High-Rise info

Hey Fellas!
I want to get into high rise work since in the last year I have had about 8 calls for bid requests and had to hand them over to other wc’s…I looked on the IWCA site and they offer a training course but its a corospondance course, for certification. Will this be all that I need? Wont I need some hands on training too? Where would I get this training, and will the certification teach me about osha standards? Any help would be appreciated, thanx in advance.

I learned by working with someone that was already skilled with bolsen seats from the navy where they were used to paint and do repairs on ships. Now you must meet OSHA requirements, for your saftey and the safety of those that might be working for you. Even if you are exempt (A Sole Proprietor with No Employees – if you have no employees, then you are not an employer, and OSHA only has jurisdiction over employers.) it is still a good idea to follow OSHA standards. It is important not to endanger yourself or innocent folks beneath you.
You need to know what you can tie to and more importantly, what you can’t. Most of the newer building are very accomodating. When I started, it wasn’t uncommon to hang a big hook on the firewall. Definate no-no. Enough of the bad advice.

Have good equipment. my preferred controlled decent device is a SMC U - 4 Bar Rappel Rack Assembly but a lot of WCs use Sky Genies. The rack is great for cleaning windows and would hold an elephant. I use Mamba ropes. Learn to properly care for, store and inspect them before [U]every [/U]use. It is almost invariably rope breakage that results in injury or death. A reliable saftey brake and harness. The new osha approved seats are great. The most important tool is your head…use it.

Be safe
[B]THEGLASSMACHINE[/B]
[I]“because glass looks it’s best when you can’t see it”[/I]

see it"

I learned by working with someone that was already skilled with bolsen seats from the navy where they were used to paint and do repairs on ships. Now you must meet OSHA requirements, for your saftey and the safety of those that might be working for you. Even if you are exempt (A Sole Proprietor with No Employees – if you have no employees, then you are not an employer, and OSHA only has jurisdiction over employers.) it is still a good idea to follow OSHA standards. It is important not to endanger yourself or innocent folks beneath you.
You need to know what you can tie to and more importantly, what you can’t. Most of the newer building are very accomodating. When I started, it wasn’t uncommon to hang a big hook on the firewall. Definate no-no. Enough of the bad advice.

Have good equipment. my preferred controlled decent device is a SMC U - 4 Bar Rappel Rack Assembly but a lot of WCs use Sky Genies. The rack is great for cleaning windows and would hold an elephant. I use Mamba ropes. Learn to properly care for, store and inspect them before [U]every [/U]use. It is almost invariably rope breakage that results in injury or death. A reliable saftey brake and harness. The new osha approved seats are great. The most important tool is your head…use it.

Be safe
[B]THEGLASSMACHINE[/B]
[I]“because glass looks it’s best when you can’t see it”[/I]

see it"

More info on this topic would be great… I would love to sub-contract for other companies doing High Rise work just to get my foot in the door and to learn. Is the IWCA the best route to go? I know it probably depends on what state your in, but do you need any legal certification for rope work?

I strongly suggest to anyone considering getting into high rise to listen to thorSG1. He is exactly right. It takes months to train a man to do high rise, and about a year of experience for him to be truly effective. It takes a while just to find a guy who would have the guts to try it in the first place!

So, if I understand correctly, the saftey course wont train me how to do it, just tells me how to do it safely? My first step would be to get some hands on experience right?

It would be a good idea to hire a couple of experienced high rise guys. It’s like basketball. You can take 20 courses in it, learn all of the plays and defenses, but whats going to happen when you get on the court with Kobe Bryant? And be prepared to pay higher wages, insurance premiums, and investing in thousands of $$ in equipment. I hope I’m not discouraging you, Salvatore, but you should know what you’re getting into if you choose to do so.

It takes a while just to find a guy who would have the guts to try it in the first place![/QUOTE]

I would love to get high!

I really want to do it but the overhead is what bothers me. I actually would do it a couple weeks as an apprentice for Free! I used to be afraid of heights but I conquered my fear by working on scaffolding with my father doing stucco work. I bet it must feel great being up that high and enjoying the view once you get over the initial fear.

