“Danger hides in beauty and beauty in danger.” – Belva Plain
Buildings are magnificent works of art and a source of great pride for people and companies that own them. It’s one thing to say “my house” and it’s a totally different one to say “my building” or “my company’s building”. There’s just something about having a building that draws in a lot of attention, admiration, and respect.
Because of that, it’s normal for building owners and managers to want to keep their buildings looking clean and beautiful. For this, regular facade cleaning is an essential part of maintenance because let’s face it, people do judge by appearances.
But your building’s beauty may come at a price – a dangerous price. Cleaning a multi-story building’s facade can pose substantial risks or dangers for the people doing the job and passing by on the street below.
Facade Cleaning Dangers
When cleaning your building’s facade, potential dangers that may materialize involve working from heights, using access equipment, using powered equipment, and weak or poor quality structures. Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.
Compared to merely fixing a high ceiling or a rooftop, facade cleaning exposes workers to substantially more dangerous heights. Think of cleaning the windows of a 15-story building from the outside and you’ll see what I mean. Falling from such heights is almost always fatal given the force at which a person can hit the ground after falling from such high platforms.
Another serious potential danger to which your workers may be exposed to is when using access or climbing equipment such as cradles, scissor lifts, and ladders in order to go up and down your building’s facade. The higher the building, the higher the risk will be. That’s why if your company’s workers are the ones cleaning the building’s facade, you must invest in very high-quality access equipment to minimize accidents emanating from faulty or defective equipment.
A related danger is the use of fragile structures that may collapse at any given moment, which can send your workers plunging down to serious injuries or worse, to their deaths. In particular, makeshift scaffoldings are a big no-no, which means it’s mandatory that you buy or rent top quality scaffoldings from reputable suppliers for the sake of your workers and the innocent pedestrians below.
Lastly, using powered equipment for cleaning difficult facade surfaces can also be a source of accident risk for your workers and consequently, the pedestrians below. Such risks involve electrocution, explosion, and accidental drop from high locations. If your workers will be using powered equipment, better make sure that such equipment is securely fastened or tied to the platform or scaffolding to ensure that even in the event your workers accidentally drop them, they won’t fall because those are tied to the platform or scaffolding.
Prevention Always Trumps Cure
Before embarking on a facade cleaning campaign for your building or a building you’re managing, it’s crucial that you identify the major risks your workers and pedestrians below may be exposed to. More importantly, you should come up with practical and implementable risk mitigation measures to address them. It may prove to be quite cumbersome at first but believe me, it’ll be worth it. It’ll cost you more in terms of resources and man-hours an accident happens while your workers are cleaning the facade of your building.
But if you don’t want the hassle of doing all the dirty work and you have the budget, why not outsource it instead? You can hire reputable companies such as Asretec to do the dirty work for you. While it may cost you more compared to doing it yourself, you can in effect transfer all the risks to them while getting the facade of your building cleaned regularly.