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HSE - Working at height - the ladder law


Teddington Window Cleaners

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Teddington Window Cleaners

I know a lot of window cleaners here will not use ladders for their own personal reasons and I respect that, however for the people that do use ladders and want clarification on the law and safety this will help.

I've done some digging around the site and there is no comprehensive post that has all the information regarding working at height. So I thought it would be useful to post it here with the relevant tags to help out with any questions regarding this area. 

Firstly the government has some very useful information surrounding this here: 

https://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/the-law.htm

they have some very useful information on using ladders and a couple of documents that are very informative: 

work at height

Safe use of ladders and step ladders

I hope you find this useful 🙂

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Here’s the thing : some prospect customers, when they are paying a pre-agreed price, are only happy if they see "the help" working hard and taking a long time to do the job. They like to feel they're

You can use a ladder for  access , if you go down the road and clean everyone’s windows using a ladder and have an accident and the HSE investigate you are looking at a fine starting at 50 k , if you

Just goes to show things must be different in some parts of the country everyone down hear would expect the frames cleaned wether wfp or trad although trad is dying down hear I only know of two trad g

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I'm not trying to start an argument, I have worked off rope up triple ladders in the past, but how do you get over the 'avoid work at height where it is reasonably practicable to do so.' statement?

Do you not consider using a wfp as reasonably practicable?

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Teddington Window Cleaners
7 minutes ago, ched999uk said:

I'm not trying to start an argument, I have worked off rope up triple ladders in the past, but how do you get over the 'avoid work at height where it is reasonably practicable to do so.' statement?

Do you not consider using a wfp as reasonably practicable?

there is no argument, fact is you can use a ladder if you want 🙂

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4 hours ago, Teddington Window Cleaners said:

there is no argument, fact is you can use a ladder if you want 🙂

You can use a ladder for  access , if you go down the road and clean everyone’s windows using a ladder and have an accident and the HSE investigate you are looking at a fine starting at 50 k , if you go down the road cleaning windows  using wfp but need a ladder for  access and have an accident and the HSE investigate it’s highly likely they will say you have done your best to not work at height as you used wfp for most of your work and they will not prosecute , how do I know this ? I am a working at heights instructor , and work closely with the HSE , having also attended a number of falls from height resulting in death ( as a Fireservice officer ) , serious life changing injuries resulting in court cases . I feel  like a lot of things some of the wording on the HSE web site is very woolly and not clear , however one thing is clear , if a safer alternate  to working at height exists it should be employed , that isn’t an ambiguous statement , it’s very clear advice .

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7 hours ago, Teddington Window Cleaners said:

I know a lot of window cleaners here will not use ladders for their own personal reasons and I respect that, however for the people that do use ladders and want clarification on the law and safety this will help.

I've done some digging around the site and there is no comprehensive post that has all the information regarding working at height. So I thought it would be useful to post it here with the relevant tags to help out with any questions regarding this area. 

Firstly the government has some very useful information surrounding this here: 

https://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/the-law.htm

they have some very useful information on using ladders and a couple of documents that are very informative: 

work at height

Safe use of ladders and step ladders

I hope you find this useful 🙂

How would you explain the first blue bullet  point ?? Wfp gives you a safe option not to work at height 

1B23F221-8832-4901-866B-2800B3045001.thumb.png.1aecf7f1df050fc5ec4bb06195f65850.png

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Joshyouare
6 hours ago, Teddington Window Cleaners said:

there is no argument, fact is you can use a ladder if you want 🙂

I believe @ched999uk's question was "Do you not consider using a wfp as reasonably practicable?". I'm laughing because you've posted something to get people riled up (deny it all you want), been proven wrong, and now won't answer the questions. Funny really.

People are arguing with you because you're trying to push something which is a dangerous, harder alternative (to new starters too) and then winding people up purposefully at the same time. I'm personally done commenting on your posts, you do you mate, all the best.

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Teddington Window Cleaners
11 hours ago, Pjj said:

How would you explain the first blue bullet  point ?? Wfp gives you a safe option not to work at height 

1B23F221-8832-4901-866B-2800B3045001.thumb.png.1aecf7f1df050fc5ec4bb06195f65850.png

If i turn up for a job its only reasonably practicable to do so with the ladders I have 🙂

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Teddington Window Cleaners
12 hours ago, Pjj said:

You can use a ladder for  access , if you go down the road and clean everyone’s windows using a ladder and have an accident and the HSE investigate you are looking at a fine starting at 50 k , if you go down the road cleaning windows  using wfp but need a ladder for  access and have an accident and the HSE investigate it’s highly likely they will say you have done your best to not work at height as you used wfp for most of your work and they will not prosecute , how do I know this ? I am a working at heights instructor , and work closely with the HSE , having also attended a number of falls from height resulting in death ( as a Fireservice officer ) , serious life changing injuries resulting in court cases . I feel  like a lot of things some of the wording on the HSE web site is very woolly and not clear , however one thing is clear , if a safer alternate  to working at height exists it should be employed , that isn’t an ambiguous statement , it’s very clear advice .

how about option C though?

