When your worst fears come true...
There's been some bad mojo floating around the last few weeks and it's caused a few close calls among myself and my colleagues. Every window washer has that tiny bit of fear in their head that we have to silence in order to do what we do. But what happens when we completely ignore that little voice and get too confident? The results can be devastating, and even deadly. This is the subject of my latest blog entry, because it seems like a few people (myself included) are maybe getting a little to cocky and taking un necessary risks.
The Window Viper handles a lot of roof cleaning jobs and we pressure wash many metal roofs without incident. However, last week I was on a pretty steep and slippery one on which I had to get creative with the ladder. It was brought up to the roof and set up with the feet locked and secured to the roof with a safety lanyard.
While reaching for the peak of the roof I was standing on the second rung from the top when the pressure washer hose got snagged on the gutters. I gave her on good tug and the force was enough to dislodge the feet of the step ladder from the snow guards and it slipped down about one meter before the safely line bought it. This jarred me pretty good and I had to wear a wrist brace for about 24 hours afterwards. Without the safety line it could have been way worse. For the rest of this job I increased the tension on the safety strap to make sure that the ladder would not budge and that is how it will be done from now on forward.
A couple days later I got a text from my friend Dennis at Perfectly Clear Windows. He was working on an initial interior window wash in Nanaimo and had his 24 footer setup to reach some high windows in the great room. The hard wood floors were still covered with paper for protection and taped around the edges. Something we've all seen a million times and had no issues. I believe that this time, he must have had the ladder leant out on a pretty low angle because his ladder feet slid with the paper below them and his ladder came down with him on top with enough force to break the window trim and shatter the window below. His head missed the broken glass by only a couple of feet.
Think he was scared?
It's time to slow down and take extra precautions. Be careful out here everyone. We love to work faster and make more money but when your body is your paycheque, it's your most valuable tool.
The Window Viper