Working conditions will vary from site to site. It is important, before beginning any window cleaning task, to consider how these variations will impact on actions you need to take to control the risk.
Height – How high is the job from the ground?
Access – How can workers get safely to and from where they work at height e.g. cradle operators must not have to climb over the edge of a building into a cradle. Consider the presence of fragile surfaces, obstructions and the proximity of overheard power lines.
Location – Buildings in busy town or city locations can present different risks to those on industrial estates and domestic properties. Consideration should be given to the time of cleaning, traffic conditions and preventing public access to areas directly below the working area to minimise the risk of them being struck by any falling object.
Weather conditions – Are there procedures in place to stop work in the event of adverse weather conditions that could endanger those working at height e.g. high winds when using access equipment?
Surface – What surface will the access equipment rest on? Is this surface strong enough to take the weight of the workers and their equipment?
Ground – What is the ground condition under the area where access equipment might need to be set up – for example, is it sloping, muddy or uneven? The access equipment you use must be suitable for the ground conditions – stable, level and not liable to fall or collapse.
Tools/materials – What tools or materials will you need for window cleaning? How will you get them up and down safely? How will you secure tools to avoid them being accidentally dropped?