Window washing can require workers to complete their duties at dangerous heights, increasing their risk of being injured while working if safety precautions are not followed. When an employee is injured while working at heights, they can suffer serious harm or fatality. A recent rescue of two window washers has prompted a formal investigation by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The workers were employed by a window washing company contracted by the building. They were able to maneuver up and down to complete their duties, using a platform operated by a rope and pulley system. The dangerous accident took place when one of the large ropes began to fray, making it impossible to move up or down from their suspended position.

The rescue was made after two men that were cleaning an exterior window on the 18th floor of a high rise became dangerously unable to lower their platform. The local fire department, a scaffolding company and an engineer assigned by OSHA worked together to save the stranded employees. The workers were placed in harness equipment and manually moved to the roof where they were able to exit the dangerous platform.

A report indicates that the investigation will review how the rope system may have malfunctioned or became inoperable and was still allowed to be used by employees. Although the workers were not injured while working on the California building, an accident resulting from the rope fray may have cost them their lives. A person that suffers serious injury while working may require extensive treatment and look to a professional to help collect all available workers’ compensation benefits following their accident.

Source: ohsonline.com, “Cal/OSHA to Investigate After Successful High-Rise Rescue“, , Oct. 6, 2014