High rise work anyone?

I was wondering once your certification process became mandatory did the cost for window cleaning rise for the extra costs for the training? Was it then considered a skilled trade?

I believe it should be mandatory for all high rise companies here to be certified. Most companies locally dont really even give basic training or safety instruction and allow employees without knowledge of safe work practices to work sites usually unsupervised.

We see the accident rate rapidly climbing because there is zero checks in place to prevent companies from operating safely, its more about how fast the employees can get jobs done and go to the next.

True dat! And then, we have to compete with these idiots.
Florida (my home) has taken more to using E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G CHEAP over quality. Across the board too.

We see it in building(s), service, food…and service related industries that support construction or real estate…

We (FL) are becoming known nation-wide as a low quality state.

I hear it often: " No one in this state understands word of mouth works both ways." or similar phrases.

Yet, we are NOT known for our low prices on anything.

I hate big government yet we do need more “required” training to level the field some.

Paneless…the $8000 was after the lift rental…and it went into an extra day due to unforeseen delays.

As mentioned competing with the idiots, its sad because we have alot of that happening here. As an example I have an account where I charge $2100. and the former cleaner was charging a mere $1400. on the same job. The price difference is very common for me to see.

There are many low ball bids on complexes out there and the companies cleaning at that price will always go under after 1-2 years of kicking dirt.

The problem this causes is the customer (property manager) thinks they can always get a price this low. They do come around eventually and see whats happining.

I have other cleaning services I offer, with a wide range of clients…what you write about above has become very popular.

One reason we are seeking more of the de-fogging work. No one else is doing it 'round here.

Off topic…but also why with my carpet cleaning, I offer urine stain/odor removal. Trying to find and capture my niche market.

Further, I have found that being vary diverse with cleaning type services that couple well together has helped me stay in the zone better.

[B]Crazy[/B]: Nice take. Impressive.

[B]Superior[/B]: Even with strict reg’s in place up here, there are still many big high-rise WC companies bidding on these same jobs, and they employ ex-cons and shady, low-paid characters to do most of the work. And these companies have been around for a LONG time. Decades, in several cases. They are not fly-by-night operations.

The companies are wealthy, the employees make peanuts, and small high-rise guys like me can’t easily compete. There are so few building owners/managers that genuinely care about high levels of workmanship over quality. You should see how poorly so much of the high-rise WC work is done in Toronto. TONS of mistakes, but no one cares.

I do have a couple of warm leads, from existing clients, but time will tell if they materialize into anything. I’m trying my best, simply looking at it more realistically now…

Example: This past year, I was invited to bid on a complex of 4 large buildings, and TONS of glass, TONS of drops, and some unique challenges too. One 11-story, one 5-story, one 4-story, and another 9-story (or 11-story, I cant remember). I think I have all those heights right.

Again - TONS of glass, especially one of them, and also very attractive buildings, and not appearing to be a cheaply run establishment. Anyway, I gave them a price of around $10,000, and they pretty much laughed me out the door! They have it done right now for HALF of that, and although the guy is unreliable and does a mediocre job, the building manager still uses him because it makes the Manager look like he’s being thrifty on paper.

This has happened a few times - sorry, nearly EVERY time, and I’m getting tired of it now.

Why waste time in an unresponsive market, when lots of people in other niches are lining up to give me their money? Know what I mean?

I totally understand and it is frustrating.

The profit margins are somewhat similar between the markets and totally different working conditions.

I love the challenge of high rise especially with all the new architectural designs, sometimes it is a challenge just to get up close to the work space.
As far as safety respect the environment you are presented with and common sense go along ways. Shortcuts cause accidents.

We here in high rise attract the same type of employee:eek: but dont hire them.

I have a very interesting time when I put out adds for employment. The responses are usually humorous but annoying.

70% of my work is high rise.

Hi My specialist field is high rise. At the moment Iam working in Vegas. having cleaned MANDALAY BAY, CAESARS PALACE, PALAZZO, ENCORE,MGM GRAND and a few more. I use Mainly rope and Podium, most of my equipment being my own. Mainly I use Petzel Harness and Ropes. Often I work swing stage and boom truck.I have my instructors licence in boom trucks. I have over the last few years worked in Canada and USA some time I hope to return to the UK

I love to see the high rise topic come up again,seems like the posts are few and far between

Are those your personal contracts?

Those casinos you just mentioned.

sky high in the house. hi rise all day, everyday, windows, caulking, pressure cleaning, as long as the checks keep clearing the bank we keep working.

