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It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was talking about how cleaning could be a thankless task, carried out by dedicated and often highly-trained professionals who are regularly ignored or even abused by the general public. I didn't mention the dangers though...
The lengths cleaners have to go to, in order to keep us safe and able to enjoy a clean and hygienic environment, were really brought home to me watching a video filmed this week of a team of window cleaners whose platform had become loose in high winds and was swinging them around violently, breaking windows as it hit the side of Edmonton's Stantec Tower. The impact was so violent that one of the team became dislodged.
Thank goodness he had a safety harness which prevented him from plummeting to the ground below! My heart was in my mouth as I watched him swinging beneath the platform, dreading that the force with which it hit the building would swing him into a window, where on his way out he'd no doubt have sustained nasty (and possibly fatal) injuries from the broken shards he would be dragged back through.
Trainer Lorraine Larman ([email protected]) tells me she's carrying out a lot of working at height risk assessments and that work needs to be done in too many cases to bring safety up to standard for these vulnerable workers. If you're in any doubt about how crucial it is to get it right, watch the video! worker-rescued-from-suspended-scaffolding
The Health & Safety Executive's latest statistics have just been released and in reading them, I was pleased to see that the UK is doing pretty well when it comes to reducing workplace-related deaths, sickness and injury and indeed is doing better than many of its European counterparts. My view is though that any workplace-related 'mishap' - however minor, is one too many and something we should all be doing our best to eliminate. That European social partners in industrial cleaning, EFCI (European Cleaning & Facility Services Industry) and trade union UNI Europa, have mentioned the need to improve safety in their newly-released joint statement on the impact of digitalisation on employment in the sector, pleases me a great deal. You can read both reports below.
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31st October 2019