Hmm, So runken can a Sole Proprietor w/ no employees do High Rise work? I mean can you actually do this work by yourself? ( of course after being trained by someone, getting certified, and then trying it on your own )

You could also one-up all the IWCA trained window cleaners and go to ropeworks (.com) and become an IRADA certified rope access technition - for what I believe is less money, and all hands-on as distinct from the IWCA correspondance course.

Yes…One can do it. Two can do it faster. Three…and you have someone to send for drinks and snacks.

Most of the high rise I’ve done has always been someone else’s. Even the ones where they only show up to buy me lunch and ask when it’ll be done make more than I do. To tell the truth, I can make more money working for myself on the ground, but, I love to work high. So I will do piece work for other companys occasionally. The first time I ever cleaned windows professionally was for a little company in Hot Springs, Arkansas. and it was doing drops on a hotel. Just because I wanted to do some drops. Before that I installed solar film and getting the windows clean was a big part of that.
[B]THEGLASSMACHINE[/B]
[I]“because glass looks it’s best when you can’t see it” [/I]

I am not interested in money either but more so because it looks like it’s fun and I guess I love a new good challenge. I think I would rather work as a Sub too and just work for big companys. And I definitely wouldn’t make it my primary focus because residential is much more lucrative. ( In other words I would rather be known as doing High end residential work and just do a few drops in slower months for maybe larger companies ).

I know John Esmond was a journeyman and I saw he was from Vegas so maybe he has some good advice too.

I would be in it for 2 reasons. One- the money. 2- the work. Some of these buildings take months.

But the main reason is because if you do high rise work, everyone knows you and you know everyone. Youre in a different class, and in my opinion, here in san diego, a true player.

I agree that big money is to be had in residential and low-mid rise commercial, but to be able to tackle it all is saying something. To me anyway.
My friend Bobby from D’arcy Window Cleaning does high rise and does everything from residential to the 60 story building.
Everyone has a goal, and mine is to be able to be an expert! When you think of pure water- who comes to mind? Hard water stains? Waterfed poles? Pure water carts?
Wait…gotta get some coffee cuz now im ranting…:stuck_out_tongue:

lol. i’m drinking coffee right now. gotta have your coffee fix.

Your absolutely right Tory. I would love to learn the whole trade. It also gives you excellent word of mouth when you can say your a high rise specialist.

Mid Rise is also extremely profitable when you use manlifts or have a crew on the job. I take it all in stride though. One day at a time. I won’t be doing High rises until I conquer Mid Rise.

[FONT=“Georgia”]The IWCA does have regional safety training that is hands on for safety. The morning is book work with Stefan Bright the IWCA safety director, then the afternoon is 3 stations that cover self rescue, lifts, and ladders. The next chance for that course will be at the annual convention that will be in Reno the last week in January 2010.

The morning session does talk a bit on how to, but its emphasis is how to… do it safely. I agree with Matt on the basketball analogy, the IWCA Training Session is a great tool, but you need to have a base knowledge to make it work best for you.

Good luck getting High, you guys are far braver than me, I like being firmly on the ground, but then again I can trip on my own shadow. :wink:

Shelby Diltz, CMP
IWCA Convention Director
400 Admiral Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64106
Phone: 816.471.4922
Fax: 816-472-7765
Email: shelby@robstan.com
Web Site: IWCA - International Window Cleaning Association

Join us at the 2010 IWCA Annual Convention & Trade Show: Your Best Bet
January 27 – 30, 2010 at the Silver Legacy Resort & Casino
Reno, Nevada

For more information keep an eye the convention pages of the IWCA web site at IWCA - International Window Cleaning Association - Convention[/FONT]

I have checked it out, and also there is a rigging class in Las Vegas that trains window cleaners that I want to go to as well. Just need to convince the wife that its a good idea.

There are companies such as (Ropeworks Industrial Group Inc.) that can train and certify you in both SPRAT (Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians), and IRATA (International Rope Access Technicians). There is no better training out there. “I” have also been kicking the idea around of offering training services to Window Cleaning Companies. I have been around and involved in Rope access for close to 20 years and am 36 yo. I am certified in both SPRAT and IRATA, and also help the IWCA on occasion with self rescue demos. I can not offer any type of certification yet, but can offer training to most companies at a much lower rate then sending employees off to be trained…

I may also be in need of a “helper” for a few weeks straight this spring if someone is interested in swapping time for training.