No Just contracts i have been asked to help on. I have worked all over the States , Canada and Europe. seem to be a journyman window cleaner

Can anyone tell me where I can learn all there is to know about High Rise WC?

Jordan in Portland, OR

HI all. I have been in the business for about six years and I am looking to get into drop work. Just a quick thought. If there are companies charging way less than the standard for that type of work and that type of work requires proper insurance and safety training, wouldnt it be prudent to do a little investigation into the company in question? They may not have the proper insurance or certification required. If that is the case, bringing the information to the attention of the building/property manager might be the best course of action.

If they know that they stand to lose more money by contractor incompetence, they may just drop the yahoo and go with the one who charges more but has the certification and will get the job done right.

If i see some jack off doing something on a jobsite that clearly shows he/she has not been properly trained in safety matters I have no qualms about turning them into OSHA. Especially if I lose a bid to them. I know no one likes tattle tales, but when money is involved, it’s a different ball game in my opinion. Just a thought.

Can anyone tell me where I can learn all there is to know about High Rise WC?

Jordan in Portland, OR

I do the lot high rise maintenance and repairs pressure cleaning high rise window cleaning and use wfp In Australia

Jordan your best bet would be to contact the IWCA or the International Window Cleaners Association. IWCA - International Window Cleaning Association. There you will find the best training. I don’t do high rises but I do know that this is the only organization that offers a certification course. Perhaps working for a high rise company will help too.

I do high rise. But I am always in as a sub contractor. I haven’t had any luck in selling my own. I hate getting 3000 when the fella who sold it gets 16000 after insurance and equipment rental, but then again, if I can make the 3000 in two weeks I can’t complain too much. I get hired to do a lot of peicemeal work because I like working out of a seat and it saves setting up a scaffold for a drop just a couple or three windows wide. I use a four bar SMC rack. I have used sky genies and some fun little things called "gri gri"s. I use one of those for a safty brake sometimes. I still prefer my homemade seat. More comfortable than the store bought ones and as far as I am concerned just as safe. I’m still here after doing it for a quarter century. I insist on tieing my own knots. I would hate for someone to have to feel guilty for my death. I enjoy telling people that I am paid to get high. Gotta love a job like that.

be safe

"because glass looks it’s best when you can’t see it"

Hey Jordan,
The IWCA does have a lot of info on High Rise the best two places to get that info is in the regional safety training classes offered around the country 3 times a year the next one is going to be in LA on October 2nd, see the information on that below. The other place to get a lot of information on both what to do, equipment to use, and network with others that are doing High Rise work is the Annual Convention and Trade Show, which is going to be in Reno January 27th – 30th, 2010. This year we have a High Rise Panel, and an Add on Services for High Rise Companies, as well as the IWCA Safety Course, and then again this year we are pairing up with the SIA for them to offer their Suspended Scaffold CPT Class.

Hopefully you can make it to one of those training sessions, and if you need any additional information from me on any of these just let me know.

The info on the session in LA is:

IWCA Safety Training * Los Angeles, CA
October 2, 2009
7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Proper safety training could save your life
Last Opportunity for 2009

The IWCA Safety Training Seminar will be in Los Angeles, Oct 2, 2009 for a full day of training on safety basics and planning, rope descending systems, suspended scaffolds, ladder safety, residential worksite safety, worksite assessments, fall protection, equipment maintenance, safe chemical use and a hands-on training session on self rescue techniques.Spanish translation will be available during this safety training session.

We know that in the current economy, travel budgets are tight and companies are looking very closely at the training and education opportunities available to employees. With that in mind, if you are trying to maintain your window cleaning operational costs in our current economy, it is vital that you not only comply with the ANSI/IWCA I-14 Window Cleaning Safety Standard, but also provide the proper safety training for you and your employees. Proper training will help you avoid additional costs to your business such as: expensive citations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, increased insurance rates, and of course, the loss of a valued employee due to injury.

For the complete schedule of events, hotel information and to register, go to the IWCA Web Site.

Shelby Diltz, CMP
IWCA Convention Director
400 Admiral Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64106
Phone: 816.471.4922
Fax: 816-472-7765
Email: [email protected]
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

I do high rise in Seattle. Most of the work seems to be handled by larger property maintenance companies, and I end up working for them as a sub-contractor. I come from a mountaineering & rock climbing background, so this is natural to me.

It certainly is safer than ladder work, although many people fail to realize that or would argue against that. I’d rather hang off a building with 5,000 lb safety line than be on a ladder with no backup anyday. As far as pay, I make great money subcontracting here in Seattle - however I have no idea what they pay the hourly employees.