This information sheet (MISC 612) also contains the specifications and quality standards that the equipment has to meet.

This synopsis should provide any aspiring window cleaning abseiling professional with a clear idea of the type of training and qualification they will require to apply for a position in this field. It should offer some insight to potential clients of window cleaning abseiling specialist companies, as to the types of certification and trade affiliations they can be expected to hold. A well regarded window cleaning abseiling company will be willing to provide documentation of safety inspections, additional certification and references from previous clients.

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