This is the first issue of a series of blogs on what are the tools used by professional window cleaners and how they are used to access and conduct the window cleaning process.
As professional window cleaners in Perth WA, conducting commercial window cleaning on high rise buildings we need to have a checklist in place. This allows us to perform our tasks as commercial window cleaners safely, professionally and thoroughly. A good checklist helps to do this consistently. A Rope Access or Abseiling checklist should cover the following basics:
Basic checklist for Rope Access Technician
- Have all staff chosen for the task been appropriately trained.
- Do you have enough rope access equipment and personnel to do the job safely?
- Do you have a supervisor on the job?
- Do you need a permit?
- Have you done the appropriate inductions on this building?
- Have you conducted a risk assessment and method statement?
- Have you inspected the equipment?
- Have you inspected the ropes, and do you have enough rope to reach the ground?
- Do you have a rescue plan in place?
- If you are working outside, is the wind and weather acceptable?
- If you are working inside, is there enough light?
- Do you have means of communication at all times e.g. visual, radio, etc?
- Are all Rope Access Tech working in pairs?
- Have the anchor points been checked test and tagged certified and recommended for rope access?
- Has the testing organisation filled in the installation plaque?
- Is there a backup system in place?
- Are your anchors sharing the load equally (taking stretch and angles into account)?
- If your anchors are further apart than 2m, have you taken steps to back-up the anchors to mitigate an uncontrolled swing?
- Are your rigging angles lower than 90 degrees?
- If your angles are higher, have you taken steps to back-up the anchors?
- Are your knots appropriate and well-dressed?
- Can your knots be loaded without touching on the edge or another object?
- Have you put knots in the ends of the ropes?
- Have you bundled them for safety purposes e.g. wind
- If your drop is longer than 100m, is it possible to install re-belays?
- Do you need to install any deviations, re-belays or extra ropes to comfortably reach the worksite?
- If your deviations mean deviating further than 2m (or 15 degrees), have you taken measures to back-up the deviation?
- Any person within 2 m of an unguarded the edge should be appropriately secured.
- Do the ropes pass over any sharp edges (including lower down the drop)?
- Can you deviate or re-rig the ropes to avoid these edge/s? If not, have you adequately protected the ropes against the edge/s?
- Do you need to take extra rope protection with you for sharp edges lower down?
- Have you barrier-ed-off the working area below?
- Is your exclusion signed, or do you need a spotter to keep people out?
- Have your team performed this work before, and do they know what is expected of them?
- Have you performed a toolbox meeting before you start?
- Have you performed a buddy check?
Many of these tasks take place automatically by the Rope Access Techs due largely to their training. But from the readers point of view it is important to note that when we conduct the window cleaning whether it’s on a city high rise or a lower rise in the suburbs these are the questions we need to consider before and during the Rope Access Window Cleaning Process.
Our next blog will be on water fed, water pole or also know as reach and wash tools and techniques stay tuned.