There are stringent measures that should be followed to secure the safety of window cleaners of high-rise buildings. One of the most important measure is the required lifeline.
"Window cleaners should always be attached with a lifeline to the building. This is very important," says a high-ranking figure of Trakhees-EHS, the regulatory arm of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) Dubai.
This was in response to the recent accidents involving window cleaners in Abu Dhabi. Recently two Asian men died after their scaffold crashed from the 15th floor of a building located on Khalifa Street in Abu Dhabi.
The accident took place only a week after the rope of a glass-cleaning scaffold broke, and the window cleaners had to be rescued from the 15th floor of a building in Al Salam Street, Abu Dhabi.
In case anything happens to the equipment it is important for the window cleaners to have the extra safety option, explains the Trakhees spokesman. "That is why the lifeline should be attached to the building, and never to the cradle."
However, safety of the equipment is important too and there are extensive guidelines on how this safety can be achieved.
"In any case regular inspections must be carried out and the date and results of the last inspections should be mentioned on the cradle."
On the website of Abu Dhabi Police Abdullah Hamad al Tamimi, Head of Customer Service and Public Relations Division of Civil Defense Abu Dhabi was reported as calling upon maintenance companies working in the field of constructions and building cleaning to always keep their equipment and cranes in good conditions.
Experts say that the use of a suspended cradle is the safest option for window cleaning of high-rise buildings.
"Use of this type of equipment is one of the safest ways to clean windows and metals of buildings; however, things can still go wrong sometimes," says a Trahees report titled 'Safety in Window Cleaning and External Façade Maintenance Using Suspended Access Equipment (Suspended Cradles)'.