February 8, 2011

Dangerous jobs: window washing at extreme heights

Lunch-atop-a-skyscraper-c1932.jpg

Image from Wikipedia

Master Cleaners Ltd a central London cleaning company, has posted a fascinating photo feature on their blog called The World's Most Fearless Cleaners. We issue a vertigo warning in advance. Also, the caveat that we are not endorsing the safety procedures or lack thereof that are depicted in the photos.

Here are a few more detailed stories associated with the above photos:


We also recommend this dramatic photo gallery from the New York Public Library's digital archive of Empire State Building construction workers. There are few belts, lifelines, or tethers in sight so it is rather surprising that only five workers were killed during construction. We also found a rare video clip of 1940s-era window washers working on the Empire State Building. (With a bonus of some acrobats doing a stomach-churning stunt on the ledge) And here is a vintage 1934 feature on skyscraper window washers from Modern Mechanix.

Two years ago this month, we wrote about miracle survivor Alcides Moreno, a window washer who survived a 47 story plunge. In that post, we cited the ever-fascinating Free Fall Research Page, which documents reports, stories, and personal accounts of people who survived falls from extreme heights.

If tall structures are your thing, you might enjoy this skyscraper site which tracks the world's tallest buildings. This thread in Skyscraper City features a few articles about cleaning skyscraper windows.

Related resources
OSHA Fall Protection
OSHA: Scaffolding
No such thing as a free fall


| 1 Comment

1 Comment

I know one London based high rise window cleaning firm that actively recruits rock climbers. Seriously a friend of mine does this and he was found teaching climbing in NZ. Cleaning windows in London for "height" fearless is very lucrative.

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This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on February 8, 2011 1:42 PM.

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: Dude, Lock Me Out! was the previous entry in this blog.

Cavalcade of Risk; interesting workers compensation history is the next entry in this blog.

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