For windows that are more difficult to reach the use of specialist access equipment will be necessary. Examples include rope access, travelling ladders and gantries on the premises exterior or suspended access equipment (SAE) e.g cradles and Building Maintenance Units.
Often a number of organisations will be involved in these tasks. Everyone in the risk management chain must ensure their collective activities are co-ordinated and controlled, minimising risks to their employees and others who may be affected by their activities.
Depending upon your role, there are actions which you must take:
In many cases the equipment will be owned and maintained by the building owner. The duty holder for/person in control of the building must ensure that window cleaning contractors are provided with:
It is common practice for building owners/managers to complement the provision of information to contracting companies with site specific induction training for window cleaning operatives working on their site.
Contractors must ensure that their employees and any sub-contractors;
You have a duty to manage your own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by your actions.
These are normally found running across large areas of glazed roofing and may be powered or moved manually by the operators. Owners of this type of equipment must ensure that it is properly installed, inspected, maintained and safe to use.
Users must wear a full-body harness with an energy absorbing or an inertia reel lanyard to current BS EN standards. All tools and equipment should be secured to the structure or operator eg by suitable lanyard.
This is a specialised window cleaning task and you must ensure that only competent and properly trained and instructed operators use this equipment. Users must ensure:
Further information is available from Specialist Access Engineering and Maintenance Association (SAEMA).
The advantage of using rope access methods lies mainly in the speed with which workers can get to or from difficult locations and then carry out their work, often with minimal impact on other operations.
The Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA International) has in place a continuously evolving regime with procedures that members are required to follow, which are monitored for compliance to ensure a safe system of work is established and maintained.
Further information is available from IRATA International.