The City of New York once again focused it's attention on the site of the World Trade Centre again this week, but thankfully this time disaster was averted. Window cleaners were cleaning windows on the 70th floor of the newly opened One World Trade Centre, when a cable came loose and their working platform was left hanging. The One World Trade Centre is the fourth tallest building in the world and window cleaners had only started cleaning windows on the skyscraper for less than a week when this near disaster occurred. The two experienced window cleaners were rescued by the Fire Department, who once again proved they are one of the most skilled and adaptable emergency departments departments. Fire fighters were able to secure the working platform and establish communication with the window cleaners, before cutting a diamond shape hole in the glass on the 69th floor, 240 meters above the ground. The windows cleaners were rescued without any injuries thanks to the assistance of over 100 firefighters. The incident has once again shown a spotlight on what many consider a perilous profession.
High rise window cleaners not only have to deal with the dangers of working at extreme heights, but they also have to cope with the constant exposure to intense sunlight and UV exposure. Window cleaners have also had to deal with attacks from hawks and falcons, as well as the perils of working close to electrical wires. It may come as a surprise that with all of these dangers, there are thankfully not many fatal injuries in this dangerous profession. Throughout the United States which has thousand of window cleaners working at heights, there has only been on average one death per year from falls at heights. But industry experts are still looking for safer ways of cleaning windows without putting lives at risk.
Are Robots The Answer?
Sky Pro is a Robotic Engineering company that has been developing robotic window cleaning technologies. Sky Pro is marketing their robots as being able to clean windows without the risk involved with human window cleaners, but industry experts are still questioning the quality of the window cleaning that the robots can offer. While the robots have a futuristic appeal to them, the quality of human window cleaners is still the best and most efficient.
One of the most promising technologies to prevent the dangers involved with window cleaning is titanium dioxide coated windows . The photocatalytic and hydrophilic self-cleaning windows utilise UV light to break down the dirt and grime on windows. The windows then actively attract water to wash away the dirt and grime. This revolutionary technology has so many advantages to traditional windows, but it may still be a long way from being installed on skyscrapers on a grand scale. There are some disadvantages to this revolutionary technology, including the price, the reliance on having temperamental weather, and the inability to clean salt deposits from the windows.
Pure Water Window Cleaning
Some window cleaners are worried about their livelihood seeing the onset of new technologies, but most are looking for safer ways to clean windows. Some window cleaning companies are also using pure water window cleaning techniques which allow window cleaners to use a pole to clean windows up to four stories in height. Pure water window cleaning uses purified water to safely wash windows and leave them sparkling without window cleaners having to leave the ground.