Window cleaning is perhaps one of the oldest trades in the world – but despite its long history, a huge number of accidents still happen in the industry. Over the last few years, accident numbers have shown that injuries and deaths, which have occurred as a result of the job, are still a serious issue. According to reports from the HSE, between two and seven window cleaners are killed each year in the UK and up to 20 – 30 individuals suffer major injuries.
One way to ensure safety and prevent accidents from occurring is to use proper access equipment. Although many choose to use extendable brushes and hoses to tackle buildings, there are still a vast number who use the more traditional approach of using a ladder, bucket and cleaning equipment – which carries risks. As a result of these risks, the HSE advises all window cleaners to consider the benefits of using alternatives to ladders and change their work practices where possible to ensure safety.
What does the law say?
There is a simple hierarchy for managing and selecting equipment for work at height. Duty holders must:
- Avoid work at height where possible
- Use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls in situations where they cannot avoid working at height
- Where the risk of a fall can’t be eliminated, work equipment or other measures should be used to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur; for example – using the right type of fall arrest equipment.
Any work at height must also be properly planned, supervised and carried out by trained and competent staff.
Choosing the right products
Your choice of access equipment will always depend on the nature of the job. You’ll need to consider the height and site conditions before choosing a ladder, as well as the duration of time you’ll be working.
All access equipment should also be checked before use to ensure it’s safe to work from. Bent rungs, corrosion or missing feet are just some of the things that carry serious risk.
At Browns Ladders, we stock a variety of ladders designed just for window cleaners. Made with the job in mind, users can be sure of a product that’s designed exactly for the right purpose.
Available in three sizes, this single section ladder is made with strong, oval box section stiles for optimum safety. Rubber feet, fitted at the top and bottom of the ladder also offer extra stability, while serrated round rungs ensure comfort.
The 2-section ladder is available in three sizes too. It comes with all the benefits of the single section ladder as well as a top roller retaining bar.
To find out more about any of these products please give us a call today. You can get in touch with the Browns Ladders team on 01282 615517.
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