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barricades for safe window cleaning operations

when you educate yourself on safe window cleaning practices, like learning when and where to use barricades, you easily separate yourself from the low-pro operators and elevate your business in the eyes of your customers as a law abiding, professional business owner.

providing a safe working environment for your employees and protecting the general public is your number one goal as a professional window cleaner. sure, it costs more money to get the supplies and it takes extra time to construct and move a barricade from "drop zone" to drop zone but, that's what you need to do to help eliminate the chance of a window cleaning tool from falling on someone.

during the course of this article you'll learn...

1. the difference between an ineffective barricade and an effective barricade

2. the i-14.1-2001 window cleaning safety standard for protecting the general public

3. how using barricades can earn you respect from your clients and why they'll pay more to have you clean their windows

in the following 2 pictures, you'll see the right and wrong way to protect your employees and the general public from drop hazards at a high rise window cleaning job site.

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1. the difference between an ineffective barricade and an effective barricade
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this is not a barricade and is unsafe. - copyright volitar industriespicture 1: here's a picture of one of my competitor's attempts at alerting the general public that drop hazards are present.

the building is 100 feet tall and several descents will be made from a window cleaner using a bosun's chair and rope descent system above the coned area.

as you can see, the use of signs and cones are not enough to keep people from entering the drop zone.

the drop zone, or is the area directly below where window cleaning work will be performed.

if you look closely, there is a lady pushing her baby in a baby stroller into the potential hazards of a falling object from above.

to me, this is outrageous and absolutely unacceptable!

window cleaning barricade - copyright volitar industriespicture 2: this is a barricade i constructed at the same job site for my company.

as you can see it truly forces employees and the general public to stay outside the hazardous areas.

this is what a barricade is meant to provide -- a safe environment.

you'll also notice, i allowed enough space for people to walk around the barricade without forcing them out into street traffic by allowing enough walking room in the parking spaces.

note: since this picture was taken, i've improved my barricades by replacing the aluminum saw horses with heavier steel saw horses that minimize the chance the saw horses will fall over in windy conditions.

to clarify exactly how barricades must be used, here's what the...

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2. ansi/iwca i-14.1-2001 window cleaning safety standard section 3.10 states:
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"when equipment used to access windows is suspended over or erected near an area traversed by workers, the general public or vehicular traffic, warning signs shall be positioned below and the ground area directly under or adjacent to the work zone shall be effectively blocked by means of barricades.

a competent person shall determine if additional means of protection are necessary.

when there may be a danger to the public, all window cleaning tools or other items shall be secured to the worker, seatboard or platform to prevent them from falling."

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3. how using barricades can earn you respect from your clients and why they'll pay more to have you clean their windows
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responsible property owners are more likely to hire a vendor when they employ safe working practices in and around their buildings. these people understand that if your business has an accident while working on their property, and you get sited and fined by osha, then they may also be held responsible for your actions.

responsible property owners want contractors that can provide them hassle free, clean windows. they are willing to pay more for a window cleaner who understands and uses current industry safety standards.

i intentionally go to great lengths to make my barricades very effective when the job site calls for it. a property owner can easily see when you're taking the necessary steps to provide a safe environment around his property and this creates trust and respect in the working relationship between contractor and property owner.

sure, you can save time and money by skipping safe procedures like the use of barricades in your business. but, it just isn't worth it... is it?

do it right. bid hirer. and attract the type of customer who understands the necessity of public and employee safety as much as you do.

for in-depth information on how you can build a safer window cleaning business, please click on the link below to get more information. the link will lead you to my 'quick start guide to window cleaning profits' business kit. within the kit, i have a comprehensive chapter dedicated to job site safety... information you should know if you'd like to start a window cleaning business or build your current business in a safer manner. click here:

how to start a window cleaning business

i'll see you on the streets cleaning windows,

- andy

andy engstromabout the author: andy engstrom specializes in teaching real people how to start profitable window cleaning businesses that make $40,000 to $100,000 (or more) per year. to get instant access to all his most profitable window cleaning business strategies, tools, and resources,

visit: window cleaning business

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