Ive been doing most of the upstairs trad style with a pole and only use the ladders where I cannot reach? 

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Teddington Window Cleaners
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Joshyouare said:

I believe @ched999uk's question was "Do you not consider using a wfp as reasonably practicable?". I'm laughing because you've posted something to get people riled up (deny it all you want), been proven wrong, and now won't answer the questions. Funny really.

People are arguing with you because you're trying to push something which is a dangerous, harder alternative (to new starters too) and then winding people up purposefully at the same time. I'm personally done commenting on your posts, you do you mate, all the best.

I am not trying to rile anyone up thank you @Joshyouare

This is a useful piece of information for traditional window cleaners in the correct section. 

Why are you trying to put a negative spin on it and make me out to be the bad guy?

 

 

Edited by Teddington Window Cleaners
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31 minutes ago, Teddington Window Cleaners said:

how about option C though?

Ive been doing most of the upstairs trad style with a pole and only use the ladders where I cannot reach? 

Using a pole is fine , it’s just that they don’t want to see ones using ladders for everything down the road 

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Teddington Window Cleaners
2 hours ago, Pjj said:

Using a pole is fine , it’s just that they don’t want to see ones using ladders for everything down the road 

Its requires a lot of skill and patience but very quick once you get the hang of it 🙂

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5 hours ago, Teddington Window Cleaners said:

Its requires a lot of skill and patience but very quick once you get the hang of it 🙂

Yes but then you arnt cleaning the frames 😂😂😂

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Teddington Window Cleaners
31 minutes ago, Pjj said:

Yes but then you arnt cleaning the frames 😂😂😂

Most customers don't want to pay for the frames to be cleaned anyway 😂

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2 minutes ago, Teddington Window Cleaners said:

Most customers don't want to pay for the frames to be cleaned anyway 😂

Lol if you dont clean the frames you cannot compete with wfp that’s all part of the service , you are a glass cleaner not a window cleaner 😂😂😂😂😂

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53 minutes ago, Teddington Window Cleaners said:

Most customers don't want to pay for the frames to be cleaned anyway 😂

I totally agree with you most customers don't want frames cleaned and I only do so when asked but obviously wipe the ledges.

I have one house that wants just windows done then next month I clean the frames, they pay me double when frames are done.

But I have quite a few customers who only want traditional and are old school and simply don't want wfp.

 

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34 minutes ago, MJK said:

I totally agree with you most customers don't want frames cleaned and I only do so when asked but obviously wipe the ledges.

I have one house that wants just windows done then next month I clean the frames, they pay me double when frames are done.

But I have quite a few customers who only want traditional and are old school and simply don't want wfp.

 

Just goes to show things must be different in some parts of the country everyone down hear would expect the frames cleaned wether wfp or trad although trad is dying down hear I only know of two trad guys and one of them is starting to use wfp on some stuff now . Wfp if done properly will always give better results, but there are a lot of cowboys that do a very poor job , we regularly get ones phoning up saying they want a trad cleaner and I ask them why the reply is always the same we don’t like the broom it leaves dirty marks in the windows , I say I will come with my broom and clean your windows for free and walk away , if you are happy with the results give me a call , every single one has phoned back delighted with the results I have in the region of 150 customers like this over the last 20 years , as for cost it’s easier with wfp to clean the frames it’s hard work just trying to do the glass , again if calling yourself a window cleaner and you only clean the glass that’s misleading the customer , as they arnt getting a full service , I find it very hard to believe that ones only want glass cleaned , before I was a window cleaner I had a window cleaner and I expected him to do the whole window glass and framework , that was what he did in the price . Each to there own but it sounds very strange to me , I have nothing against trad cleaners I was trad myself for 7-8 years and was forced to go wfp due to a lot of our commercial work insisting on ladder free cleaning so I very reluctantly got a pole system , best thing I ever did , my earnings tripled within 6-8 months or so , I could now do so many more jobs I couldn’t do trad

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ShropsWindowCleaner
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Pjj said:

Just goes to show things must be different in some parts of the country everyone down hear would expect the frames cleaned wether wfp or trad although trad is dying down hear I only know of two trad guys and one of them is starting to use wfp on some stuff now . Wfp if done properly will always give better results, but there are a lot of cowboys that do a very poor job , we regularly get ones phoning up saying they want a trad cleaner and I ask them why the reply is always the same we don’t like the broom it leaves dirty marks in the windows , I say I will come with my broom and clean your windows for free and walk away , if you are happy with the results give me a call , every single one has phoned back delighted with the results I have in the region of 150 customers like this over the last 20 years , as for cost it’s easier with wfp to clean the frames it’s hard work just trying to do the glass , again if calling yourself a window cleaner and you only clean the glass that’s misleading the customer , as they arnt getting a full service , I find it very hard to believe that ones only want glass cleaned , before I was a window cleaner I had a window cleaner and I expected him to do the whole window glass and framework , that was what he did in the price . Each to there own but it sounds very strange to me , I have nothing against trad cleaners I was trad myself for 7-8 years and was forced to go wfp due to a lot of our commercial work insisting on ladder free cleaning so I very reluctantly got a pole system , best thing I ever did , my earnings tripled within 6-8 months or so , I could now do so many more jobs I couldn’t do trad

Agreed. And i’m wfp pole too. However there are instances where you can’t clean the frame with wfp. You may have a house with old aluminium frames where the coating has become powder and runs white. Or decades old upvc that also runs white no matter how much it’s scrubbed. In these cases just cleaning the glass is preferable. Perhaps even trad. 👍🏻

Edited by ShropsWindowCleaner
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16 minutes ago, Pjj said:

Just goes to show things must be different in some parts of the country everyone down hear would expect the frames cleaned wether wfp or trad although trad is dying down hear I only know of two trad guys and one of them is starting to use wfp on some stuff now . Wfp if done properly will always give better results, but there are a lot of cowboys that do a very poor job , we regularly get ones phoning up saying they want a trad cleaner and I ask them why the reply is always the same we don’t like the broom it leaves dirty marks in the windows , I say I will come with my broom and clean your windows for free and walk away , if you are happy with the results give me a call , every single one has phoned back delighted with the results I have in the region of 150 customers like this over the last 20 years , as for cost it’s easier with wfp to clean the frames it’s hard work just trying to do the glass , again if calling yourself a window cleaner and you only clean the glass that’s misleading the customer , as they arnt getting a full service , I find it very hard to believe that ones only want glass cleaned , before I was a window cleaner I had a window cleaner and I expected him to do the whole window glass and framework , that was what he did in the price . Each to there own but it sounds very strange to me , I have nothing against trad cleaners I was trad myself for 7-8 years and was forced to go wfp due to a lot of our commercial work insisting on ladder free cleaning so I very reluctantly got a pole system , best thing I ever did , my earnings tripled within 6-8 months or so , I could now do so many more jobs I couldn’t do trad

Totally get what you are saying buddy.

Luckily 90% of my income is from commercial jobs and after a tot up only do 15 residential properties.

Don't go looking for residential but only if asked.

Next time I am asked then maybe I will give them a choice of just cleaning glass and ledges for say £20 or £40 with the frames.I reckon 9 out of 10 will go with the cheaper option. Be very interesting to see how this pans out when I quote in future.

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4 minutes ago, ShropsWindowCleaner said:

Agreed. And i’m wfp pole too. However there are instances where you can’t clean the frame with wfp. You may have a house with old aluminium frames where the coating has become powder and runs white. Or decades old upvc that also runs white no matter how much it’s scrubbed. In these cases just cleaning the glass is preferable. Perhaps even trad. 👍🏻

It’s knowing how to clean theses types of frames we do a few anodised aluminium frames initial clean takes a while but never have a problem with them after that , exactly the same with old UPVC , we don’t trad anything outside apart from a handful of shops everything is cleaned every visit ,frames ,vents ,sills , glass ,once the initial clean is done properly we dont have any issues  , take a look at the pictures below ,I personally wouldn’t bother cleaning theses but the  customer was adamant he wanted them cleaning and is happy to pay an extra £20 for it  to be done, the frames are wood that’s rotten with dead white paint that runs white every clean but using the right technique the glass is spot free . 

8FD92E91-537F-43D3-8B12-BD0C31E7B8AA.jpeg

C9F29306-C43E-4A34-B5BE-9BA053123CA3.jpeg

3A3820A8-FCE0-46F9-8DEF-0A9C893DF2FE.jpeg

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